7 Feb, 2020

Target's Glen Durrant and Nathan Aspinall are joint-top of the Premier League table, after an opening night in Aberdeen where #TeamTarget's players went unbeaten.

Three-time Lakeside World Champion "Duzza" kicked-off the four month long tournament with a clinical display of finishing to overcome recent Masters finalist Michael Smith 7-3. Durrant was making his debut in the tournament as a full league member and showed his calibre at the P&J Live arena by hitting 78% of his doubles. "Doubles were great, preparation was good, scoring could be better, but I beat an amazing player tonight" said Glen. "I was very nervous. I watched Homes Under The Hammer at about 10 o'clock this morning and I was having palpitations. "Three years ago I was in a local league in Stockton watching the Premier League on a tiny TV in a corner with people saying 'you could be there', and now I am here and it's very humbling."

Aspinall was also making his first full appearance in the tournament, having competed as a "Contender" last year, and managed to deal with a hostile crowd in his 7-3 victory over Scotland's John Henderson (competing himself as a "Challenger" this year in the re-branded format). After a slow start to the match, the UK Open Champion moved through the gears - hitting a 170 checkout and taking the last two legs in just 26 darts. "It's a bit of a strange feeling, I'm delighted to win but I'm not happy with how I played," Aspinall admitted.

"After what we saw in Aberdeen last year I was expecting the worst in terms of my crowd reception but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be.

"I think they were a bit flat because John didn't perform tonight, I feel for him because he's a great guy but I have a job to do.

"I didn't play well either to be honest, I threw three good darts in the match and they were to take out the 170 which won me the game.

"I think playing The Masters last week was an advantage for me, it meant I got the winning feeling back, whereas John hasn't played on stage for a couple of months

Last year's runner-up Rob Cross could not make it a clean sweep for #TeamTarget on the opening night, but the world number four still emerged with a point against Grand Slam Champion Gerwyn Price. Having looked in trouble at 2-4 down, "Voltage" produced a three leg burst to take the lead, and was left stranded on a double when Price produced a 13 darter in the final leg of the match to escape with a 6-6 draw.

The action now moves to Nottingham for Week Two, where Cross takes on Aspinall in an all-Target clash to start the night, while Durrant faces Fallon Sherrock - playing as a Challenger following her history-making run at the World Championship. Prior to the league's continuation though, we have the 2020 ProTour getting underway with two Players Championship events taking place at Barnsley Metrodome this weekend. Durrant, Aspinall and Cross will all compete alongside fellow Target stars including Adrian Lewis, Stephen Bunting and Ricky Evans, with live coverage on PDC TV and via various bookmakers' websites.

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