Gary Anderson secured his Premier League play-off place with victory over James Wade, whilst Phil Taylor took a huge step to sealing his qualification with a magnificent victory over Michael van Gerwen, on a dramatic night of action at the Sheffield Arena on Thursday evening.
Two-time Premier League winner Anderson will join Van Gerwen and Peter Wright in the semi-finals, after recording a hard-fought win over James Wade- his third league victory in four matches. It wasn’t a vintage display from the Scot, but he prevailed in a tussle marred by missed doubles.
Anderson won five of the opening six legs, before defying a revival from ‘The Machine’ to triumph 7-3. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ averaged 94.32, landed four maximums and converted seven of his 25 attempts at double, as Wade was punished for averaging 87.35 and squandering fourteen of his seventeen attempts at double.
Six-time Premier League champion Phil Taylor took a huge step towards sealing his play-off qualification with a stunning victory over Michael van Gerwen. The world champion had the opportunity to mathematically guarantee top spot with victory over ‘The Power’, but the Stoke-on-Trent veteran produced a vintage display to spoil the party.
Van Gerwen averaged 102.99 and landed three maximums, but he was punished for uncharacteristic profligacy as Taylor won six of the remaining seven legs to triumph with a 100.41 average, three maximums and an excellent 50% checkout success rate.
Taylor pounced on three missed doubles from MvG to clinch the opening leg, but ‘Mighty Mike’ responded with back-to-back legs to hit the front. Nevertheless, Taylor levelled with a brilliant 96 outshot (S20, D18, D20), before capitalising on further misses from MvG to pin D16 and regain the initiative.
The 16-time world champion fired in his second maximum to secure his third straight leg with an 11-darter, before converting a vital 90 finish to exploit further missed doubles from ‘The Green Machine’.
Taylor then pinned D6 to guarantee himself a point and although MvG finally stopped the rot, ‘The Power’ returned to close out a sublime victory in the following leg. The 56-year-old admitted: “I think the 90 finish won me the game in the end and it’s another two points. To play Michael and beat him is a massive buzz.”
Elsewhere, Dave Chisnall’s remarkable run continues, as he produced a blistering display to end Raymond van Barneveld’s top-four hopes. The St Helen’s ace averaged 109.36, fired in four maximums and converted 39% of his double attempts, to extend his unbeaten run to six matches, as Van Barneveld lost out despite averaging 100.65.
Van Barneveld drew first blood in a dramatic opening leg which saw three maximums hit- two by Chisnall. However, ‘Chizzy’ fired back after following up a visit of 174 by pinning D5. The next two legs both went with throw, before Chisnall secured the first break of throw after powering in a magical 142 checkout.
Chisnall sealed his third straight leg after Van Barneveld missed the bull for an instant break back, before the legendary Dutchman found D8 to reduce the arrears to 4-3; having crashed in his third maximum earlier in the leg. Barney then found D8 once more to level up proceedings, before ‘Chizzy’ regained the initiative on tops.
‘The Yellow Peril’ guaranteed himself a point after following up his fourth maximum by picking out D10, but the five-time world champion responded and forced a decider after dispatching a nerveless 70 kill. Nevertheless, Chisnall maintained his composure to take out a crucial 64 outshot to preserve his play-off hopes.
Peter Wright ended Adrian Lewis’ slender play-off hopes after reeling off five consecutive legs to round off an emphatic 7-2 victory. Snakebite trails Van Gerwen by the solitary point after the Dutchman’s loss to Taylor, therefore the Scot can still become just the third player in Premier League history to finish top of the league table.
Wright established an early cushion after winning the opening two legs inside 27 darts, but Lewis fought back impressively to level. Nevertheless, the Scot landed a maximum in the fifth leg to regain the lead, before capitalising on missed doubles from ‘Jackpot’ to secure a 4-2 lead.
Lewis was struggling for consistency and Wright took full advantage; winning the remaining three legs to close out a comprehensive 7-2 win, with a 100.53 average. Lewis fired in three maximums, but averaged just 92.80 and converted 22% of his double attempts, as his fourth consecutive defeat ended his slender play-off hopes.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night 14 – Thursday May 4
The Sheffield Arena
Peter Wright 7-2 Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 3-7 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 3-7 Phil Taylor
|Michael van Gerwen (Q)||15||9||4||2||+29||34||22|
|Peter Wright (Q)||15||9||3||3||+24||28||21|
|Gary Anderson (Q)||15||7||4||4||+15||35||18|
|Raymond van Barneveld||15||6||2||7||-4||26||14|
|Jelle Klaasen (E)||9||1||1||7||-16||15||3|
|Kim Huybrechts (E)||9||0||3||6||-23||11||3|