Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor will contest a winner-takes-all clash in Rotterdam next week, as the pair remain locked on points at the top of the table after they both secured comprehensive victories in Manchester on Thursday evening.
Van Gerwen only leads Taylor on legs difference, but ‘The Green Machine’ maintained top spot with a stunning 7-2 win over his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld. MvG averaged 108 against his elder statesman; reeling off five consecutive legs en route to victory.
Van Barneveld recorded an average of 101 and hit five maximums, but he was contending with an unstoppable force in the shape of the world number one. Van Gerwen came desperately close to hitting a 9-darter in the seventh leg; wiring D12 with his ninth dart.
The 27-year-old from Boxtel continued his purple-patch, as then converted sublime finishes of 122 and 167 to condemn Barney to his heaviest defeat of the campaign. Yet despite the scoreline, the five-time world champion did very little wrong.
However, Phil Taylor remains hot on Van Gerwen’s heels, as ‘The Power’ dispatched Adrian Lewis 7-2 to keep the pressure on his Dutch rival. Lewis established an early 2-1 advantage, but Taylor, who averaged over 104, secured six successive legs to earn his 11th win of the season.
Lewis leads Peter Wright by just the solitary point in the race for a play-off place, after Snakebite eased to a routine 7-1 win over eight-time major winner James Wade. Wright averaged 99.15 and posted six maximums, as he profited on some uncharacteristically poor finishing from ‘The Machine’.
Despite recording 12 140’s, Wade endured a torrid time on the doubles, converting just one of his 12 double attempts at a percentage of just 8.33%. This defeat ends the left-hander’s hopes of qualification, but Wright could potentially secure a top four spot with victory over Raymond van Barneveld in Rotterdam next week.
Nevertheless, world-champion Gary Anderson will be present on final’s night at the O2 Arena on May 19th, as he thrashed his fellow Scot Robert Thornton 7-1 to confirm his top-four qualification.
Anderson, who defeated Van Gerwen in last year’s Premier League final, registered an average of 99.33%, as he punished Thornton’s abject checkout conversion rate of 13%. Anderson will definitely finish third in the table, and his semi-final opponent will be the loser of next week’s clash between Van Gerwen and Taylor.
Betway Premier League
Night 14 – May 5
The Manchester Arena
James Wade 1-7 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 7-1 Robert Thornton
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 2-7 Phil Taylor
Night 15 – May 12
The Ahoy Arena, Rotterdam
** Revised Order of Play **
Robert Thornton v James Wade
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
Best of 12 legs
|After Night 14||P||W||D||L||+/-||LWAT||Pts|
|Michael van Gerwen||15||10||4||1||+40||36||24|
|Raymond van Barneveld||15||5||1||9||-8||24||11|
|Dave Chisnall (E)||9||1||1||7||-14||17||3|
|Michael Smith (E)||9||1||1||7||-26||15||3|