TAYLOR & VAN GERWEN THRILL BOURNEMOUTH CROWD WITH McCOY’S PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS WINS
PHIL TAYLOR and Michael van Gerwen turned on the style with impressive McCoy’s Premier League Darts victories over Simon Whitlock and Raymond van Barneveld in Bournemouth on Thursday night.
Taylor hit top gear in week three of the tournament, averaging over 107 in a superb 7-2 defeat of the Australian in their repeat of last season’s final.
Whitlock hit a 140 finish in sharing the opening two legs, but Taylor replied with a 127 checkout in moving 3-1 up before taking four successive legs to power to victory.
The win moves Taylor a point clear at the top of the table, as he followed up his opening week draw with van Gerwen with a second successive win.
“You’re not going to win the Premier League in the first four or five weeks but it’s great to play so well,” said Taylor.
“I knew I could relax against Simon because he’s always going to play well against you and it was a cracking game. I enjoyed it and I could tell by the crowd that they were enjoying it too.”
Van Gerwen, meanwhile, hit back-to-back ten-dart finishes and averaged 104 in a superb 7-3 defeat of fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Barneveld, who took victory when the pair met in the Grand Slam of Darts final last November, shared the opening four legs but was punished for missed doubles as the youngster moved 4-2 up.
The five-time World Champion won the seventh leg to cut the gap to one leg, but van Gerwen hit successive ten-dart finishes to pull away before sealing victory with a 14-dart leg.
“It was a very difficult game for me because I didn’t want to lose tonight and it’s a great result,” said van Gerwen. “I want to keep this going now because it shows that I’m still playing well.
“Getting the win was the most important thing but to beat Raymond is special. He’s the best-ever Dutch player and to average 104 against him is amazing.”
Van Barneveld and van Gerwen are joined on four points in the league table by Andy Hamilton, James Wade and Robert Thornton, who all picked up points from their games at a sold-out BIC on Thursday night.
Hamilton edged out Gary Anderson 7-5 to win his second successive game, but was made to work all the way as the Scot hit back from 5-2 down to level, before missing three darts to grab a draw in deciding leg.
“Gary’s a massive scorer but I stuck in there and took my chances,” said Hamilton. “Phil Taylor’s at the top of this game because he takes out big shots at critical times, and that’s what I’m doing at the moment.
“You don’t have to be the biggest scorer around but you have to be the best finisher around. I’m trying to win every game as quickly as I can – it doesn’t always work out like that but I’ll keep plugging away and hopefully keep winning.”
Wade, meanwhile, produced his best performance so far this season, averaging 100.59 in a fine 7-4 victory over Adrian Lewis.
The 2009 champion took command by landing three 180s in taking a 5-2 lead, and he went on to win his second game of the season to condemn the world number two to a third straight loss.
“Winning the game was the main thing and I made the most of my opportunities,” said Wade. “The threat of relegation after nine weeks has made us all play a bit better, and to win two out of my first three games is pretty good.
“I felt so good but I felt that I still had so much more to give if it had got a bit closer.”
Thornton, meanwhile, joins Taylor and van Gerwen in remaining unbeaten following three games, although he had to come from 6-3 down to claim a draw with Wes Newton.
Newton hit four 180s and checkouts of 131, 120 and 111 as he secured his first point of the season, but missed one match dart as Thornton took the game’s final three legs to share the spoils.
“It was a big game tonight for me because the longer you go without a win, the greater the pressure gets,” admitted Newton. “I played a lot better than I did in the first two weeks and I’m up and running now on the league table.
“When I was 6-3 up I thought I was going to get the win, so I’m a bit gutted to be only walking away with a point, but Robert didn’t give up. He kept the pressure on me and got the point he deserved.”
Thornton admitted: “I got out of jail there! I thought Wes had me beaten when he went 6-3 up but I relaxed and managed to claw him back at the end.”
Lewis is now left at the foot of the table as the only player without a point following three matches, and conceded: “It’s so frustrating at the minute.
“I’m hitting the wires with a lot of darts and it’s not happening for me, but James took his chances really well. I’m practising well but I’m going on stage and it’s not happening.”
The McCoy’s Premier League Darts continues next Thursday with the fourth of 14 league nights being held at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter. Tickets can still be purchased through 08444 99 99 55 or via www.westpointarena.co.uk.
McCoy’s Premier League Darts
Night Three – Thursday February 21
James Wade 7-4 Adrian Lewis
Robert Thornton 6-6 Wes Newton
Simon Whitlock 2-7 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton 7-5 Gary Anderson
Latest League Table
P W D L +/- Pts
Phil Taylor 3 2 1 0 +9 5
Raymond van Barneveld 3 2 0 1 +4 4
Michael van Gerwen 3 1 2 0 +4 4
Andy Hamilton 3 2 0 1 +3 4
James Wade 3 2 0 1 +3 4
Robert Thornton 3 1 2 0 +2 4
Gary Anderson 3 1 0 2 -3 2
Simon Whitlock 3 1 0 2 -3 2
Wes Newton 3 0 1 2 -8 1
Adrian Lewis 3 0 0 3 -11 0
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
0-0 – James Wade will throw first
1-0 – Lewis starts slowly, hitting a 180 to leave 46 only for Wade to land double five to deny him a chance to break.
1-1 – Lewis opens with a 177 and hits a 140 in being first to a finish, but he misses three darts at double 16 to allow Wade a shot at 84 – only for the 2009 champion to miss the bull and allow the Stoke ace in to hit double 16 with his sixth dart to take the leg.
2-1 – Lewis hits another 180 and a 140, but misses two darts at double 18 for a 96 finish to break as Wade lands double ten to edge back ahead.
3-1 – Wade lands a 180 in reply and hits tops to break throw.
4-1 – The left-hander posts a second maximum, with double top pushing him three legs clear.
4-2 – Lewis hits tops to hit back with his second leg of the game.
5-2 – Wade hits his third 180 of the game before landing double ten for a 14-darter.
5-3 – Lewis misses two darts at double 18, but Wade is just off-target on double 11 for a 124 finish to break and the world number two returns to land double 18 at the third time of asking.
6-3 – Wade secures a point by finishing 76 on tops.
6-4 – Wade opens with a 180 but wires double ten for a 140 checkout to take victory, allowing Lewis to hit tops and keep his hopes alive.
7-4 – Wade secures his second victory of the season by finishing 68 on double ten, leaving Lewis without a point following two matches.
Robert Thornton v Wes Newton
0-0 – Robert Thornton will throw first
0-1 – Newton makes an ideal start, opening the game with a 180 and, after Thornton misses the bull for a 121 finish, taking out 70 on tops to break.
0-2 – Newton hits another maximum, with Thornton replying in kind but only able to watch on as the Fleetwood ace pins double five to move two up.
1-2 – Thornton hits a 180 to be first to a double, and although he initially misses his chance to get off the mark, a miss at the bull from Newton allows him in to land double four to win leg three.
1-3 – Thornton posts his third maximum of the game, but a missed bull from the Scot allows Newton to finish 111 to regain his cushion.
2-3 – Newton opens with a 180, but Thornton takes out 114 to hit back.
2-4 – Newton lands his fourth maximum of the game and takes out 131 in style to win leg six.
3-4 – Newton misses double 16 for another break of throw, and Thornton lands tops for a 60 finish to pull back to one leg behind.
3-5 – Thornton misses two darts at double four to break, and Newton lands double eight to edge back clear.
3-6 – Newton takes out his third ton-plus finish of the game with a 120 checkout to ensure at least a draw and his first point of the season.
4-6 – Newton misses double seven for an 88 finish for the game, and Thornton takes out 98 on double 19 to stay in the game.
5-6 – Thornton posts his fourth maximum of the game, and double five sees him force a deciding leg.
6-6 – Thornton hits his fifth 180 in leaving 81 after nine darts, and although he misses double 12, six and three, he returns to grab a point.
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
0-0 – Simon Whitlock will throw first
0-1 – Taylor breaks throw immediately on double two.
1-1 – Whitlock breaks back by finishing 140.
1-2 – Taylor breaks again by taking out 72.
1-3 – Whitlock posts a 180, but Taylor finishes 127 to move two legs clear.
2-3 – Both players hit 180s, but Taylor misses darts at double 12 and six and Whitlock returns to land double 12 to hit back.
2-4 – Whitlock misses the bull for a 121 finish, and Taylor pounces with a 76 finish on tops.
2-5 – Whitlock hits a 180 but Taylor takes out 90 on double 15 to break and move his average up to 111.
2-6 – Taylor misses two darts at double 18 for an 87 finish, but Whitlock misses the bull to take out 164 and the reigning champion returns to land double nine with his third dart.
2-7 – Whitlock hits a 180, but misses double 11 and two darts at double four to keep the game alive, and Taylor punishes him with double top, ending with a 107.33 average to Whitlock’s 101.80.
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
0-0 – Michael van Gerwen will throw first
1-0 – van Gerwen lands double eight to win the opening leg.
1-1 – van Gerwen misses double five for a 130 finish and two further darts to win the leg as he allows van Barneveld in to finish 86 on the bull.
2-1 – van Gerwen misses the bull, but van Barneveld is unable to finish 76 on double 18 and the youngster posts double four to move back ahead.
2-2 – van Gerwen opens with a 180, but van Barneveld wins the leg by taking out 48 on double 16.
3-2 – van Barneveld this time misses the bull for an 86 finish, and van Gerwen hits tops to move back ahead.
4-2 – van Barneveld hits two 180s in the leg, but misses a pair of darts at double 16 and van Gerwen finishes a 14-darter on tops to break.
4-3 – van Gerwen opens with a 180 and is first to a finish, but misses three darts at double 18 to allow van Barneveld to break back by finishing 70 on double eight.
5-3 – van Gerwen kicks off with a 177 and adds 140 and 168 in setting up a ten-darter which he completes on double eight.
6-3 – The youngster hits back-to-back ten-darters, this time scoring 180, 105, 180 and double 18.
7-3 – van Gerwen opens with a 177 – the fifth time in ten legs he opens with a maximum score – before punishing three misses from the Grand Slam champion by sealing the win on double eight.
Andy Hamilton v Gary Anderson
0-0 – Andy Hamilton will throw first
0-1 – Anderson hits a 180 and breaks throw on double ten.
1-1 – Double 18 sees Hamilton break back.
2-1 – Hamilton finishes 84 on double eight to move ahead.
3-1 – Double ten sees Hamilton break throw to lead by two.
4-1 – Hamilton finishes 90 to win a fourth successive leg.
4-2 – Anderson lands another 180, and has enough cushion to initially miss four doubles before landing double one.
5-2 – Hamilton stuns his opponent with a sensational 152 finish.
5-3 – Anderson takes out 96 in two darts to hit back.
5-4 – Both players hit 180s, with Hamilton missing four darts for a point as Anderson takes out 68 to reduce the gap to one leg.
5-5 – Anderson levels in a dramatic leg, missing six darts at doubles only for Hamilton to miss the bull and two further darts, allowing the Scot to post double two.
6-5 – Hamilton finishes double ten with his third dart to ensure a minimum of a draw.
7-5 – Both players open with 180s, and Anderson adds a second maximum to set up a possible nine-dart finish. He misses a seventh treble 20, but leaves 16 only to then miss three darts to claim a draw as Hamilton steps in to snatch both points and victory on double 16.