By Dylan Williams
Gerwyn Price hopes victory in front of his home crowd will see him hit the bullseye of a top four finish in the Unibet Premier League.
The Markham marksman triumphed 8-5 over Michael Smith when he made his PDC bow in Cardiff last week.
Price opted to withdraw from the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich over the Easter weekend after the victory in order to rest and recover.
And he continues his campaign at the Arena Birmingham on Thursday (April 25) where Price will play Rob Cross who is second in the table.
The ‘Voltage’ currently leading Price four-two in their head-to-head but a victory for the Wales darts ace would boost those top four hopes.
The 34-year-old is currently sitting pretty in the top four on 14 points – a year on from a winless debut campaign in the Premier League.
“I’m thrilled to get a win and especially in Cardiff,” Prive told www.pdc.tv after the event. “The crowd were fantastic and helped me through. It means a lot to me and I played some pretty decent darts too I think.
“I never feel pressure but early in that game I was up against it. I settled down and I’m glad I got over the line. The 170 was crucial and a big shot in the game.
“Michael stuck to his guns and played pretty well but thankfully I got the win. I’m targeting the top four and I think it’s possible but I want to keep winning.”
Price delighted his adoring home fans in Cardiff with a thrilling victory over Smith which included back-to-back 170 checkouts from both players and a failed 9 dart attempt by the Welshman.
For once the spirited Grand Slam of Darts champion was cheered rather than jeered to the stage and it didn’t take long for him to raise the roof of the Motorpoint Arena – but only after his opponent hit the first big fish of the match to complete a 12-darter in the third leg.
Price, who had initially started nervously given the transformation in atmosphere and the pressure of not wanting to disappoint, bounced back in spectacular fashion by producing a 12-dart leg sealing 170 checkout of his own to level the scores.
Smith who was in desperate need of victory having headed to Cardiff sitting at the bottom of the table with only eight points- managed to edge ahead twice more, only for Price to muscle his way back to make it all square at 4-4.
Then came an unbelievable leg featuring four consecutive180s, and although Price’s attempts at a nine darter failed with his eighth dart, he returned to finish in 11 after Smith scorned two darts at tops.
That appeared to knock the stuffing out of Bully Boy and ‘The Iceman’ took control and went on to win the next two legs before finishing it off in a striking manner with a match-sealing 11-darter.
Price averaged 98.43 and converted 8 of his 17 attempts at a double.