McCoy's Premier League Darts - Night Two Review
Gary Anderson delighted the Aberdeen crowd with his first McCoy's Premier League Darts victory of 2013 as he edged out Simon Whitlock on Thursday night, as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen and Robert Thornton continued their unbeaten starts to the season.
2011 Premier League champion Anderson bounced back from his opening-night loss to Raymond van Barneveld with a 7-5 defeat of Whitlock in a thriller in front of a sold-out 4,000 crowd at the AECC.
Whitlock led 2-0 and 3-1 early on before Anderson reeled off five successive legs to ensure that he would take at least a point when he moved 6-3 up. Whitlock took the next two to force a deciding leg as Anderson missed a handful of match darts, but the Scot regained his composure to land double 12 and seal a narrow victory.
"I couldn't stop shaking in the final leg but I'm delighted I got the win," said Anderson. "When I was 3-1 down I felt like I should have been 3-1 up and it's starting to get on my nerves!
"I'm snatching my doubles up on stage at the moment but in practice I feel fine and my scoring's great. If I'd hit my doubles first time that would have been a lot more comfortable and it's frustrating for me. It's nice to have two points on the board already and especially so in front of the Scottish crowd - they were brilliant and they never stopped singing. It was fantastic and I think I had goosebumps right until the final leg."
Anderson's fellow Scot Robert Thornton had to settle for a draw with Michael van Gerwen as he continued his unbeaten start to his debut Premier League season.
Thornton and van Gerwen shared a thriller in Aberdeen but neither player was unable to break throw as they shared the spoils - although the UK Open champion was left to rue a missed double ten for a 140 checkout in the decider before the Dutchman grabbed a point.
"That last dart at double ten was right on the wire but I think a draw was the right outcome," said Thornton. "We knew we'd have a great game and we produced that too. I was pretty relaxed but I didn't want to let the Scottish fans down. Michael's a phenomenal player and he's the man in form, and you know what you've got to do against him. We both had darts to break each other's throw, but it wasn't to be. The bookies have got me down as one of the favourites to be knocked out [after nine weeks] but I'll prove them wrong, and I'm just here enjoying myself and I'm third at the moment."
Reigning champion Phil Taylor swept past world number two Adrian Lewis with a 7-3 triumph to join Thornton on three points in the league table.
Taylor had drawn with Michael van Gerwen in their opening game of the season a week ago, but after sharing the opening six legs against Lewis pulled clear by taking four in a row for the spoils.
Taylor had partnered Lewis to victory in the World Cup of Darts pairs event only a fortnight ago, and admitted: "It was hard to get the killer instinct so I'm glad to get the win. I started a bit slowly and we gave each other a lot of respect, and having played pairs together recently and practised a lot together it was hard to play against him. It's good to get a win and every point will be vital because of the relegation after nine weeks. It eases the pressure and I can hopefully start to pick my form up now."
Raymond van Barneveld, meanwhile, tops the table after two weeks following his second successive victory, as he averaged 100 in an impressive 7-2 victory over newcomer Wes Newton.
Van Barneveld hit three ton-plus finishes during the game and won six of the opening seven legs as he set up a comfortable triumph.
"I've been working hard and it's paying off for me," said van Barneveld. "I'm very happy with the win and to win 7-2 could be important for my leg difference later in the season. The big finishes were crucial because Wes was waiting on a finish and it hurt him, so to see them go in was great. It's a really good start to the season and I'm enjoying my game."
Andy Hamilton was the night's other winner as he saw off 2009 champion James Wade 7-4.
Hamilton took the game's first five legs to assume command, and though Wade hit back to cut the gap to 6-4, Hamilton landed double 16 to pick up his first win of the season.
"The two points is great because it gets me off the mark and I can kick on from here now," said Hamilton, who finished 64 percent of his chances at a double in the game.
"I finished well early on and you have to take advantage when someone isn't playing well, which I did. These players have the ability to come back and the game's not over until the final double's hit. Getting the two points is the only thing that matters but it's a relief to get some points. You don't want to keep going each week because you end up trying too hard, so I can relax a little bit now."
The McCoy's Premier League Darts season continues next Thursday with the third of 14 league nights being held at the BIC in Bournemouth, with the games including Taylor's meeting with Whitlock in a repeat of the 2012 final and the all-Dutch clash between van Barneveld and van Gerwen.
McCoy's Premier League Darts
Night Two - Thursday February 14
Wes Newton 2-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton 7-4 James Wade
Gary Anderson 7-5 Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis 3-7 Phil Taylor
Robert Thornton 6-6 Michael van Gerwen
Wes Newton v Raymond van Barneveld
0-0 - Wes Newton will throw first
0-1 - van Barneveld starts the brighter and hits tops at the first time of asking to break throw in the opening leg.
0-2 - The Dutchman lands a 180 and takes out 116 on tops for a 12-darter to double his lead.
1-2 - Newton hits back with a 14-darter, taking out 65 on tops to win his first leg of the evening.
1-3 - van Barneveld lands a 177 to leave 40, and although he initially fails to finish off the leg has enough cushion to return and hit double ten.
1-4 - van Barneveld posts a 180 to leave 121 and has the first chance at a finish - only to score five with his next visit. Newton, though, misses double 18 to finish 104 and the Dutchman hits the same bed to complete a 116 combination and break throw once more.
1-5 - The Dutchman posts a third ton-plus finish as he takes out 117 on tops.
1-6 - van Barneveld ensures he will remain unbeaten by opening with a 180 and taking out 76 on double 18 for a 12-dart finish.
2-6 - Newton takes out 46 to keep the game alive, breaking throw for the first time, albeit in unconventional fashion by hitting double 14 and double nine.
2-7 - van Barneveld opens with another maximum, and although he misses the bull to take out 130, Newton's misses at double top and ten allow him back to seal the win.
Andy Hamilton v James Wade
0-0 - Andy Hamilton will throw first
1-0 - Hamilton takes out 58 on tops to win the game's opening leg.
2-0 - Hamilton finishes 120 to double his lead.
3-0 - Wade lands a 180, but Hamilton takes out 98 to move three legs up.
4-0 - Hamilton finishes 68 on double 16 to break throw for a second time.
5-0 - Hamilton wins a fifth straight leg to move close to his first point of the season.
5-1 - The players trade 180s and Wade finishes 65 to win his opening leg.
6-1 - Hamilton finishes tops to secure a minimum of a draw from the game.
6-2 - Wade lands a third 180 and hits tops to keep his hopes alive.
6-3 - Wade breaks for the first time by hitting double ten.
6-4 - The 2009 champion continues to fight back, opening with 180 and 140 before landing tops to win a fourth leg.
7-4 - Hamilton secures the triumph by landing double 16.
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
0-0 - Gary Anderson will throw first
0-1 - Whitlock misses double 19 to take out 118, but Anderson is off-target with a dart at tops and the Australian returns to break by landing double 19.
0-2 - Anderson posts a 180 but misses the bullseye and Whitlock pins double 16 for a 68 finish to move two legs up.
1-2 - Anderson lands a second maximum and posts double eight to get himself off the mark.
1-3 - Anderson hits another 180, but misses the bull and further darts at double four and two to level before Whitlock finishes 74 on the bull to punish the home favourite.
2-3 - Anderson takes out 90 in two darts with a treble 20, double 15 combination.
3-3 - Whitlock hits a 180 but misses three darts, at double 12 and six, to allow Anderson back in to level with his sixth dart at double 18.
4-3 - Anderson hits the front for the first time with a confident double top.
5-3 - Anderson misses the bull to finish a crowd-pleasing 170, but returns to post double four to win a fourth successive leg.
6-3 - Anderson posts double 12 to ensure his first point of the season.
6-4 - Whitlock finishes 98 for a second time to keep alive his hopes.
6-5 - Anderson misses five match darts, and Whitlock lands double ten to force a deciding leg.
7-5 - Whitlock misses tops to take out 157, and Anderson this time seals the win on double 12.
Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor
0-0 - Adrian Lewis will throw first
0-1 - Taylor wins the opening leg on double three to break throw.
1-1 - Lewis hits a 180 and gets off the mark by taking out 72 on the bull.
2-1 - Lewis lands double 14 to move ahead.
2-2 - Taylor levels by finishing 70 on tops.
2-3 - Taylor lands tops again, this time to take out 64, as he breaks throw to regain the lead.
3-3 - Taylor misses tops to take out 110, and Lewis finishes double ten to level.
3-4 - Taylor opens with a 180 and finishes 103 to regain the lead.
3-5 - Double 12 for Taylor puts him two legs clear for the first time.
3-6 - Taylor kicks off the leg with a 180, and lands tops to ensure at least a draw.
3-7 - Lewis lands his second 180, but Taylor hits a 177 and seals the win on double eight.
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen
0-0 - Robert Thornton will throw first
1-0 - van Gerwen misses two darts to break throw and Thornton lands tops for the opening leg.
1-1 - van Gerwen levels by finishing double 14.
2-1 - van Gerwen misses a dart at double 13 to punish four missed doubles from Thornton, who returns to land double five.
2-2 - van Gerwen takes out 80 on double ten to level.
3-2 - Thornton holds throw to win the fifth leg.
3-3 - van Gerwen finishes 104 to square the contest again.
4-3 - Thornton opens with a 180, and when van Gerwen misses two darts at double 19 to break the Scot posts double 12.
4-4 - Thornton hits a 180, but misses tops as van Gerwen follows an earlier 171 by taking out 81 in two darts.
5-4 - The pair trade 180s before Thornton finishes 76 for an 11-darter.
5-5 - van Gerwen takes out 64 to level the contest once again.
6-5 - van Gerwen opens with a 180, but Thornton lands tops to ensure that he will take at least a point.
6-6 - van Gerwen misses the bull to take out 161 for a draw - but Thornton wires double ten for a 140 finish to take both points and the Dutch ace returns for double eight to share the spoils.