Premier League Darts- Week 10 Review
As the Premier League rolled into Sheffield, Phil Taylor yielded four points from victories against Gary Anderson and James Wade whilst Michael van Gerwen averaged 117.95 in his win playing Robert Thornton.
Elsewhere, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis couldn’t be separated, and Raymond van Barneveld was beaten by Wade- who, like Taylor, played twice this week.
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade extended his unbeaten run to five in the Premier League as he edged out Raymond van Barneveld 7-4 in a tight encounter in the steel city. Just one break of throw in the match in the tenth leg enabled ‘the Machine’ to take the win.
Both players were playing consistent darts in this match- staunchly defending their throw throughout. Few break opportunities came in the match; however, Wade (64% checkout) was at his clinical best to ensure that ‘Barney’ was often left waiting when he seemed to fashion a break opportunity. The third leg was a prime example. Van Barneveld was left sat on 16 when Wade pinned a 101 checkout on double 12.
The next real break opportunity was for the Dutchman aswell. Coming in the seventh leg, van Barneveld wired the bullseye for a 122 checkout, meaning that Wade could find double 16 to edge ahead. Half-chances with ton-plus checkout were about as good a chance there was to break.
It wasn’t until the tenth leg when the next break chance came. Van Barneveld looked all set to level up at five apiece and take the match all the way, but he missed three darts at double 18- allowing Wade to hit tops and lead 6-4. This saw Wade steal the initiative as he confidently held throw next leg, culminating on his trusty double 10 to seal victory.
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor completed a brace of victories against World Champion Gary Anderson in the 2016 Premier League as he claimed a relatively comfortable 7-3 win.
Both players began the match playing well, clinically taking out their finishes to ensure that the early legs went with the darts. However, the sixth leg saw Anderson hit a 180 and carved out a break opportunity. However, he missed a dart at tops for a 68 checkout and this allowed Taylor to level the match at three apiece with a 76 checkout on double eight.
Then, the seventh leg did see the first break, turning the match in the favour of ‘the Power’. A superb 12 dart leg with three 140’s and a calm 81 out was the start of four legs in the row for the 16-time World Champion. Anderson did miss a dart at tops to hold in the ninth leg but Taylor was in fine form (99.31 average) and wrapped up the match in the tenth when he landed double 16.
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen averaged an incredible 117.95, the third highest individual televised average in history in a 7-5 victory against Robert Thornton. This match included 11 180’s in a top quality contest.
After Thornton (104.23 average himself) took the first leg of the match with a 14 dart leg, van Gerwen then rolled off five legs on the spin in a typical ‘Green Machine’ purple patch. ‘The Thorn’ was merely limited to shots at the bullseye in the latter of those legs. And despite making it 5-2, van Gerwen secured a point in the eighth leg when he took out a stunning 138 checkout.
The world number one had trouble closing out the match though. First Thornton threw a magnificent 11 dart leg on tops to make it 6-3, before van Gerwen then began to miss match darts. The tenth leg saw him miss a brace a double 16, before he then missed a further two at tops in the eleventh leg. And when Thornton clinically hit 76 in two to make it 6-5, the Scotsman was a leg away from a point.
There was no real sign of nerves though for van Gerwen. He confidently put the previous wrongs right as he hit his sixth 180 before completing an 11 darter to gain his first win in four.
Adrian Lewis v Peter Wright
The fourth match of the evening was a below-par contest yet an intriguing battle, as Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright played out a draw in Sheffield. Wright is left to rue five missed darts at double for the match.
The first ten legs of the match all went with throw, and the most notable opportunity to break came in the eighth leg when Lewis missed two darts at double 12. The leg after saw Wright miss the bullseye for a 167 out, however break opportunities were few and far between.
Both players weren’t at their best for sure, and as the match edged towards its’ climax- both Lewis (88.68 average) and Wright (93.43 average) could’ve nicked it. It was Wright though that looked more likely. He found the first break of the match at a crucial stage to secure point with double four.
However, the match wasn’t over just yet. After the Scotsman seemed to do all the hard work, he blew five match darts- enabling ‘Jackpot’ to step in a land an 80 checkout on double 10 to secure a vital point with a 6-6 draw.
Phil Taylor v James Wade
The final match of the evening saw Phil Taylor and James Wade play their second match of the evening, and it saw ‘the Power’ prevail to extend his lead at the summit of the table.
The early stages of the match saw Taylor open up a strong lead. The league leader won five of the first six legs to go 5-1 ahead, however both players were having some trouble closing out legs. A 121 checkout in the second leg was the highlight so far.
Wade then compiled a brace of legs to stay in the match. It was a clean 101 checkout on tops and his favourite double 10 then saw him close the deficit to 5-3. Even when ‘the Power’ hit double 16 to secure a point at 6-3, Wade was growing into the match.
In the twelfth leg, it could’ve been all over though. Taylor missed match darts, but Wade deserves credit for taking out double 12 to keep his hopes alive. The next leg saw Wade hit a 180 as he looked to break Taylor’s throw. It enabled ‘The Machine’ to have of a shot at a 140 out- which he wired on double 10.
It would’ve left him throwing for a point, but it wasn’t to be as Taylor finally concluded proceedings with a 13 darter on double 12 to complete a 7-4 win.
Betway Premier League
Night Ten – April 7
James Wade 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 3-7 Phil Taylor
Robert Thornton 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Adrian Lewis 6-6 Peter Wright
Phil Taylor 7-4 James Wade
By Aaron Woodruff