MICHAEL VAN GERWEN and Phil Taylor stormed back to form in the Betway Premier League with 111 averages in victories in Newcastle on Thursday, as Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright maintained winning starts to the season.
World number one van Gerwen bounced back from last week’s defeat to James Wade with a scintillating 7-3 defeat of reigning Premier League champion Gary Anderson.
The Scot was making his first appearance of the season after being laid low in Leeds a week ago and survived an early burst from van Gerwen as he took a 3-1 lead by pulling back to trail 4-3.
A swift 11-darter helped van Gerwen pull away once more before he took out 85 and 72 to complete a sensational display with a 111.88 average.
“Last week I was a bit poor but this was a good performance and I played well tonight,” said van Gerwen. “It’s especially nice against Gary, he’s the World Champion and it’s the number one and two in the world so they’re always big battles.
“I played a fantastic game and I hope that I carry on playing like this for the rest of the season. I finished well at the right moments, my doubles were there and my scoring was there so it was a good night for me.”
Taylor, meanwhile, responded to his defeat to Raymond van Barneveld a week ago with a superb 7-1 defeat of James Wade, averaging 111.20 and hitting seven doubles from ten attempts.
A killer 122 checkout for a 12-darter in leg four – after Wade scored 180, 140 and 140 to leave 41 – proved crucial as Taylor cruised to an impressive victory.
“My finishing as lovely and I think that was the difference tonight,” said Taylor. “I’m glad to get two points on the board and Barney gave me a kick up the backside last week.
“James pushed me into that performance and it was a lot closer than the score says, but I produced the goods tonight.”
Adrian Lewis picked up a second successive victory as he held off a late rally from Dave Chisnall to claim a 7-4 win in their clash, having led 6-1 following some clinical early darts.
“It’s a great start,” said Lewis. “I’m playing really well and I didn’t really expect else tonight other than to go up there and do a job, although Chizzy’s been great in the Premier League and you can’t underestimate him.
“I relaxed at 6-1 for some reason – perhaps in my head I knew I’d got a point – but when I needed it under pressure I fired in with that 12-darter at the end. I can’t ask for any more with my form and that showed in patches tonight.”
Peter Wright also sits with two wins from as many matches after he edged out Raymond van Barneveld 7-5, although he had to claim five of the final six legs after finding himself 4-2 down early on.
“I’m really happy with the result and it’s another two points,” said Wright. “I didn’t think I played particularly well but I’d changed darts and that didn’t work out like I wanted so I’ll be going back to my other darts next week!”
With a chest infection ruling out Robert Thornton, Wade stepped in to play twice on the night as he picked up a second win of the season by inflicting a third straight defeat on Premier League newcomer Michael Smith with a solid 7-4 triumph.
“I’m glad I won but Michael hasn’t found his feet yet,” said Wade. “It’s never nice to play someone when they’re feeling the pressure and Michael’s better than he showed there tonight.”
The Betway Premier League continues next Thursday at The 3Arena in Dublin, which includes the tasty rematch of the 2015 World Championship final between Anderson and Taylor and van Gerwen up against Lewis.
Betway Premier League
Night Two – February 11
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
James Wade 7-4 Michael Smith
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
James Wade 1-7 Phil Taylor League Table
|Following Night Two||P||W||D||L||+/-||Pts|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2||1||0||1||+3||2|
|Michael van Gerwen||2||1||0||1||+1||2|
James Wade v Michael Smith
1-0 – Wade finishes 88 on double seven to claim the opening leg.
1-1 – Smith takes out 120 to level.
2-1 – Wade lands a 120 finish of his own to regain the lead.
2-2 – Smith opens with a 180 before finishing 87 in two darts to hit back.
2-3 – Smith punishes a miss at tops from Wade – for another 120 finish – by breaking throw on double ten.
3-3 – Smith is punished for a host of missed doubles as Wade pounces on double five.
4-3 – Wade takes out 71 on tops to move back ahead.
4-4 – Smith finishes 86 on double seven as he levels.
5-4 – Double five sees Wade edge back into the lead.
6-4 – Double ten for a break of throw secures Wade a minimum of a point.
7-4 – Wade is first to a finish and has enough breathing space to initially miss four match darts before landing double six claim his second successive win.
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
1-0 – van Barneveld lands the game’s opening 180 in a superb 11-darter, which he finishes by taking out 81 on double 12.
1-1 – Wright levels by landing double 16 at the fourth time of asking, with van Barneveld missing three darts at doubles to break throw.
2-1 – van Barneveld takes out 100 to hold throw once more.
2-2 – Wright kicks off with his first maximum before landing double 16 to square the game again.
3-2 – Double 16 sees van Barneveld edge back in front.
4-2 – van Barneveld is handed a let-off for missed doubles across two visits as Wright misses four doubles, allowing the Dutchman back to break on double nine.
4-3 – van Barneveld posts a second 180 but misses three doubles, allowing Wright back in on double ten to break back.
4-4 – Wright fires in a maximum before finishing 68 on double 16 as he levels.
5-4 – Tops edges van Barneveld back in front.
5-5 – van Barneveld opens with a 180 but double 14 sees Wright hit back square.
5-6 – van Barneveld’s miss at tops allows Wright in to take out 75 on double 12 as he seals at least a point.
5-7 – Wright produces a timely 177 to leave 24 before double 12 completes a 13-darter and maintains his winning start to the season.
Adrian Lewis v Dave Chisnall
1-0 – Lewis wins the opening leg despite Chisnall kicking off with a 180, as the Stoke ace steps in on double 18 for a 13-darter.
2-0 – Lewis breaks throw to double his lead, with Chisnall again opening with a maximum only to see his rival finish 78 for a 14-dart leg.
3-0 – The pair trade 180s before double eight sees Lewis continue his flying start.
4-0 – Tops sees Lewis break throw again to move four legs clear.
4-1 – Chisnall finishes 74 to get off the mark.
5-1 – The pair once again swap maximums, but Chisnall’s two missed doubles allow Lewis in on tops to capitalise.
6-1 – Lewis lands a third 180 and tops as he seals at least a point.
6-2 – Chisnall takes out 110 on the bull to continue his challenge.
6-3 – Lewis fires in another maximum but misses five match darts to allow Chisnall back in on tops to keep himself in the game.
6-4 – Chisnall’s revival continues with a neat 98 checkout.
7-4 – Lewis’ fifth 180 leaves him 81 before double six completes a 12-darter as he seals the points to remain unbeaten.
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – Anderson claims the opening leg by pinning double top for a 14-darter, making a strong start on his return from illness.
1-1 – van Gerwen opens with back-to-back 180s before landing tops for a 13-dart finish to level.
1-2 – The world number one breaks throw with a 14-darter on double eight.
1-3 – Anderson lands a 180 but can only watch on as van Gerwen takes out 105.
2-3 – Tops for a 13-darter sees Anderson hit back.
2-4 – van Gerwen restores his cushion by taking out 70 on double eight.
3-4 – Double 16 sees Anderson respond with another 13-dart leg.
3-5 – van Gerwen completes a superb 11-darter to edge clear once more.
3-6 – van Gerwen hits a 180 before taking out 85 to break with a 12-dart leg.
3-7 – The Dutchman completes a stunning display by hitting another 180 and a 72 finish, ending with a 111.88 average.
James Wade v Phil Taylor
0-1 – Taylor breaks throw immediately by finishing double eight.
0-2 – The six-time Premier League winner finishes 66 to double his lead.
1-2 – Wade takes out 78 on double 12 to respond with his first leg.
1-3 – Wade scores 180, 140 and 140 to leave 41 after nine darts, only to see Taylor take out a killer 122 on double seven for a 12-dart finish.
1-4 – Taylor opens with a 180 before punishing a miss at tops from Wade, for a 116 checkout, with double four to break throw once again.
1-5 – Double eight sees Taylor move four legs clear.
1-6 – Taylor scores 180 and 177 to leave 48 before finishing double 16 for an 11-darter.
1-7 – Taylor fires in double four to complete a brilliant performance, ending the game with an average of 111.20.