Joe Cullen was the star of the show as London’s O2 hosted week 15 of Premier League darts.
It was a make-or-break night for The Rockstar in his quest to secure a play-off spot. Cullen, in his first year competing in the annual darting roadshow, kept his hopes alive with 6-1 victories over Gary Anderson and, crucially, arch play-off rival Peter Wright.
He then took on long-time league leader Jonny Clayton in the final and again acquitted himself well against arguably the best player in the world at present, winning an absorbing clash 6-4 to move above Wright and into the all-important fourth spot.
Amid the tension, there was a moment of hilarity thanks to Cullen’s shocked reaction to a missed double. It prompted laughter from commentators Wayne Mardle and Stuart Pyke, with the latter quipping: “Nearly ended up in Canary Wharf that dart.”
There was also a moment of respect between the players, who are great mates, later in the match. After Clayton brilliantly took out 144 to close to within one leg, Cullen nodded his head in approval.
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But it was The Rockstar who was receiving nods of approval at the end of the night as he took control of his play-off destiny ahead of his huge showdown with Wright in Newcastle next week. Cullen knows victory will secure his spot in Berlin on play-off night on June 13.
“I put so much pressure on myself,” said this year’s Masters winner. “Some of my performances recently have been horrific. My B-game has been good normally, but it’s been an A or a C. There haven’t been many B-games in this Premier League.
“The format this year is really cutthroat and that’s testament to the PDC. I was under a lot of pressure tonight and I responded well because I won the night.”
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