Phil Taylor moved four points clear at the top of the Betway Premier League after Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson shared the spoils on a thrilling night of Premier League action at Belfast’s SSE Arena. Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis hit the first 9-darter in this competition since 2012 in his comeback victory against James Wade.
Van Gerwen and Anderson contested one of the best games in Premier League history in a rip-roaring tussle lasting just 16 minutes. It was an enthralling spectacle and only one of the twelve legs were completed in over 15 darts.
Van Gerwen averaged 110.55 to Anderson’s 108.24, asall twelve legs went with throw, which is extremely unusual in Premier League competition. Both men finished magnificently. MvG recorded 60% on the doubles, whilst ‘The Flying Scotsman’ boasted a sensational 85.71% on the doubles.
Phil Taylor held off a valiant fightback from Raymond van Barneveld to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Taylor led 6-2 and was averaging 106 at one stage, but Van Barneveld fought back superbly, with finishes of 61 and 106 reducing the arrears to 6-5.
However, Taylor maintained his composure magnificently in a high-quality decider. ‘The Power’ hit scores of 177 and 171 to leave 32 after 9 darts, and despite Barney posting a 177 of his own, the legendary Dutchman was unable to seal a point, as Taylor pinned D2 to secure his ninth win of the season.
Adrian Lewis hit a magnificent 9-dart finish as he came back from 5-4 down to defeat James Wade and move a step closer to securing a play-off place. Lewis led 4-1, but he missed three clear darts at double for a 5-1 cushion and Wade pounced.
‘The Machine’ reeled off four successive legs by virtue of fine 101 and 121 finishes, but Lewis produced the 9-darter to level up proceedings in leg 10, before winning the final two legs in 13 and 14 darts respectively, to move two points clear of Wade in third place.
Robert Thornton kicked off the evening’s action with a comprehensive 7-2 victory over his fellow Scot Peter Wright. Snakebite changed his darts once again for this match, and he struggled to produce the standard we know he’s capable of. However, Thornton was magnificent and thoroughly deserved his victory.
Thornton averaged 105.61 and recorded 53% on the doubles to secure his second victory of the campaign. Wright hit four maximums, but averaged 92 and hit just 20% on his doubles, as the World Grand-Prix champion exploited his opponent’s profligacy to great effect.
However, Thornton was unable to complete the double in Belfast, as he was beaten by Raymond van Barneveld in the final match of the evening. The pair were locked at 4-4 at one stage, but Barney turned on the style in the latter stages, with legs of 13, 15 and 12 darts securing Raymond’s fourth win of the season.
Betway Premier League
Night 11 – April 14
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Robert Thornton 7-2 Peter Wright
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Phil Taylor
James Wade 5-7 Adrian Lewis – Adrian Lewis hits nine-dart finish
Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld 7-4 Robert Thornton
Best of 12 legs