Michael van Gerwen defeated James Wade in an all-time Premier League classic to remain top of the table, as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis all secured wins on a dramatic night of action at Dublin’s 3Arena on Thursday evening, whilst Wade suffered double-Dutch heartbreak on his birthday.
Michael van Gerwen retained top spot in the table after defeating James Wade in one of the greatest games in Premier League history. Van Gerwen averaged an incredible 113.62, landed six maximums and converted 50% of his doubles to prevail, as Wade was somehow beaten despite averaging 110.83 and boasting a checkout success rate of 71%.
Wade drew first blood with a clinical two-dart 64 combination for a 14-dart hold, before MvG levelled with a 13-darter via D18. History repeated itself for ‘The Machine’ in leg three, as he took out 64 in identical fashion for another 14-darter, but Van Gerwen continued his relentless scoring, to level proceedings with a sublime 11-dart leg.
Wade secured the fifth successive hold of throw with his third 14-darter of the contest, before capitalising on two missed doubles from ‘Mighty Mike’ to secure a precious break of throw. The world number one responded magnificently however.
Van Gerwen secured an instant break back after following up his third maximum with a 12-darter, before restoring parity at four apiece with a nerveless 84 kill, after Wade had wired the bull for a 121 outshot.
‘The Green Machine’ was scoring incredibly and maintained his surge to secure a third leg on the spin; following up his fourth maximum with a 13-darter via D8. Van Gerwen then guaranteed himself a share of the spoils, after landing tops for a fourth successive leg, with Wade left at the point of no return.
Yet, the eight-time major winner showed immense resolve to bounce back. With Van Gerwen sat on 58 after nine darts, Wade dispatched a nerveless 88 finish to stay alive, before a dramatic final leg ensued.
The left hander put himself on 41 after just nine darts to salvage a point, but he wasn’t afforded a dart at double. Van Gerwen fired in a sensational visit of 171, before conjuring up a majestic 138 checkout (T19, T19, D12) to clinch victory and cement his position at the top of the Premier League table.
Phil Taylor won potentially his last ever meeting with Raymond van Barneveld, after producing a vintage display in Dublin. ‘The Power’ produced the best performance of his campaign to defeat his old adversary 7-3; averaging 105.87, landing four maximums and converting 41% of his attempts at double, with Van Barneveld averaging 100.51.
Taylor broke throw in a scrappy opening leg, before Van Barneveld fired back instantly with a classy 121 checkout on the bullseye. Nevertheless, it was a case of ‘anything you can do’ moments later, as the 16-time world champion took out a 121 of his own on the bullseye for a third successive break.
‘The Power’ then registered the first hold of throw with an impressive 85 kill, before establishing a commanding 4-1 advantage as his average climbed above 114. Van Barneveld delivered an emphatic riposte however. He pegged D18 for a 12-dart break back, before conjuring up an effortless 124 finish to reduce the deficit to 4-3.
Taylor then regained his two-leg cushion in the eighth leg after Barney was unable to take out 112, before a pivotal ninth leg ensued. The 56-year-old missed D16 for a 149 outshot, but Barney spurned three darts to hold, as Taylor found D16 to move to within a leg of victory, which he duly sealed moments later with a fine 66 checkout.
However, Van Barneveld rectified matters by defeating James Wade 7-2 for the second week in succession, to all but end James’ play-off hopes. Van Barneveld and Wade were the two players to double up on Irish soil, but it was the five-time world champion who prevailed; averaging 100.07, landing five maximums and converting 58% of his doubles.
Wade won the opening leg with a comfortable hold on D18, but Van Barneveld levelled with a 14-darter, before pinning D8 to secure a vital break of throw. The Dutchman was beginning to flow and registered his third leg in succession with another 14-darter, but Wade dispatched a pivotal 66 kill to reduce the arrears to 3-2.
However, Van Barneveld restored his two leg cushion on D16 having hit his third maximum earlier in the leg, before a high-quality seventh leg ensued. Barney kicked off the leg with successive maximums, and although the nine-darter wasn’t forthcoming, he pegged D10 with his last dart in hand for a crucial 12-dart double break.
‘The Machine’ was struggling to replicate the type of form he produced against Van Gerwen earlier in the night and the legendary Dutchman took full advantage; guaranteeing himself a share of the spoils by hitting D14 to round-off his third 14-darter of the contest.
Wade was celebrating his 34th birthday at the 3Arena, although the left-hander wasn’t afforded any gifts from the Dutch duo. Van Barneveld clinically converted a 64 kill on D16 to complete a comprehensive 7-2 triumph, to return to third place in the Premier League table.
Adrian Lewis kept his play-off hopes alive with a convincing victory over world number two Gary Anderson. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ endured a nightmare in the finishing department; converting just 14% (3/21) of his double attempts, as Lewis prevailed 7-3 with a 99.76 average, four maximums and a 58% checkout success rate.
Lewis drew first blood after following up an early maximum with a clean 89 kill, for a 14-dart hold. Anderson then overcame double-trouble to level on D1 with his seventh attempt at double, before ‘Jackpot’ registered another 14-darter to regain the lead.
Anderson found D19 for a classy 13-darter to level once more, before the Stoke star rounded off a third successive 14-dart hold for a fifth straight hold of throw. Nevertheless, the pivotal moment came in the sixth leg.
Anderson squandered four darts at tops to hold in the sixth leg, as Lewis pegged D8 for the first break of throw. The Scot responded by registering scores of 177 and 180 as he attempted to break back, but he missed another two at tops as ‘Jackpot’ hit D8 for the second straight leg to establish a commanding 5-2 cushion.
The world number two finally stopped the rot by sinking D10 with his last dart in hand, but Lewis remained undeterred. The Englishman pinned D19 to complete a 14-dart hold and guarantee himself a point, before dispatching an effortless 83 kill on D16 to seal victory and avenge his 7-3 defeat against Anderson just seven days ago.
Peter Wright battled back from 6-3 behind to salvage a point against Dave Chisnall in a high-quality tussle. Chisnall averaged 106.40, landed six maximums and hit 75% of his attempts at double, but Wright averaged 101.82, crashed in four 180’s and boasted a 60% checkout conversion rate to cement his place in the top four.
Chisnall made a blistering start to open his account with an 11-darter, but Wright levelled with a 14-darter, before defying Chisnall’s second maximum to move ahead on D18. However, the St Helen’s ace kicked off the fourth leg with back-to-back maximums as he restored parity at two apiece with a 12-darter via D9.
The next two legs were shared, before Chisnall converted a magnificent 145 checkout on tops to regain the initiative at 4-3. ‘Chizzy’ was scoring sublimely and for the second time in the contest, he began a leg with successive maximums, but he was unable to muster up the perfect leg.
Wright had left himself on 81 after nine darts to hold, but he was unable to register a dart at bull and ‘Chizzy’ capitalised. He pegged D4 for an 11-dart break, before dispatching an effortless 72 kill for a 12-dart hold and a guaranteed point.
Despite this, Snakebite displayed the tenacity that has seen him clinch six PDC titles in 2017 to battle back. He pegged D16 to stay afloat, before following up a brilliant visit of 170 with a 14-darter via D8 to force a deciding leg.
Chisnall kicked off the final leg with his seventh maximum, but the Scot maintained his composure superbly to clinch a point. The world number three responded by firing in his fourth 180, before clinically dispatching a two-dart 64 finish to salvage a point and remain second in the Premier League table.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night Ten – Thursday April 6
James Wade 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Phil Taylor
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 7-3 Gary Anderson
James Wade 2-7 Raymond van Barneveld
|Michael van Gerwen||10||7||2||1||+21||23||16|
|Raymond van Barneveld||11||6||2||3||+9||23||14|
|Jelle Klaasen (E)||9||1||1||7||-16||15||3|
|Kim Huybrechts (E)||9||0||3||6||-23||11||3|