Michael van Gerwen delighted a 10,000 partisan Dutch crowd by beating Phil Taylor and securing top spot in the Premier League table in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena on Thursday evening. Van Gerwen edged out ‘The Power’ 7-5 in a thrilling contest to ensure he tops the league phase for the fourth year in succession.
MvG posted two maximums in the opening leg, but it was Taylor who clinched the spoils, after ‘The Green Machine’ spurned five darts at double. However, the world number one responded magnificently, converting checkouts of 90 and 80 to claim a crucial break of throw.
Despite this, the 16-time world champion secured an instant break back after Van Gerwen squandered two darts at tops, with Taylor taking out 41 in two darts. The next four legs all went with throw, with the encounter tantalizingly poised at four apiece. MvG was dominating the averages, but Taylor was displaying tremendous resilience.
Taylor fired in a timely 140 as he aimed to hold throw once more, but Van Gerwen raised the roof with a spectacular 164 checkout on the bullseye. The Dutch star then needed just one more leg to guarantee top spot, but he was made to sweat for a little longer, as Taylor took out D10 to level up proceedings, after Michael had missed a dart at tops.