Premier League 2014 - Third League Day
WRIGHT LEAVES TAYLOR POINTLESS AS VAN GERWEN STAYS PERFECT
Peter Wright secured a first ever win over Phil Taylor to leave the searching for his first win three weeks into the Betway Premier League Darts season, with Michael van Gerwen top of the pile with a 100 per cent record.
The six-time Premier League champion remains pointless after a third defeat as Wright turned The Power out at the 11th attempt with a 7-4 win.
While Taylor's woe grabbed the headlines, Snakebite's fine start to his debut season in the Premier League continued, still unbeaten after his first three games with five points in the bank and the Scot was thrilled to claim a win over the Stoke legend.
"I'm really over the moon with that result," said Wright. "To finally beat Phil is another big step for me and to do it on such a big stage is amazing. I expected him to come out all guns blazing but he never caught fire and I never felt threatened. He is still sleeping so someone else can bump into him when he wakes up, I'm happy for that to happen to one of the others."
Van Gerwen's title defence looks in fine health after he saw off a spirited challenge from Dave Chisnall. The defending champion raced into a 3-1 lead against the Premier League newcomer but Chisnall snapped back to level at three apiece. The Dutchman was not to be denied though and fired in nine 140s in the remaining five legs to claim a 7-4 win that pleased the World champion, who attributed his win to his fine Dutch Darts Masters triumph in Veldhoven on Sunday.
"I've had a fantastic start," said Van Gerwen. "I'm very consistent at the moment and I am relishing every game match, every challenge and every tournament. Beating Mervyn King in the final on Sunday was a very big moment for me, it's the biggest victory I've had at home since joining the PDC, and that's very important on a personal level."
Van Gerwen faces fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld at the Hydro in Glasgow next Thursday night, and that clash looks set to steal the show in Scotland as the five-time World champion matched Van Gerwen's 7-4 scoreline against Simon Whitlock. The pair were locked at 4-4 after the Australian fought back from 4-1, and Van Barneveld says the way he claimed three straight legs to take the two points is a sign that he will take the fight to Van Gerwen in week four.
"At 4-4 I just said to myself 'relax and win your throw'," said Van Barneveld. "I did that, broke him and held throw again - that's the key to winning when you aren't quite at your best, you click at the right times - it could be an important two points at the end."
Performance of the night belonged to Robert Thornton, who fired in eight 180s in a devastating 7-2 win against fellow Scotsman Gary Anderson.
Thornton was searching for his first points of the season after being on the receiving end of two 7-5 defeats in the opening weekends, and he roared into a 3-0 lead. Anderson clawed back to within a leg, but The Thorn moved into overdrive to rattle off four straight legs with an average of 105.21. Thornton likened his win to that in the World championships where illness forced him to throw his darts at speed in his 4-0 win over Beau Anderson to reach the quarter-finals.
"I'm very happy to play like that tonight," said Thornton. "It was just a case of finding my rhythm and I played that little bit quicker tonight like I did at Alexandra Palace and that really worked for me. I kicked off every leg with a treble figure score and that's massive, you put pressure on any player out there with scoring like that."
It was the same scoreline for Wes Newton as he stopped Adrian Lewis from winning three from three with a dogged display. Newton was 3-2 up after five legs but crucially won legs with Lewis ready to come back to take out 40 twice and 60, and Newton met his second win with relief.
"It wasn't the greatest game from either of us, but a win is a win," said Newton. "I felt good at times up there and it's always a nice scalp to have. Adrian was nowhere near his best, but I can't do anything about that. I wasn't at my best either, I threw some sloppy darts myself and I can play better than that as well, but I got the points. You expect a tidal wave of scoring from Adrian but it didn't come, his middle game wasn't great but he left himself handy on doubles more than once but I kept my composure and closed the door, which is very satisfying."
|101.01||7||4/6||Chisnall ||4:7||v. Gerwen||103.6||2||7/19|
|100.04||2||7/13||Wright ||7:4|| Taylor||101.03||2||4/10|
|-||-||-||Whitlock ||4:7||v. Barneveld||-||-||-|