TAYLOR AND WRIGHT SHARE SPOILS IN NEWCASTLE AS ANDERSON PICKS UP KEY BETWAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS WIN
THE fight for places in the Betway Premier League Darts Play-Offs will go to the final league night after Phil Taylor drew with Peter Wright and Gary Anderson defeated Dave Chisnall in Newcastle on Thursday.
With top two Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld already assured of Play-Off places, a trio of stars were continuing their battles to secure a top-four finish at the Metro Radio Arena.
Taylor could have secured his Play-Off place with a win over Wright in their clash, but was left to rue one missed dart for victory in the deciding leg as the colourful Scot claimed a draw.
Taylor trailed 1-0 and 4-3 to the World Championship runner-up, but wrestled back the lead with a brilliant 11-dart leg and finished a 14-darter to claim a point before Wright shared the spoils in the deciding leg.
Six-time Premier League Darts champion Taylor had lost his opening three games this season before recovering to break into the top four, and admitted: “I’m making it hard work for myself but I’m enjoying it at the same time.
“We were both a bit edgy tonight and it was a tough match but I had my chances. I think we both knew what this game meant and we were playing for survival and to try to stay in the competition, so a point it’s too bad for me.
“It’s up to me to get a result next week and it’s nip and tuck, but it’s going to be interesting next week against Robert Thornton. A draw might get me in but I’ll be trying to win the game and I’ll be putting the hard work in because I’ve got no choice.”
Wright will now face Michael van Gerwen in their final league game at The Brighton Centre next Thursday, and remains in determined mood despite sitting a point behind Taylor and Anderson.
“I won’t give up on this,” he said. “I’ve earned my place in this tournament I’m going to fight all the way to try and get into the top four.
“I’m trying to fight in every single leg. I’m not playing as well as I know I can, but I’ll be practising loads and hopefully I can produce my best darts next week and get a win.”
Anderson, meanwhile, claimed his eighth win of the season as he jumped into fourth place above Wright with a 7-4 defeat of Chisnall, with the pair sharing the first six legs before the 2011 champion won four of the next five to pick up the points.
“It’s great to get the win and I’ll want to win next week to make sure I’m in the Play-Offs, but it’s good that it’s in my hands,” said Anderson, who meets van Barneveld in Brighton.
“I was a bit nervous tonight and we both struggled on our doubles a bit early on there, and if I’d hit my doubles first then it would have made the game a whole lot easier for me.
“Dave had nothing to lose tonight but he had an off night on his doubles. If he tidies up on his doubles he could be unbeatable and he’s unlucky not to be in the top four himself with some of the darts he’s thrown this year.”
Van Gerwen won the clash between the league’s top two players with a 7-4 defeat of Dutch rival van Barneveld, putting the reigning champion in pole position to finish at the top of the table for a second successive season.
Van Barneveld produced some superb early darts, including an 11-dart leg, as he established a 3-1 cushion, only to see the World Champion roar back with four successive legs as he moved two legs up.
Van Barneveld replied with a 96 finish to cut the gap to 5-4, but van Gerwen finished 68 on tops to win his sixth leg before taking out 132 on the bull to end the game with a 105 average in a superb display.
“It was a great finish to win the game and it brought back memories of taking out 132 to win the Play-Offs final last year,” admitted van Gerwen. “At the beginning of the game I made it difficult for myself but I was the better player overall.
“It was a huge game between us because we both want to be top of the table, and I’m very happy to be top. It was also important because it was live on Dutch television, and it would mean a lot to me to finish top again.
“I want to win again next week to make sure that I do finish top, because it says that you’ve been the best player for 14 weeks, but then I want to win the Play-Offs too.”
The night’s other game saw reigning UK Open champion Adrian Lewis pick up his first win in nine matches as he secured sixth place in the table with a 7-5 defeat of Robert Thornton.
The Scot, who won both Players Championship events held in Wigan last weekend, led 2-0 early on only for Lewis to produce some sparkling darts before sealing the victory with a 13-darter in the deciding leg.
“I had a dip in form for about four weeks which cost me the Play-Off place, but it’s coming back,” said Lewis. “I’ve made sure that I can’t finish any lower than sixth but I’ll be going out there to try and finish with a win next week.
“Robert wired a couple of doubles which could have seen him get something from the game and maybe he was a bit unlucky, but I’m pleased with that.”
The Betway Premier League Darts league season concludesnext Thursday at The Brighton Centre, before the top four players progress to compete in the Play-Offs.
Chisnall meets Lewis in the night’s opening game, before Anderson takes on van Barneveld and Taylor plays Thornton, with the night’s final contest being a repeat of January’s World Championship final between Wright and van Gerwen.
Betway Premier League Darts
May 8, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Gary Anderson 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Adrian Lewis 7-5 Robert Thornton
Phil Taylor 6-6 Peter Wright
Raymond van Barneveld 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
May 15, The Brighton Centre
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Robert Thornton v Phil Taylor
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 0844 847 1515 or www.brightoncentre.co.uk
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
0-1 – Anderson posts a nerve-settling 180 but misses double 14 and seven across two visits to allow Chisnall to break on double four.
1-1 – The roles are reversed as Chisnall this time pays for missed doubles as Anderson levels the contest.
2-1 – Double top sees Anderson move ahead.
2-2 – Chisnall squares matters with double nine, with Anderson waiting to pounce.
3-2 – Anderson pins double top at the first time of asking to boost his average to 105.
3-3 – Chisnall takes out 102 on double 16 to win his third leg of the game.
4-3 – Anderson opens with a 180 but avoids a break of throw as Chisnall misses a dart at double 18 and three at double nine, allowing the Scot back in on double two to recover from three more misses of his his own.
5-3 – Anderson breaks in another bizarre leg which is a tale of missed doubles, with Chisnall missing three darts only to be allowed back when the 2011 champion miscounts and checks out 70 instead of 74 – but three more misses from Chisnall allow him back on double two.
6-3 – Chisnall lands a 180, but Anderson is first to a finish and takes out double eight to secure a point.
6-4 – Anderson lands his third 180 of the game, but misses the bull for the match and a further dart at double two, allowing Chisnall in on double eight to keep his hopes alive.
7-4 – Anderson takes out 68 on tops to claim victory and move a step closer to winning a coveted Play-Off place.
Adrian Lewis v Robert Thornton
0-1 – Lewis misses double six for a 126 finish, and Thornton takes out 53 on tops to break throw immediately.
0-2 – Lewis this time misses tops, and Thornton posts double four to move two legs up.
1-2 – Lewis lands a 180 as he gets off the mark.
2-2 – The two-time World Champion breaks throw to level the contest.
3-2 – Lewis adds a 180 as he wins a third successive leg, with double ten moving him ahead.
3-3 – The pair trade 180s as Thornton holds throw to level.
4-3 – Lewis misses the bull for a 129 checkout, but returns to land double eight.
4-4 – Thornton again levels the contest.
5-4 – Lewis takes out 53 on tops to move back in front.
5-5 – Thornton finishes 70 as he squares the game and ensures that the contest will go all the way.
6-5 – Thornton misses double 18 for a 147 finish to claim a point, and Lewis ensures a minimum of a draw by landing double six.
7-5 – Lewis hits his fourth 180 of the game as he leaves 47 after nine darts, but misses double top and ten to claim the win – only for Thornton to miss the bull for a 123 checkout, allowing the UK Open champion in to claim his fourth win of the season on double five.
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright
0-1 – Wright breaks throw in the opening leg on double four.
1-1 – Double 16 sees Taylor break back at the first time of asking.
2-1 – Wright misses double 19 for another break of throw, and Taylor lands double 16 once again.
3-1 – Wright fires in a 180, but misses three darts at doubles and Taylor takes out 120 to break and move two legs up.
3-2 – Wright finishes tops to break back.
3-3 – The pair trade 180s, but Taylor misses the bull for a 121 finish, and Wright steps in on double 16 to level.
3-4 – Wright lands a 180, and is handed a reprieve for a miss at tops when Taylor is unable to land double 18 and nine, allowing the World Championship finalist back in on double ten.
4-4 – Taylor posts a 177 score, and capitalises to claim the leg with a key double four to break throw and level.
5-4 – Taylor regains the lead with a brilliant 11-darter, landing two 180s before finishing double 16.
5-5 – Wright opens with a 180, only for Taylor to reply in kind to share the eight maximums – but the 16-time World Champion is unable to take out 99 and Wright returns on tops to level.
6-5 – Wright fires in a 180 to leave 124, but Taylor holds throw on tops with a 14-dart leg to secure a minimum of a draw.
6-6 – Wright wires double 18 for a 150 finish – but Taylor misses one dart at double 16 for the win, and Wright takes out double nine to snatch a draw.
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – van Gerwen misses three darts to win the opening leg, and van Barneveld posts double 12 to claim the opener.
1-1 – van Gerwen opens with a 180 and levels in 14 darts.
2-1 – Both players hit maximums before van Barneveld posts an 11-dart leg to move ahead once again.
3-1 – The five-time World Champion posts a 180 in a 14-darter to break and move two legs clear.
3-2 – Double four sees van Gerwen hit back.
3-3 – van Barneveld fires in a 180, but van Gerwen levels with a 13-darter on tops.
3-4 – van Gerwen wins a third successive leg as he open with a 180 before hitting double 16 for a 14-darter to break.
3-5 – van Gerwen initially misses double ten for a 140 finish, but returns to hit the bed to complete a 13-dart leg.
4-5 – The reigning champion misses the bull for a 129 checkout, allowing van Barneveld in to finish 96 in two darts to hit back.
4-6 – Tops for a 68 finish sees van Gerwen secure a minimum of a point.
4-7 – van Gerwen seals the win in style, opening with a 180 and taking out 132 on the bull to complete the victory – hitting the same checkout which saw him secure the title in last May’s Play-Offs.