Premier League Darts- Week 4 Review
The Premier League headed to Aberdeen for the fourth week of the campaign, and we were treated to some high quality tungsten in the granite city. Michael van Gerwen yet again put in a memorable performance, here achieving a new high televised three dart average of 123.4 in thrashing Smith. Phil Taylor was also in fine form, averaging 115.25 himself beating Chisnall.
Adrian Lewis v James Wade
James Wade will be left to rue nine missed darts for his sixth leg against Adrian Lewis in a nip-and-tuck game that saw ‘Jackpot’ emerge victorious 7-5.
Wade started off the better of the two by pinching the first leg after Lewis missed five darts at double, before ‘the Machine’ doubled his advantage in a leg that included three consecutive 180’s between the pair. Lewis then battled back to make it two apiece, but he suffered another setback when Wade broke with a 32 checkout last dart on double eight. Again though, a leg went against throw as ‘Jackpot’ landed double 10. Wade then found two fantastic finishes to steal a march, both with Lewis waiting on two- dart combinations. To go 4-3 up Wade took out shanghai 120 on tops with Lewis on 75, before a majestic 121 on the bullseye put him one leg away from a point.
From theron though, Lewis rallied to earn an unlikely victory. After making it 5-4 with double four, Lewis then levelled with a fantastic 142 on double top. This came after Wade had wired double 14 for a 6-4 lead. Lewis kicked on and convincingly won leg eleven for a point, before the last leg was one which could have gone either way. It was a calamitous end to the final leg of the match saw Wade miss eight darts to salvage a point. Lewis was the one who finally landed the winning double in madhouse double one with his ninth dart thrown at the winning double.
Wade will be wondering how this game escaped his grasp whilst Lewis will be chuffed with this nail-biting victory.
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson sealed his first victory of the 2016 Premier League season after beating Raymond van Barneveld 7-3 in front of the partisan home support in Aberdeen shouting their World Champion on.
Anderson looked edgy, however he hit crucial shots at crucial times to beat RvB. In the first leg, ‘the Flying Scotsman’ pinned a 121 on the bull with ‘Barney’ sat on tops. Raymond then held with double 16, but he missed double top for a 74 checkout and a break. Anderson finally landed double one for a 2-1 lead. Then it was the same double that Barney missed to break again with a 120 checkout attempt, after he successfully held prior to this with a 56 out.
At 3-2 down, these missed darts proved vital as Anderson rallied with the support of the crowd. Four of the next five legs saw the Scotsman seal his first two points of the Premier League season, with double four the double that completed the win.
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen set a new highest ever three-dart television average in a 7-1 demolition job of Michael Smith. ‘Mighty Mike’ averaged 123.40 in the history making performance.
MvG was electric from the off, as he took off into the distance against Smith, only dropping the eighth leg of the match, The first leg was sealed in 11 darts with an 81 checkout, before he followed it with a 12 darter after a 180 from both players. The third leg was then another 11 dart leg, again with 81 to checkout. To make it four though, a party piece had to be produced with Smith on 74. But of course, van Gerwen was playing special. He duly completed a 132 checkout with two bulls and a double 16 was made to look easy by the Dutchman.
Then, the fifth leg saw van Gerwen hit back to back 180’s before missing treble 19 for the 141 checkout and nine-darter that the crowd were craving. He mopped up the leg in 10 darts though before finding another 10 darter in the next leg. In the seventh leg van Gerwen missed three match darts to record an average plus 130, and Smith got a leg on the board with a 116 out. MvG rounded off proceedings in the next leg when he hit double 16 to finally seal his record breaking average of 123.40 in the 7-1 rout.
Phil Taylor v Dave Chisnall
Phil Taylor averaged 115.25 in edging out Dave Chisnall 7-5 in a high scoring affair that included 13 180’s.
Dave Chisnall made a bright start as he opened up a 3-1 lead with a superb 11 darter for his second leg when he hit 81 in two darts. Taylor though won three consecutive legs to bounce back. First Taylor won the fifth leg after taking out an 11 darter- threatening a nine-dart leg with back to back maximums. The next leg was a sickener for ‘Chizzy’. Sat on tops to re-assert his two leg lead, Taylor took out 126 on double six to level.
‘The Power’ then took out 32 to lead, before Chizzy stopped the rot with an 11 darter with a 53 checkout. The pair then traded legs before Phil guaranteed himself of a point with a 41 checkout on double 16. The final leg then saw the 16 time World Champion threaten the nine-darter again. However, after back to back maximums he missed the treble 20 going for 141. Chizzy did have a chance to take out 50 when Taylor missed two at double 16. The man from St Helens missed a brace at tops though and enabled Taylor to land double eight and take two points from Aberdeen.
Peter Wright v Robert Thornton
The final match lf the evening may well have been a step down in quality from the incredible darts of the evening that proceeded them- but Peter Wright and Robert Thornton served out an intriguing tussle that saw it end in a draw.
The two Scotsman matched one another in the early stages as both players held their throw for the first eight legs that saw the score sit at 4-4. Wright missed an opportunity in the fifth leg though as he missed tops to break, and Thornton rescued the situation on double one. Wright then saw himself lose his own throw in the ninth leg as Thornton’s dogged determination saw him punish a missed dart at double 12 on a 138 checkout for Wright, as ‘the Thorn’ pinned tops for a 60 checkout.
Thornton then held throw to seal his first Premier League point of the campaign. A last dart in hand in double five for an checkout was a terrific dart from the 2015 Grand Prix Champion. However, Wright found some form in the remaining two legs as Thornton capitulated somewhat. Although, it could have been a 7-4 win for the Thorn if his dart thrown at double top went in for a 62 checkout. To Wright’s relief, it didn’t- enabling ‘Snakebite’ to pressure Thornton’s throw in the final leg. Thornton threw wayward darts and a steady leg from Wright saw him take out 41 in a couple darts on double 16 to ensure that honours were even between these two Scots in Aberdeen.
It was undoubtedly a memorable night of Premier League Darts- next week the top 10 players in the world of darts, head to Exeter.
Betway Premier League Darts- Week Four Results
Adrian Lewis 7 James Wade 5
Gary Anderson 7 Raymond van Barneveld 3
Michael van Gerwen 7 Michael Smith 1
Phil Taylor 7 Dave Chisnall 5
Peter Wright 6 Robert Thornton 6
By Aaron Woodruff