Taylor pulls clear with NIA super-show
Please find below a round-up, results and match reports from the seventh league night of the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts courtesy of David Allen and Lawrence Lustig PDC.
PHIL TAYLOR moved five points clear at the top of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts by defeating Adrian Lewis 8-4 at the NIA in Birmingham.
Taylor extended his unbeaten run in the tournament to seven matches by producing a devastating second half display to pull from three-all to 7-3 in seeing off his Stoke rival.
The 15-time World Champion ended the match with a 105.25 average, and hit a ten-dart finish in extending his cushion at the head of the league table.
"I'm delighted to be five points clear half-way through the season, especially after being under-par for the first few weeks, and I'm getting back to my best now," said Taylor.
"I thought Adrian played quite well but he missed a couple of doubles and I took advantage."
Mervyn King was joined on eight points in second place in the table by Ronnie Baxter after the Lancastrian defeated Raymond van Barneveld 8-4 in Birmingham.
Baxter hit a 164 finish on his way to victory, and was never troubled after taking a 5-1 lead against the Dutchman.
"Raymond is a great player but that wasn't the Barney I know who has beaten me so many times," said Baxter. "I've been in front and been denied points recently but I stayed focused and did what I'm capable of."
King suffered his second loss of the season with an 8-6 reverse against Simon Whitlock in the night's opening game.
The Australian led 3-0 before King hit a 161 finish in taking a 6-4 cushion - only for Whitlock to win the game's final four legs to take both points and move fourth in the table.
"I knew I had to get off to a good start and I got that," said Whitlock. "I had that little lapse again but recovered this time."
Reigning champion James Wade took a convincing 8-4 win over Terry Jenkins in the night's other game, moving him up to fifth place in the table with a second successive victory.
"I've won two games but I'm not getting carried away," said Wade. "I've not played good enough darts for six months but I'm starting to play good darts again and hopefully the results will keep coming now."
Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts
Week Seven - NIA, Birmingham
Mervyn King 6-8 Simon Whitlock
James Wade 8-5 Terry Jenkins
Raymond van Barneveld 4-8 Ronnie Baxter
Adrian Lewis 4-8 Phil Taylor
SIMON WHITLOCK 8-6 MERVYN KING
SIMON WHITLOCK claimed his third victory of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with a thrilling 8-6 defeat of Mervyn King at Birmingham's NIA on Thursday night.
Whitlock seemed set to coast to victory when an explosive start put him 3-0 up - only for King to win six of the next seven legs in moving 6-4 up, including a fabulous 161 checkout.
However, he paid for a missed double in the next as Whitlock, who allowed James Wade to come from 4-1 down to defeat him last week, claimed a fifth leg - before taking the final three legs without reply to snatch victory.
"I really needed a win tonight, especially after losing last week," said Whitlock. "Mervyn has been on fire in this tournament so to get a win over him is thrilling for me.
"Having thrown away a lead last week from 4-1 against James Wade, when I was 3-0 up and then I went 6-4 down I thought 'oh no, not again', but I managed to turn it around."
Whitlock made a sensational start, opening the match with an 11-darter which featured a 171 score to leave 98, which he finished on double 19.
A brace of double top finishes saw him win the next two legs, before King stormed back with an 11-dart finish of his own, featuring his first maximum of the game.
He then held throw for the first time in the game on double 16, and posted double four to square the match.
King landed a second 180 of the game and a 68 finish in edging in front, before breaking Whitlock's throw with a 14-dart finish to lead 5-3, after the Australian missed chances to level.
Whitlock hit a 180 and double ten to break back in the ninth leg, but a brilliant 161 finish from King saw him move 6-4 up.
He missed a dart at double 16 to ensure a point in the next leg, with Whitlock posting double eight to take the leg and then defy a King 180 to square the game with a two-dart 62 finish.
Having then missed the bullseye for a 164 checkout, Whitlock returned to take out double eight and put himself in the lead at 7-6, before opening the deciding leg with scores of 180 and 140 before landing double ten for victory.
I knew I had to get off to a good start and I got that," said Whitlock. "I had that little lapse again but recovered this time.
"I felt good, even when I went 6-4 behind. The 161 hurt me but I just hung in there and took my opportunities after that."
JAMES WADE 8-5 TERRY JENKINS
REIGNING Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts champion James Wade claimed his second victory of the 2010 season with an 8-5 win over Terry Jenkins in Birmingham.
Wade had picked up his maiden win of the year in Brighton last week, and backed that up with a strong victory over the 2007 finalist.
Wade pulled clear from two-all to lead 7-3 before closing out victory with a fine 11-dart finish.
Jenkins took advantage of a missed double ten from Wade - for a 140 finish - to win the opening leg on double top against the darts, only for the left-hander to his a 180 and double five to break back.
Wade took the third on double one before missing two darts to take the next, with Jenkins finishing 94 on double 13 to square the game.
The pair traded double top finishes to leave the scores tied at the break, before Wade found another gear.
He followed a double top checkout with a 13-darter to lead 5-3, before hitting a 180 and double five to take the ninth and double ten for a four-leg cushion.
Jenkins produced his best darts of the game to stay in the contest, with finishes of 14 and 13 darts giving him two more legs to pull back to 7-5.
He also hit a 180 in the next, but Wade matched that to leave 41 after nine darts before landing double top to complete the win.
"It was a strange game because my scoring in patches was so good that the doubles I was missing didn't matter," said Wade.
"If I'd finished as well as I scored then I'd have played a really good game but I was fortunate to catch Terry on the back foot.
"I've won two games but I'm not getting carried away. I've not played good enough darts for six months but I'm starting to play good darts again.
"I'm working harder and hopefully the results will keep coming now."
RONNIE BAXTER 8-4 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
RONNIE BAXTER moved to joint second place in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with a fine 8-4 defeat of five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld in Birmingham.
The Lancastrian claimed his third, and most convincing, win of the season in style at the NIA, including checkouts of 164 and 124 to remain on course for a play-off place in May.
Van Barneveld started well enough, hitting two 180s in a 13-darter to open the match, but never recovered from going 5-1 down.
The Dutchman missed the bullseye for a 123 finish in the second leg, and also saw two darts for the third go begging as Baxter took out both on double five and double two respectively to edge in front.
He then hit a 177 and double top to lead 3-1, took out 124 on the bull in the next and then finished 68 in two darts for a four-leg cushion after van Barenveld missed double top.
The world number two returned from the break to take the seventh leg, hitting two double eights, but a thrilling 164 finish from Baxter, his second of the Premier League campaign, saw him move 6-2 up.
A two-dart 96 finish from van Barneveld and double top for a 74 checkout saw him stem the tide, but Baxter had already ensured at least a point on double top and hit double 17 to secure both in leg 12.
"It was a solid performance," said Baxter. "Raymond is a great player but that wasn't the Barney I know who has beaten me so many times.
"He's got to get back to his best but we all have bad patches. When he set off with the two 180s in the first leg I thought he was over his problems, but you never know.
"I've been in front and been denied points recently but I stayed focused and did what I'm capable of."
PHIL TAYLOR 8-4 ADRIAN LEWIS
PHIL TAYLOR pulled five points clear at the top of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts by defeating Adrian Lewis 8-4 at the NIA in Birmingham.
Taylor extended his unbeaten run in the tournament to seven matches by producing a devastating second half display to pull from three-all to 7-3 in the blink of an eye.
The 15-time World Champion ended the match with a 105.25 average, and now sits clear of Mervyn King and Ronnie Baxter on 13 points in the league table at the midway point of the season.
Lewis made a good enough start to the contest, winning the opening leg in 13 darts before punishing six missed doubles from Taylor to extend his lead to 2-0.
Taylor hit a 180 and double five to get off the mark in the third leg, and a third-dart double top saw him level, only for Lewis to fire in a maximum and double ten in edging 3-2 up.
Taylor squared the game going into the break with a 14-dart finish, neatly checked out with a bullseye, double 16 combination, before claiming a pivotal seventh.
Lewis had hit scores of 140, 180 and 131 to leave 50 after nine darts, but missed five darts for the leg as Taylor hit a fine 159 score to set up double 12 in a 13-darter.
Another 13-dart finish from Taylor was followed by a stunning ten-darter as he opened with back-to-back 180s and shrugged off the loss of a potential nine-dart finish by setting up double eight.
Double 16 for a 14-darter put Taylor 7-3 up, with Lewis taking a fourth leg on double top.
Any hopes of a fightback, though, were swiftly ended as Taylor matched a Lewis 180 with his fourth of the game and posted double top for a 12-darter in sealing the win.
"I thought Adrian played quite well but he missed a couple of doubles and after the seventh leg I knew he was under pressure," said Taylor.
"That leg hurt him and he didn't stop moaning about it afterwards, and I took advantage.
"But it's all about gaining experience each week and he's doing that. He can hit the 140s and 180s like nobody can - he's one of the best I've ever seen - but he needs a little bit more experience now."
Lewis admitted: "I was bitterly disappointed with my finishing. My scoring wasn't bad but I missed too many darts at a double, and I kept letting him in.
"We both started the game at bit patchy; I was expecting him to kick straight in and it kind of put me off, and after the break I came out with 180 and 140 and missed five darts at a double, which you can't do.
"I had him under pressure and I let him get away from me, and it's annoyed me. I've got to play better and finish better in the second half of the season."