Adrian Lewis claimed the fourth and final playoff place for the Premier League Darts in Newcastle Thursday night. Lewis only needed a draw to secure a semi final match-up with Phil Taylor and Jackpot duly obliged after a breathtaking 7-7 draw with Gary Anderson.
Lewis started the brighter, throwing a 104 average over the opening three legs to lead 2-1. Anderson then missed six attempts at a double in the fourth leg to allow Lewis to claim the first break of the match.
The fifth leg saw Lewis equal Anderson’s prolificacy with three misses at a double. Anderson, however, let Lewis off the hook as he threw a miniscule 28. Lewis hit double 10 to extend his lead to 4-1. Anderson then took a mere 10 darts to reach a double in the sixth leg on his way to a 13 darter and a 4-2 deficit at the interval.
Anderson continued his sloppy play after the break as Lewis held his throw comfortably. From there, however, Anderson was in sublime form and won five legs in a row. The Flying Scotsman held his throw before throwing a sensational 10 darter in the ninth leg to break Lewis. Anderson levelled the scores at 5-5 before throwing a 180, 135 and 140 on way to breaking Lewis again. The Scot threw his fifth maximum in the next leg to help him take a 7-5 lead.
Anderson had three attempts at a double in the 13th leg to secure a victory that would have kept Simon Whitlock’s ailing playoff hopes alive, but the Scot could not add the finishing touches. Lewis hit double five to hold his throw and move within a leg of Anderson. Lewis threw two 140s and a 180 in the final leg to break Anderson and confirm a semi final outing against Phil Taylor next week.
The result meant Simon Whitlock could not qualify for the semi finals and his performance lacked any urgency or consistency as he was walloped 8-3 by Phil Taylor. The Power was not at his usual clinical best, but he still eased into a 5-1 lead at the break. Whitlock created little and missed crucial doubles, as Taylor extended his lead to 7-1.
The Wizard finally started to exert some pressure in the ninth leg, reaching an out shot first before breaking Taylor. Whitlock continued his commendable recovery in the next leg by holding his throw, but Taylor raced out to a big lead in the 11th leg and claimed an easy 8-3 victory. The Power has now won 13 in a row and will be a heavy favourite to retain his Premier League crown next week.
The opening match of the night saw James Wade overcome Terry Jenkins. With the pressure off, Wade started sensationally. The Machine hit two 180s in the first leg on the way to an 11 darter. Wade then followed up with a maximum 170 out shot to break Jenkins. The players held their throw until the interval, with the highlight being a classy 142 checkout from Wade.
The break did not slow down Wade, who won the next two legs to lead 6-2. Standards began to slip in the ninth leg, as both players missed doubles before Jenkins hit double two to break back. The Bull then comfortably held to narrow the deficit to two legs. The players both posted 180s in the following leg, while Jenkins missed a 102 out shot that could have changed the match. Wade hit his reliable double 10 before closing out an 8-4 victory in the next leg.
Raymond van Barneveld continued his recent run of form against Mark Webster as the Dutchman won 8-4. The players began well, with both hitting 100+ checkouts. Webster’s chances took a hit in the third leg, however, as he missed two doubles and allowed Barney to break.
The legs went with throw until the ninth leg, when poor throwing from Webster allowed Barney to win despite missing a few doubles. Barneveld easily won the next leg to lead 7-3. Webster came out fighting, however, and held his throw in the 11th. Both players missed a host of doubles in the next leg, but Barney clinched an 8-4 victory with his fifth attempt at a double.
The match summed up Webster’s Premier League campaign, as he produced some good darts but lacked consistency. Webster has won a mere two matches during the whole campaign and will need to rebound quickly. Barney only averaged in the 90s, but will be confident heading into his semi final against Anderson.
Next week will see both the semi finals and final of the Premier League. Adrian Lewis will try to defeat the in-form Phil Taylor, while the high scoring Gary Anderson will be aiming to exact revenge for his loss to Raymond van Barneveld last week.
Wade vs Jenkins: 8-4
Barneveld vs Webster: 8-4
Lewis vs Anderson: 7-7
Taylor vs Whitlock: 8-3