Gary Anderson and Peter Wright delighted the partisan Scottish crowd with memorable victories on night six of the 2017 Premier League, as Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis also triumphed on a cracking night of action at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Thursday evening.
Peter Wright moved to the top of the Premier League table after edging out James Wade in a topsy-turvy tussle on home soil. Wright secured his first televised title at last weekend’s UK Open and rounded off a perfect week by prevailing 7-5 with a 95.42 average, as Wade was punished for a multitude of missed doubles.
The first three legs all went against the throw, before Wright secured the first hold of throw via D10, after ‘The Machine’ missed three darts at double for a fourth consecutive break. Snakebite then dispatched a nerveless 115 kill for a double-break after Wade failed to convert a 78 checkout.
Missed doubles again plagued Wade in the sixth leg. He wired D12 for a 141 outshot, as Wright sank tops for his fourth straight leg and a commanding 5-1 cushion. Nevertheless, the Scot then missed the bullseye in each of the next three legs, as Wade fought back to reduce the arrears to 5-4.
The eight-time major winner stopped the rot with a crucial 100 outshot, before following up a majestic visit of 177 with a 13-darter on tops. Wright was suffering a mid-game slump and Wade continued his revival; sinking D5 to move within one of the UK Open champion.
However, Snakebite kicked off the tenth leg with back-to-back maximums to wrestle back the initiative; pinning D2 with his fifth attempt at double to guarantee himself a share of the spoils.
The world number three then missed a match dart at tops for a spectacular 145 checkout, as Wade defied vociferous boos from the partisan crowd to take out 76 and force a twelfth and deciding leg. It was a nervy affair, but Wade produced a sloppy scoring leg as Wright took out a regulation 52 checkout to seal victory and confirm top spot.
Gary Anderson moved up to third in the Premier League with a fine victory over Dave Chisnall in front of an adoring home crowd. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ enjoyed a rapturous reception and stormed into a 5-0 lead, before fending off a spirited fightback from ‘Chizzy’ to triumph with a 101.71 average and four maximums.
Anderson landed two maximums in as many legs as he secured a 2-0 lead inside 27 darts. The two-time world champion then followed up his third maximum with a magnificent 147 finish for a double-break. The crowd were euphoric and Anderson continued the procession with his fourth 180 and a fine 14-darter.
Chisnall began the fifth leg with six perfect darts, but he was unable to open his account. He squandered five clear darts at double and Anderson added insult to injury by dispatching a clinical 88 kill on the bullseye. The whitewash seemed a distinct possibility, but roles were reversed as the Scot missed a multitude of doubles in the sixth leg.
The world number two missed eight darts at double for a 6-0 lead, as the St Helen’s star finally opened his account on D5. ‘Chizzy’ then doubled his tally on D8 moments later, before executing a classy two-dart 86 combination to reduce the arrears to 5-3.
The St Helen’s star was beginning to grow in confidence, but Anderson regained his composure at the decisive juncture. He finally guaranteed himself a point by hitting D6 for a 13-dart break, before following up three successive 140’s by hitting D1 to complete a 14-darter and clinch his second victory of the season.
Raymond van Barneveld produced a stunning comeback from 4-1 down to edge out his fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen and claim a crucial victory in his battle to avoid the drop. Van Barneveld was punished for key missed doubles early on, but produced three quality ton-plus checkouts to prevail in a pulsating affair with a 96.46 average.
Both players registered maximums in the opening leg as Klaasen held throw with a sublime 11-darter, but Barney levelled up proceedings moments later with an effortless 104 checkout. However, both players missed several darts at double in the third leg, as ‘The Cobra’ regained the lead via D10.
This appeared to deflate Van Barneveld and Klaasen continued to power on. He produced a quality 111 checkout to break, before capitalising on three further missed doubles from RvB to move three legs clear. Jelle then squandered chances for a commanding 5-1 advantage and this suddenly sparked an inspired fightback from the five-time world champion.
The Den Haag ace conjured up a majestic 154 finish out of nowhere to hold throw, before exploiting missed doubles from Klaasen to convert a two-dart 78 combination moments later. The Glasgow crowd were rallying behind Van Barneveld and he responded; hitting D12 for second leg in succession to level at four apiece.
Klaasen was shell-shocked and Barney’s resurgence continued. He converted a nerveless 107 kill on D16 to secure his fourth straight leg, before guaranteeing himself a point on D8 after ‘The Cobra’ missed two more darts at double.
The former Lakeside world champion finally stopped the rot via D10 after Van Barneveld missed a dart at bullseye to secure victory. However, Barney held his nerve in the decider; completing a two-dart 60 checkout to clinch his second victory of the campaign and his ninth Premier League triumph in Glasgow.
Michael van Gerwen made a winning return from injury with a narrow victory over Kim Huybrechts in a high-quality contest. The Belgian averaged 101.72 and landed five maximums in his best performance of the campaign thus far, but was left to rue key missed doubles for a point as MvG prevailed with a 106.30 average.
Huybrechts made a blistering start to the contest, firing in a 171 en route to a comfortable hold, before posting five perfect darts in the second leg. However, Van Gerwen followed up his first maximum with a classy 109 kill for a 12-dart hold. ‘The Hurricane’ then regained the lead with a 14-darter, before MvG levelled inside 13 darts.
The fifth leg was a dramatic affair. The Belgian missed a number of darts at double, but ‘Mighty Mike’ couldn’t take advantage. Incredibly, he bust 65 by missing the big number as Huybrechts held by landing D1 with his last dart in hand.
However, Van Gerwen responded strongly; following up the sixth straight hold of throw with seven perfect darts, as he found D4 for a vital 12-dart break of throw. Yet Huybrechts wasn’t deterred. He crashed in his fourth maximum and dispatched a clinical 76 kill for a 12-darter of his own, before regaining the lead with a superb 96 outshot.
The Dutchman fired back with a 13-darter to level up at five apiece, before a dramatic conclusion ensued. ‘The Hurricane’ spurned four darts at double to seal a point, and Van Gerwen clinched a point with an assured 80 kill, before defying a fifth maximum from the Belgian to prevail with a 14-dart leg via D8.
Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis ended Phil Taylor’s unbeaten Premier League record to ease his relegation fears in the opening match of the evening. ‘Jackpot’ averaged 98.71, landed seven maximums and converted 37% of his attempts at double to punish an under-par display from ‘The Power’.
The pair exchanged breaks of throw in a scrappy start to the contest, before Lewis defied two maximums from Taylor in the third leg to secure the lead with a clinical two-dart 80 outshot. However, the 16-time world champion soon levelled on tops after Lewis missed the same target for a 106 checkout and his third straight leg.
Lewis regained his lead with a 14-dart hold, before Taylor restored parity at three apiece after eventually following up his fourth maximum by pegging D16. Nevertheless, the 56-year-old was then punished for missed doubles as ‘Jackpot’ pulled clear.
Taylor missed three doubles across two separate legs and Lewis capitalised on this uncharacteristic profligacy from his former mentor to establish a precious two-leg cushion. ‘Jackpot’ was beginning to find his range in the scoring department and landed his fifth maximum en route to a 14-dart hold on tops which guaranteed him a point.
Taylor prolonged the contest with an assured 13-darter, but Lewis sealed his first Premier League victory over ‘The Power’ in almost three years, by completing a 14-darter on D10; having opened up the leg with his seventh maximum.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night Six – Thursday March 9
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Phil Taylor
James Wade 5-7 Peter Wright
Kim Huybrechts 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Jelle Klaasen 5-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall 3-7 Gary Anderson
|After Night Six||P||W||D||L||+/-||LWAT||Pts|
|Michael van Gerwen||5||3||2||0||+9||11||8|
|Raymond van Barneveld||6||2||2||2||-4||9||6|