McCoy's Premier League Darts - Night 11 Round-Up
THREE AND EASY FOR TAYLOR IN DUBLIN AS VAN GERWEN BAGS McCOY'S PREMIER LEAGUE DOUBLE
PHIL TAYLOR got his McCoy's Premier League Darts Play-Off challenge back on track by picking up three points as the tournament visited Dublin on Thursday night, as Michael van Gerwen moved four points clear of his rivals with two wins at a sold-out O2.
Reigning champion Taylor crossed the Irish Sea having lost his last two matches and slipped to fifth in the league table ahead of a key night in Dublin.
However, he averaged 105 in a fine display to open the six games in front of 9,000 fans at The O2 in style with a 7-3 win over Andy Hamilton, getting back to winning ways with a strong showing.
He later took on Dutch rival Raymond van Barneveld, who picked up his first point against Taylor in the Premier League since 2006 but was punished for missing five darts to claim his first-ever win over the Stoke ace in the tournament.
Van Barneveld hit six 180s as he took command of the game at 3-1 and 6-4, but missed darts to claim both points in the final two legs as Taylor finished 111 to grab a draw and complete a successful night in Dublin.
"I'm happy to have picked up three points because it was a hard night for me," said Taylor. "I was pleased with my finishing in both games and the 111 against Barney was a massive shot.
"We both missed some doubles during the game and a draw was probably a fair result."
Taylor added: "I'm trying everything to improve my game. It's not quite right yet but I've got a few days to put it right yet ahead of Birmingham next week, when I've got two more tough games."
Van Gerwen, meanwhile, moved four points clear in the league table after picking up a double victory for the second successive week.
He firstly averaged 106 as he completed a Premier League double over van Barneveld in their all-Dutch clash, before edging out Adrian Lewis 7-5 in the night's final contest.
He found himself 3-1 down to the two-time World Champion - despite winning his only leg with a 158 checkout - but turned the game on its head with four successive legs to take command before finishing 108 in the game's deciding leg to secure both points.
"To get another four points is amazing and I'm very happy with that," said van Gerwen. "I'm in a good position now in the table and I'm loving the Premier League.
"It's always special to beat Raymond and I was really happy with my performance against him. The second game wasn't my best but I hit some great finishes, the 158 early on and the 108 to win it.
"The crowd was amazing - it's the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of and I had goosebumps, and it was special to win both matches."
2009 Premier League champion James Wade moved second in the league table, jumping above van Barneveld with a 7-4 victory over Scottish ace Robert Thornton.
The pair shared the game's opening eight legs, with Thornton finishing 140 and 118, but Wade secured a crucial break of throw in the ninth leg by taking out 68 before winning the next two legs to seal his seventh win of the season.
"It's a very tight league table and it could be an important win," said Wade. "To beat Robert at the moment, you've got to be playing well and I don't think I played a great game but I played the right game.
"It's another step in the right direction and I'm pretty close to sealing my place in the semi-finals."
Australian ace Simon Whitlock's challenge to win a Play-Off place continues after he won a second successive game by defeating Hamilton 7-3 in their clash.
The win takes Whitlock level on ten points with Hamilton, who lost twice on the night, with both now three points adrift of fourth-placed Taylor.
"I didn't play my best game but once I got in front I felt pretty comfortable," said Whitlock. "I think Andy struggled with playing two matches, and if he'd won his first match it might have been a different story.
"He doesn't usually throw many loose darts but there were a few loose darts in there and I took advantage of every chance I had. I need to win pretty much every game to make the Play-Offs and this is another step towards that."
The McCoy's Premier League Darts continues next Thursday at The NIA in Birmingham, when a further six games will take place. Tickets are still available by calling 0844 338 8000 or visiting www.theticketfactory.com.
McCoy's Premier League Darts
April 18 - The O2, Dublin
Andy Hamilton 3-7 Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
Robert Thornton 4-7 James Wade
Simon Whitlock 7-3 Andy Hamilton
Raymond van Barneveld 6-6 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Adrian Lewis
Latest League Table
P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen 13 9 2 2 +27 32 20
James Wade 12 7 2 3 +19 28 16
Raymond van Barneveld 12 6 3 3 +10 31 15
Phil Taylor 12 5 3 4 +9 30 13
Robert Thornton 11 4 3 4 +2 25 11
Andy Hamilton 12 5 0 7 -8 23 10
Simon Whitlock 11 5 0 6 -8 23 10
Adrian Lewis 11 3 1 7-19 18 7
Wes Newton 9 2 1 6 -14 15 5
Gary Anderson 9 2 1 6 -18 13 5
Andy Hamilton v Phil Taylor
0-0 - Andy Hamilton will throw first
0-1 - Taylor - using a silver barrel on his darts instead of the copper colour he has sported in recent times - breaks throw to win the opening leg with a 15-darter, taking out 107 on double 14.
0-2 - Hamilton, needing 124, hits the treble 20 but misses the 14 or treble 14 to leave a double, and Taylor hits double ten to move two legs up.
0-3 - Taylor finishes 60 on tops to break throw again as Hamilton struggles to get going.
0-4 - Hamilton lands the game's first 180, but is unable to finish 120 and Taylor lands double 16 for a 13-darter to win a fourth leg.
1-4 - Taylor opens with 180 and 140, but misses two darts to move five legs up and Hamilton posts double four to get off the mark.
1-5 - Hamilton hits a maximum, only for Taylor to hit two 180s to leave four - and when Hamilton is unable to land double 16, the reigning champion finishes double two for another leg.
2-5 - Taylor raises hopes of a nine-darter by opening with two 180s - but his seventh dart at the treble 20 is just low and Hamilton wins the leg with a 12-darter by finishing 106.
3-5 - Hamilton finishes 76 on double eight to secure his first break of throw.
3-6 - Taylor finishes 84 on double eight to ensure at least a point from the game with a 12-darter.
3-7 - Hamilton hits a 180 but misses four darts to save the game, and Taylor punishes him by posting double 14 for the win.
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
0-0 - Raymond van Barneveld will throw first
0-1 - van Gerwen breaks throw immediately with a 13-darter, hitting a 174 score before landing double eight.
0-2 - The youngster doubles his lead with a sensational 152 checkout.
1-2 - van Barneveld hits back to better that checkout with a brilliant 156 combination.
1-3 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 and adds another maximum before pinning double 16 for an 11-darter.
2-3 - The pair trade 180s before van Barneveld lands double eight to pull back another leg.
2-4 - van Gerwen hits a maximum and finishes 72 to win a fourth leg.
3-4 - Double 11 from van Barneveld sees him reduce the gap to one leg again - but he needs a break to restore parity.
3-5 - van Barneveld leaves tops as he bids to seal that break, but van Gerwen holds his nerve by finishing 80 on double ten.
4-5 - van Barneveld opens with a 180, and when van Gerwen is unable to give himself a double when needing 100, he returns to finish double eight for the leg.
4-6 - van Gerwen scores 180, 140 and 145, giving himself enough cushion to initially miss three darts for the leg before returning to pin double nine for a 13-darter.
4-7 - van Gerwen takes out 84 on double 12 to complete a McCoy's Premier League Darts double over his Dutch rival.
Robert Thornton v James Wade
0-0 - Robert Thornton will throw first
0-1 - Thornton lands a 180, but Wade is first to a double as he finishes tops for an 11-darter.
1-1 - Thornton replies with a fine 12-darter, scoring 81, 140 and 140 before checking out 140 on double ten!
1-2 - Wade ensures a third successive break of throw in the game as he finishes double five.
2-2 - With Wade waiting on 40, Thornton finishes 118 on tops to level with another break.
3-2 - Thornton holds throw for the first time by hitting tops.
3-3 - Double ten sees the 2009 Premier League champion level the match.
4-3 - The reigning UK Open champion takes out 50 on tops to move back ahead.
4-4 - Wade posts a 180 and takes out 72 on double top to square the contest.
4-5 - Double top is again landed as Wade finishes a 68 combination to break throw.
4-6 - Wade moves two legs clear for the first time, leaving 40 after 12 darts and having enough cushion to initially miss three darts at doubles before landing double ten to move a leg away from the win.
4-7 - Wade initially misses two match darts, but Thornton is unable to land tops to take out 99, and the left-hander finishes double six for the victory.
Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton
0-0 - Simon Whitlock will throw first
1-0 - Whitlock finishes eight to take the opening leg.
1-1 - Hamilton kicks off the second leg with a 180 and finishes 50 to level.
1-2 - Whitlock misses five darts at doubles, and Hamilton punishes him with a third-dart double four to break throw.
2-2 - Whitlock breaks back to level on double eight after Hamilton misses double 16 to extend his advantage.0
3-2 - The Australian holds throw in leg five to edge back ahead.
4-2 - Whitlock breaks throw again, hitting a 180 and double two to put two legs between the players for the first time.
5-2 - Whitlock misses double top to finish 120, with Hamilton hitting a 168 score to leave 16 but only able to watch on as his opponent nails double ten.
5-3 - Hamilton lands a 180 and finishes 80 on double ten to hit back.
6-3 - Whitlock fires in a 171 to leave 16 before posting double eight to seal at least a point.
7-3 - Whitlock seals victory in style with a 13-darter, landing double top.
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
0-0 - Raymond van Barneveld will throw first
1-0 - van Barneveld makes a confident start as he seeks his first ever Premier League win over Taylor, landing a 180 and double 16 for a 14-darter.
1-1 - van Barneveld lands another maximum, but Taylor hits a 174 and posts double 16 to level.
2-1 - The Dutchman hits a third maximum of the contest to leave 24, and when Taylor is unable to take out 128, van Barneveld hits double six to edge back ahead.
3-1 - van Barneveld misses tops to finish 78, but Taylor is unable to land double seven to complete an 88 combination as his opponent breaks throw with a key third-dart double five.
3-2 - Taylor pins double 16 to break back.
4-2 - van Barneveld breaks throw in a key leg, with Taylor twice missing double 18 and nine before bursting his score as he misses four darts to level, and van Barneveld recovers from three misses at tops by landing double five to move two legs clear.
4-3 - Taylor regains his touch on the doubles with a classy 123 checkout, finishing on double nine as he breaks back.
5-3 - van Barneveld hits a sixth 180 of the game and then finishes 120 to break throw once more.
5-4 - van Barneveld misses double 11, but Taylor is unable to land darts at double top and ten - but the Dutchman dramatically misses a single three when needing 11, bursting, to allow the reigning champion in to finish double ten to hit back.
6-4 - Taylor misses double top for an 80 finish, and van Barneveld this time manages to take out 11 on double four to earn at least a point - the first time since 2006 he has picked up any points against his rival in the Premier League.
6-5 - van Barneveld misses four darts to claim his first-ever Premier League win over Taylor, who steps in to take out 68 on double four to force a deciding leg.
6-6 - The tension rises as van Barneveld is first to a finish, again missing double 16, this time for a 110 finish, as Taylor takes out 111 on the same bed to claim a draw.
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
0-0 - Michael van Gerwen will throw first
0-1 - The pair show some early nerves on doubles, both missing five darts to win the opening leg before Lewis hits double two to break throw.
0-2 - Lewis doubles his lead as he finishes 75 on double 12.
1-2 - Lewis opens with a 180 but can only watch on as van Gerwen powers in a super 158 checkout on double 19.
1-3 - Lewis posts double two once more to win his third leg of the contest.
2-3 - van Gerwen opens with a 180, and although he initially misses tops for a 120 finish, a miss at the bull from Lewis to finish 124 allows him back on to hit back.
3-3 - The players trade 180s, with Lewis' maximum leaving him 34 only for him to have to watch van Gerwen take out 44 on double eight to level the contest.
4-3 - van Gerwen hits the front for the first time, hitting a 174 to leave 53 before landing tops.
5-3 - The Dutchman wins a fourth straight leg, with Lewis missing the bull to take out 89 to allow his opponent in on tops.
5-4 - Lewis posts a 180 and punishes a miss at double 16 from van Gerwen by landing double 18 to break back.
6-4 - van Gerwen wires the bull for a 170 finish, but has enough cushion to return and ensure a minimum of a draw.
6-5 - Lewis lands a 180 and finishes double nine for a 14-darter to break back and force a deciding leg.
7-5 - Lewis opens with two 140s, but is unable to take out 138 and van Gerwen finishes 108 on tops to wrap up a fine win and move four points clear in the league table.