Premier League Darts: Dutch pair keen to stake claim for title in BIC showpiece (WITH VIDEO)

Bournemouth Echo: REIGNING CHAMPION: Michael van Gerwen REIGNING CHAMPION: Michael van Gerwen

HOLLAND’S deadly duo will be looking to leave the Bournemouth crowd mesmerised by double Dutch when the Premier League Darts hits the south coast tonight.

After opening the season in fearsome form, new world champion Michael van Gerwen and revered darts legend Raymond van Barneveld will be among the sport’s leading lights on stage at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC).

Both men set a barnstorming standard in Liverpool last week as 24-year-old Van Gerwen waltzed to an unstoppable 7-0 whitewash of 16-time world title winner Phil Taylor.

The reigning Premier League champion set an imperious three-dart average of 109.59 and missed just two doubles as he broke Taylor’s throw four times.

And with former UK Open champion Robert Thornton next in the firing line, the man of the moment is in no mood to rest on his laurels.

“It was a great start the season last week but this is a new day,” said Van Gerwen. “You want to play 100-plus averages all the time so it was important to prepare myself well this week.

“I want to enjoy this event and win the tournament in May, so every league game is important and I know Robert will be better than he showed last week. He’s a great player and it will be a hard game.”

The only player to get close to van Gerwen’s majestic display was fellow countryman and experienced campaigner Van Barneveld.

Opponent Gary Anderson was one of only three players to set a 100-plus average but still found himself on the end of a crushing 7-2 defeat at the hands of the five-time world champion.

‘Barney’, who made his mark with an average of 108.52, believes he has what it takes to win the Premier League for the first time.

Ahead of his clash with Wes Newton, veteran Van Barneveld said: “Last week showed people what I’m capable of and I want to show the world and the crowd that I can still play great darts.

“Wes is another top player, but if I believe in myself week-in, week-out, I know I can win this league. My aim at the moment is to keep winning and make sure I’m in the top four in May.”

The event, being screened live on Sky Sports, kicks off at 7pm and also features crowd favourite Taylor’s attempt to get back on track against fellow Stokie Adrian Lewis.

 

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