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Aspinall relishes Exeter triumph after ‘fighting with demons’

Nathan Aspinall secured his first Premier League nightly win with a dominant 6-2 victory over Rob Cross in Exeter.

Aspinall got off to a blistering start in the final against Cross and made it count, taking a 5-0 lead with two breaks of throw.

His highlight came in the fifth leg as he hit a sensational 160 checkout, leaving ‘Voltage’ with no answer.

Cross came back to take two legs, sealing one with a brilliant 121 checkout, but it was too little too late as Aspinall stayed calm, held his nerve, and nailed tops for the win.

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Aspinall hits his second 160 checkout of the night in Exeter

The success marks the continued turnaround for Aspinall after struggling in the opening three weeks of the Premier League campaign.

“Obviously it was a slow start to the season. Last week was massive for me and I made a decision tonight to forget about double 16 because I have missed it so many times,” Aspinall said after his win.

“I am just very happy. The last two weeks I have dug really, really deep.

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Aspinall said he was ‘down in the dumps’ after his poor start to the Premier League but showed his ‘fighting spirit’ as he picked up his first nightly win

“I have been down the first three weeks but the final and a win in the last two weeks, over the moon!

“I have been fighting with demons in my own head, but I think you have seen that I am a fighter.”

Results: Night Five, Westpoint, Exeter

Quarter-finals
Luke Humphries 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price 1-6 Rob Cross
Luke Littler 6-2 Michael Smith
Semi-finals
Luke Humphries 5-6 Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross 6-3 Luke Littler
Final
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Rob Cross

Aspinall held off a huge Luke Humphries comeback to secure his spot in the final in a last-leg decider.

The world champion fought back from 5-1 down to level the match at 5-5 but Aspinall held on and took the win with another fantastic 160 checkout.

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Aspinall hit a 144 checkout against Luke Humphries during their semi-final

In his quarter-final, Aspinall stood strong to ensure Peter Wright stayed pointless at the bottom of the table, a 6-4 win sealed with a purple patch of 136, 125, and 115 finishes.

Wright showed signs of a return to form as he took out a huge 156 checkout but ‘The Asp’ just proved too strong on the night.

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Peter Wright was left stunned after Aspinall hit the bullseye during their Premier League match

Cross downs Littler and Price on way to final

Cross booked his spot in the final with an interesting 6-3 win over Luke Littler.

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Rob Cross reached the final of the Premier League in Exeter after beating Luke Littler

It was a game in which Littler rued missed chances at the doubles, Cross finding crucial breaks of throw to take control of the encounter.

The final leg was a comedy of errors on the doubles, both players missing many chances before Voltage finally wrapped things up on D2.

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Sit back and enjoy this 132 checkout from Cross!

Cross got his night going with a demolition job on Gerwyn Price, taking a 6-1 win in sensational style with a near 110 average.

After storming to a 5-0 lead, Price hit back with a brilliant 160 checkout to avoid the whitewash, but classy Cross claimed the next leg on D16 to set up his clash with Littler.

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Gerwyn Price avoids the whitewash against Cross with this stunning 160 checkout

Littler had put in a simply unplayable display against Michael Smith to set up his match with Cross, averaging nearly 114 on his way to a 6-2 victory.

The 17-year-old found a flurry of maximums and a brilliant 140 checkout, leaving Smith unable to do anything to counter despite playing well.

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Littler stormed his way to victory over Michael Smith which included this 140 checkout

Humphries had earlier ended Michael van Gerwen’s chance of a fourth straight night win in a row and halted his nine-match winning streak with a comprehensive 6-3 victory, three breaks of throw helping the world champion in a tough encounter.

What’s next?

Premier League Darts now heads to the Brighton Centre on Thursday March 7, with Humphries vs Price opening the night.

Fixtures: Night Six, The Brighton Centre, Brighton, Thursday March 7

Quarter-finals
Luke Humphries vs Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross vs Michael van Gerwen
Nathan Aspinall vs Luke Littler
Michael Smith vs Peter Wright

Cross will then face Van Gerwen, with Aspinall up against Littler, and Smith taking on Wright.

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Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday March 7 as Brighton is the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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