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Nic Ladds 19th Mar 2010 - 9:07

Champion Wades in for first win

PDC Media Office David Allen brings us a round-up of night six in this year's Premier League darts. Also thanks to Lawrence Lustig, PDC.

 

DEFENDING Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts champion James Wade picked up his first win of the 2010 season with an 8-4 defeat Simon Whitlock as Phil Taylor hit top gear at The Brighton Centre on Thursday night.

Wade looked on course to suffer a fourth defeat in the opening six weeks when Whitlock powered into an early 4-1 lead, aided by a sensational 170 checkout.

But the world number three clawed back level before pulling away for victory with a run of seven successive legs to move off the bottom of the league table.

"It's a relief to get the two points because I've been putting myself under a lot of pressure to get that first win but now I hope that the relaxed and fluent James Wade will come out," said Wade.

"I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me now if I'm going to get into the play-offs and it's a huge mountain to climb but I'll do everything I can to get in there."

Wade jumped above Terry Jenkins in the table after the 2007 runner-up was defeated 8-3 by Phil Taylor.

Jenkins hit finishes of 122, 118 and 116 to win his three legs, but could not match Taylor's scoring power as the World Champion powered in a 106.79 average - the second highest so far this season - to remain unbeaten at the top of the standings.

Taylor is now three points clear of Mervyn King, who drew with Raymond van Barneveld in Brighton.

King hit finishes of 142 and 121 in leading 6-3 and 7-5, but the Dutchman hit a 13-darter in the deciding leg to claim a point.

The night's other game saw Adrian Lewis come from 6-4 down to win a thriller against Ronnie Baxter 8-6.

Baxter led 3-0 following an explosive start, and missed three darts at double top to snatch a draw in the deciding leg before Lewis took out 118 to pick up his second win of the season.

Lewis will take on Taylor at the NIA in Birmingham next week, and said: "To come from 6-4 down against a player like Ronnie is a huge confidence boost and I can't wait to play Phil now - bring it on!"

 

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts

Week Six - The Brighton Centre

Phil Taylor 8-3 Terry Jenkins

Raymond van Barneveld 7-7 Mervyn King

Ronnie Baxter 6-8 Adrian Lewis

Simon Whitlock 4-8 James Wade

 

LATEST LEAGUE TABLE

 

P

W

D

L

+/-

Pts

Phil Taylor

6

5

1

0

+24

11

Mervyn King

6

3

2

1

+8

8

Ronnie Baxter

6

2

2

2

0

6

Adrian Lewis

6

2

1

3

-2

5

Simon Whitlock

6

2

1

3

-4

5

R v Barneveld

6

2

1

3

-7

5

James Wade

6

1

2

3

-9

4

Terry Jenkins

6

1

2

3

-10

4

 

PHIL TAYLOR 8-3 TERRY JENKINS

PHIL TAYLOR hit top gear for the first time in the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with an 8-3 victory over Terry Jenkins at the Brighton Centre.

Taylor recorded the second highest average so far season at 106.79, and maintained his unbeaten start to the event in style.

Jenkins' three finishes were all ton-plus checkouts, but he ultimately paid for missing darts to win the third leg and take an early lead.

An explosive opening saw Taylor check out 141, only for Jenkins to reply with a 118 finish - only to crucially miss two darts at double top to break throw in the next.

Taylor stepped in to hold his throw, and double eight against the darts gave him breathing space at 3-1.

A 116 checkout from Jenkins saw him win the fifth, but Taylor landed a 180 and double 14 for a 4-2 lead and made his opponent pay for a missed bullseye in leg seven as the world number one hit double seven for a three-leg lead.

A superb 11-darter, featuring a 180 and a two-dart 86 finish, moved Taylor 6-2 up, and he ensured at least a point on double 16.

Jenkins won a third leg with a 122 finish on the bullseye, but could do nothing to prevent Taylor sealing the win in the next leg, with the four-time Premier League winner hitting a fourth maximum of the match and double five to secure victory.

"It's another two points on the board and that's what is important at the moment; making sure I get into the play-offs and hopefully finish top," said Taylor.

"Terry's a difficult player to face because he's so likeable and I really enjoyed the game.

"I looked out from stage and was really enjoying myself, and I could go on for another ten years feeling like that. I'm playing Adrian Lewis next week in Birmingham and I can't wait for that!"

 

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 7-7 MERVYN KING

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD battled back from 6-3 and 7-5 down to grab a draw with Mervyn King in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts.

The Dutch ace had ignited his Premier League challenge last week with a 107 average in Manchester to see off Terry Jenkins, but failed to hit those heights in Brighton in allowing King to pull away.

However, he showed the quality of a five-time World Champion to win four of the final five legs and pick up a point.

King made the Dutchman pay for missed doubles in the opening two legs, as van Barneveld wasted four darts in the first and missed the bull for a 164 checkout in leg two.

Van Barneveld hit a 177 and double 16 to get off the mark, but another missed bull - this time on a 128 finish - allowed King to hit double eight and open up a 3-1 cushion.

Double top gave van Barneveld the fifth leg, but King produced a superb 121 checkout, finishing on the bull, to lead 4-2 at the break.

Van Barneveld hit a second 180 of the game in taking leg seven, after King had missed double four, but a 12-darter from the English ace was followed by a sensational 142 checkout as he created a 6-3 lead.

However, he missed darts at a double in the next two legs as van Barneveld reduced the arrears to 6-5 with finishes on double top and double 18.

King kicked off leg 12 with a 180, and this time landed double for to guarantee a draw, but van Barneveld edged the next leg on tops before producing a superb 13-darter in the deciding leg to earn a point.

"From being 7-5 down I am pleased to win a point but I'm not pleased with my performance," admitted van Barneveld. "I missed some doubles in the first leg and I had my chances all the way through.

"Mervyn hit some great finishes and took his chances but I will take a draw."

King said: "I shouldn't lose to anyone from 6-3 up but I missed some doubles to take some crucial legs.

"Raymond played well and did what he needed to do, but I'm very disappointed."

 

ADRIAN LEWIS 8-6 RONNIE BAXTER

ADRIAN LEWIS came from 6-4 down to claim a remarkable 8-6 victory over Ronnie Baxter in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts at the Brighton Centre.

The Stoke youngster picked up his second win of the season in fine style with a 118 checkout in the deciding leg of the clash with Baxter, setting him up perfectly for a meeting with Stoke rival Phil Taylor in Birmingham next Thursday.

Baxter made a brilliant start to the contest, taking out two successive 84 finishes to win the opening two legs with 84 finishes and the third with a 73 checkout in racing into a 3-0 lead in just 37 darts.

Lewis landed double eight to get off the mark in the fourth leg, and took out a quality 86 finish to break Baxter's throw and reduce the gap to 3-2 on double 16.

Baxter hit the same bed to win the sixth, and then punished misses from Lewis in the next to lead 5-2.

Lewis defied 180s from the Blackpool man to win the next two legs, hitting maximums of his own in each and a quality 95 finish on the bullseye.

However, he missed a dart at double top to level in the tenth leg, allowing Baxter to edge 6-4 up on double ten.

Double 16 from Lewis in the next allowed him to pull back a leg, before a brilliant 127 bullseye finish saw him square the game, before two misses from Baxter on double four enabled the Stoke star to hit double 12 with a crucial third dart in putting himself 7-6 up.

However, Lewis looked to have blown his chance of victory when Baxter left double top in the decider and he sat on double 18 - only for the world number six to miss three darts for a draw before the 25-year-old posted treble 20, single 18 and tops for the win.

"In the first three legs Ronnie was so brilliant it was scary," said Lewis. "He matched or bettered everything I threw at him and it just shows that you have to be on top form in every game.

"I knew if I kept battling I could grind out a result and I put him under pressure, but he still could have got the draw.

"He missed the three darts at double top though and I took my chance - sometimes you need a bit of luck and tonight I got some."

 

JAMES WADE 8-4 SIMON WHITLOCK

DEFENDING Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts champion James Wade picked up his first win of the 2010 season with an 8-4 win over Simon Whitlock at The Brighton Centre - overturning a 4-1 deficit in a classy display.

Wade looked on course to suffer a fourth defeat in the opening six weeks when Whitlock powered into an early lead.

But the world number three gradually clawed back level before pulling away for victory with a run of seven successive legs.

Wade missed double ten to take the game's opening leg as Whitlock stepped in on double top, and the left-hander also struggled to close out the second leg before hitting double two to square the game.

Whitlock posted a 180 and double 18 to win the third, and a sensational 170 checkout - the highest of the night to earn him a £1,000 bonus - put him 3-1 up.

Wade's miss at double four in the next allowed Whitlock to hit double eight and lead 4-1 as the pressure mounted once more on the reigning champion.

Wade settled his nerves on double 16 and finally found his range on double top to win the next two legs, including a 14-darter to level the match.

He then punished missed darts for the bullseye and double four from Whitlock to edge a scrappy ninth leg on double one and take the lead for the first time.

Wade then landed three successive 140s in the next, hitting double five to move two legs clear despite a maximum from the Australian.

Double ten put Wade a leg away from the match, and he hit his second 180 of the contest and double top to seal his maiden win of the season.

"It's a relief to get the two points because I've been putting myself under a lot of pressure to get that first win but now I hope that the relaxed and fluent James Wade will come out," said Wade.

"I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me now if I'm going to get into the play-offs and it's a huge mountain to climb but I'll do everything I can to get in there.

"Now hopefully I can play like I know I can. I've been making it hard work but it's not that hard sometimes.

"When Simon dipped off I managed to step in and it wasn't as much of a comeback because I had chances early on but let Simon off."

 

 
 
 

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