I wish I could play in front of Belfast darts fans every week: Daryl Gurney
Daryl Gurney secured survival in the Unibet Premier League with a homecoming 7-5 win over Rob Cross as Gerwyn Price was eliminated at the SSE Arena in Belfast last night.
Londonderry's Gurney was making his first big-stage appearance in Northern Ireland, and produced a gutsy performance to end any threat of elimination from the event.
Cross led 2-0 and 3-1 before Gurney hit back to level in leg eight, as the world champion paid for a miss at double 16.
Gurney then took out 119 to move 5-4 up, with Cross responding in 11 darts only to see the home favourite claim the game's final two legs.
"It was unbelievable - I knew that atmosphere would be good but the support was amazing," said Gurney. "It's the best feeling I've ever had, even better than winning the World Grand Prix.
"As soon as the first treble went in it was mad - I wish I could take the Belfast fans with me every week!
"When I went 2-0 down I knew I had to be more aggressive because if Rob had won a third leg he'd have demolished me.
"The 119 was a big shot because he'd have had two breaks of throw. That shot kept me in the game and then I kicked on, and the 180s kept me going.
"There are things I need to improve because although I got nine 180s it was still only 7-5 - but this is a night I'll remember for a long time."
Michael Smith eliminated Price with a 7-2 victory.
The pair shared the opening four legs before a stunning four-leg surge from Smith pulled him clear to 6-2 before double top sealed victory.
Gary Anderson extended his unbeaten run to five games with a 7-5 win over Mensur Suljovic.
Anderson led 2-0, only for Suljovic to take out 101 as he levelled following six legs.
Anderson, though, regained the lead and then took out 124 on the bull to lead 5-3, and closed out victory with a 14-darter in the deciding leg.
Suljovic and Peter Wright will battle to avoid elimination on Judgment Night in Liverpool next week, after the World No.2 came from 6-3 down to claim a draw with Simon Whitlock.
Michael van Gerwen maintained his two-point lead at the top with a 7-2 romp against Raymond van Barneveld.
"My finishing was good and I didn't make a lot of mistakes, so I'm happy with this win," said Van Gerwen. "I like winning and I want to keep this going."