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Stuart Dalgleish 12th Mar 2010 - 10:20

Barney back to his best in Manchester

Please find below a round-up, results and reports from Thursday's Premier League Darts, courtesy of David Allen PDC Media Officer.

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD ignited his Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts campaign with the best performance of the season on Thursday night, while leaders Phil Taylor and Mervyn King scrapped out a draw in Manchester.

Dutch star Van Barneveld bounced back from three successive defeats to average 106.9 in defeating Terry Jenkins 8-4 at the M.E.N. Arena to claim his second victory of the year.

A clinical performance included two 11-dart finishes and the highest average so far this season, putting the five-time World Champion back in the fray for a play-off place.

"I'm really pleased with that performance and the average," said van Barneveld. "Tonight the darts went in like they can do and I was really focused.

"Hopefully I can keep this going every week because I felt comfortable on stage but know there is more in my. I've changed to using 23 gram darts instead of 25 gram darts and I'm already noticing an improvement."

Van Barneveld sits one point adrift of fourth-placed Simon Whitlock, who also claimed his second win of the campaign in Manchester, punishing Adrian Lewis' missed doubles to take an 8-4 victory.

The night's other two games ended in draws, as top two Phil Taylor and Mervyn King clashed after reigning champion James Wade shared the spoils with Ronnie Baxter.

Wade led 4-1 and 6-3 but failed to finish off his opponent for the second successive week as Baxter claimed a draw with an 11-dart finish in the deciding leg of their contest.

Taylor, meanwhile hit successive checkouts of 161, 126 and 125 in coming from 5-3 down to lead against King but had to hit a 13-dart finish in the decider to grab himself a point and remain unbeaten.

"I'm fairly satisfied to get a draw after being behind and to be honest I'm pleased to get a result against a player of Mervyn's class," said Taylor. "My finishing was rubbish at the beginning but I clicked into gear in the second half of the match."

King added: "I'm a little bit disappointed that I only got a draw because I had Phil by the throat and let him off. Phil's three ton-plus finishes in a row were great shots and he had to take them out because I'd have taken control."

 

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts

Week Five - M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

James Wade 7-7 Ronnie Baxter

Phil Taylor 7-7 Mervyn King

Terry Jenkins 4-8 Raymond van Barneveld

Adrian Lewis 4-8 Simon Whitlock

 

 

P

W

D

L

+/-

Pts

Phil Taylor

5

4

1

0

+19

9

Mervyn King

5

3

1

1

+8

7

Ronnie Baxter

5

2

2

1

+2

6

Simon Whitlock

5

2

1

2

0

5

Terry Jenkins

5

1

2

2

-5

4

R v Barneveld

5

2

0

3

-7

4

Adrian Lewis

5

1

1

3

-4

3

James Wade

5

0

2

3

-13

2

 

JAMES WADE 7-7 RONNIE BAXTER

RONNIE BAXTER battled back from three legs down to grab a draw with James Wade and deny the reigning Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts champion his first victory of 2010.

Wade picked up his first point of the season a week ago with a draw against Adrian Lewis in Exeter, but was again punished for failing to close out the win at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester.

The left-hander led 4-1 and 6-3 but crucially missed three darts for a 7-4 cushion in the 11th leg before Baxter hit back to claim a point.

"I've been practising hard and am trying turn it around, but the results aren't quite coming for me," said Wade. "For the last couple of weeks I've been playing some good darts and my form is coming back."

Wade took out double top to win the opening leg, but Baxter responded in style with a 121 checkout in the second to level.

Wade moved 2-1 up with a 13-darter and hit a 180 and a 100 checkout in breaking Baxter's throw, while a double five finish saw him take a three-leg cushion at 4-1.

Baxter landed a 180 in a 14-darter to pull back the sixth leg, and landed a 13-dart finish in the eighth after Wade posted a sparking 11-dart leg.

A 127 checkout from Wade saw him take a 6-3 lead, but Baxter finished 83 in two darts to take a fourth leg of the match and then stepped in to win a crucial 11th leg, when the world number three missed three darts at double ten and five before the Blackpool man took out 64.

Baxter then hit double 16 to level the game, although Wade regained his composure to take out 85 in two darts for a 14-darter to secure a minimum of a draw.

His hopes of claiming a first win of the year, though, were ended when Baxter opened the deciding leg with two 180s, and although a potential nine-darter went begging he took the leg in 11 darts to take a point.

"I'm happy to get a draw and it's another step towards the play-offs, which is where I want to be," said Baxter. "My average of nearly 104 shows that my hard work in practice is paying off.

"I'm focused and happy with how it's going so far this season."

 

PHIL TAYLOR 7-7 MERVYN KING

PHIL TAYLOR came from 5-3 down to maintain his unbeaten start to the Whyte & Mackay Premier League with a draw against Mervyn King in Manchester.

Taylor looked on course for a first defeat of the season when King punished a slow start from the 15-time World Champion to take leads of 3-1 and 5-3.

But Taylor hit checkouts of 161, 126 and 125 in successive legs in dragging himself back into the game, and a 13-dart finish in the deciding leg earned him a point.

Taylor edged a scrappy opening leg on double one, but King levelled and then punished three missed doubles to take the third against the darts.

King followed up a 180 in the fourth leg with a classy 130 finish, ending on double eight, to extend his advantage to 3-1 before Taylor took the next two to level going into the break.

It was King who kicked off the second half of the game the stronger, finishing 61 in two darts and landing another maximum and an 88 finish to move 5-3 up.

Taylor then found his top gear, taking out 161 to spark his challenge into life, before levelling with a 126 bullseye finish and then taking out 125 on double top to incredibly lead 6-5 after the pair had traded 180s in the 11th leg.

King hit another maximum and double 16 to stop the rot in the 12th leg and level, before a classy 99 finish, with Taylor waiting on a double, put him 7-6 up and ensured he would tke a minimum of a point.

Any hopes he had of repeating his win over Taylor in last year's Premier League semi-finals, though, were ended as the four-time champion finished with a flourish, hitting three successive 140s and double top in a 13-darter to grab a draw.

"I'm fairly satisfied to get a draw after being behind and to be honest I'm pleased to get a result against a player of Mervyn's class," said Taylor.

"My finishing was rubbish at the beginning but I clicked into gear in the second half of the match.

"I'm not right yet and have to work harder because I've got a long way to go to get back to my best."

King added: "I'm a little bit disappointed that I only got a draw because I had Phil by the throat and let him off.

"Phil's three ton-plus finishes in a row were great shots and he had to take them out because I'd have taken control.

"I'm here to give Phil a game and pressurise him, and I think I did that for a long time in the game. We've got a healthy rivalry, Phil is THE man and I want to be THE man, so I've got to push him.

"I've got the game there when my A game turns up but it wasn't quite there tonight."

 

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 8-4 TERRY JENKINS

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD stormed back to form with the highest average so far in the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts in seeing off Terry Jenkins 8-4 at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester.

The Dutchman had slipped to second bottom in the Premier League table following three successive defeats, but claimed a much-needed victory against 2007 runner-up Jenkins.

Van Barneveld raced into a 4-0 lead and also led 7-1 before Jenkins took three successive legs to threaten a comeback, which was killed off by the five-time World Champion, whose end average of 106.92 is the highest of the event so far.

He began the game in superb fashion, breaking Jenkins' throw in the opening leg before hitting a 180 in a 14-darter to double his lead.

He then posted legs of 13 and 11 darts to move 4-0 up before Jenkins hit a maximum of his own in a 13-dart finis to get off the mark.

However, he could do little in the next three legs to prevent van Barneveld - who had allowed a 2-0 lead to slip in an 8-2 loss to Phil Taylor last week - to move 7-1 ahead.

Jenkins took out double 11 to stay in the game, before a bullseye finish and a 14-darter gave him three in a row in pulling back to 7-4.

However, van Barneveld was quick to seal victory, rounding off a clinical display with three 140s and an 81 finish for an 11-darter.

"I'm really pleased with that performance and the average," said van Barneveld. "Tonight the darts went in like they can do and I was really focused.

"Hopefully I can keep this going every week because I felt comfortable on stage but know there is more in my. I've changed to using 23 gram darts instead of 25 gram darts and I'm already noticing an improvement."

 

SIMON WHITLOCK 8-4 ADRIAN LEWIS

SIMON WHITLOCK punished a poor display of finishing from Adrian Lewis to claim an 8-4 win from their Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts clash in Manchester.

The Australian picked up his second win of the season to maintain his early push for a play-off spot in his debut campaign, although was gifted many winning legs by a profligate Lewis performance.

The Stoke ace took two of the opening three legs to lead 2-1, but missed doubles in the next three as Whitlock - aided by a 100 finish - capitalised to take a 4-2 cushion.

Both players hit 180s in the seventh leg, which Lewis took on double top to hold throw, but he then wasted nine darts to level the game in the next, before Whitlock landed double four to lead 5-3.

Double ten put the Australian three legs clear, and he hit a 180 to set up double 18 in ensuring a minimum of a draw at 7-3.

Lewis landed a 177 in taking leg 11, but failed to match Whitlock's scoring in the next before the World Championship finalist hit double ten to seal victory.

"It wasn't a pretty win but I'll take it," said Whitlock. "Adrian didn't play as well as he can do and I expected more from him, but all I can do is win my legs and concentrate on my game.

"I know my scoring can improve and I'll be working on that, but it's another two points for me on the league table and that's what's important."

 

 
 
 

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