Premier League Darts 2014 Week 2: Bournemouth Preview

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Premier League Darts 2014 Week 2: Bournemouth Preview
John Gichigi/Getty Images

Liverpool’s Echo Arena provided the perfect start to the 2014 Betway Premier League Darts. It had twists, turns and some utterly thrilling darts.

The biggest shock of the night was provided by new world No. 1 and world champion Michael van Gerwen beating darts legend Phil Taylor 7-0—his first whitewash defeat in more than 20 years of playing darts professionally.

Week 2's headline match comes from the fourth game of the night on Thursday as Taylor meets Adrian Lewis. The night starts with Wes Newton and Raymond van Barneveld before Dave Chisnall takes on Peter Wright, and Gary Anderson challenges Simon Whitlock. It will conclude with van Gerwen against Robert Thornton.

Here is a quick recap of Week 1's events and a look ahead at what we should expect off the back of those performances in Week 2.

 

Power Cut

As mentioned above Phil "The Power" Taylor succumbed to the first whitewash defeat of his career at the hands of Dutch darting sensation, Michael van Gerwen.

I wrote for B/R on Friday that this is not the end for Taylor, and he has shown he is on his way back over the last seven days.

After a shock loss to youngster Keegan Brown in the UK Open Qualifier 1 on Friday, Taylor recovered to hit two nine-dart finishes on Sunday. The second came to clinch the match in the final of UK Open Qualifier 3 as he beat this week’s Premier League opponent Adrian Lewis 6-2.

It would appear after his performance over the weekend that Taylor is now getting to grips with his darts.

The pair will meet again in the fourth of five Premier League matches in Bournemouth. With Taylor coming into it with the upper hand, he seemed pleased with his weekend’s work and sounded confident ahead of Thursday, as he told pdc.tv:

The weekend was great for me. It was brilliant to win Sunday's qualifier but the weekend as a whole did me the world of good.

To play in three tournaments was really good match practice, and to top it off with two nine-darters was the icing on the cake.

I'm working hard with my new darts and it can take a bit of time to settle sometimes, but this shows that I'm going in the right direction!

After the game we've just had on Sunday I'm looking forward to playing Adrian again on Thursday - he knows what he's up against!

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Chisnall will look to get the better of his flamboyant opponent in Bournemouth

 

Debut Delight

Both Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall could not have wished for better starts on their Premier League debuts.

I had previously predicted that "Chizzy" would struggle this year, but he looked relaxed during his walk-on and had the game to go with it—beating Robert Thornton 7-5.

Both players were solid on their doubles (58 percent for Wright and 44 percent for Chisnall) and appeared to adapt well to the inflated crowd size that the Premier League brings. An increased average may be required, however, when they come up against some of the tournament favourites—with "Snakebite’s" 97.53 and Chisnall’s 93.87 averages probably not going to be enough to beat the likes of van Gerwen and Lewis who regularly hit 100 plus averages.

The two Premier League debutants now play each other in Week 2.

Wright, who lost 6-3 to Taylor in the UK Open Qualifiers on Sunday, seems confident going into Thursday’s match as he told pdc.tv:

I think I'm proving that I'm not just a gimmick, I'm actually a guy who can throw some good darts.

I've been working hard on making a good start to matches, and I did that last week. Dave did well last week and deserved his win, but I want to smash him up!

 

Brilliant Barney

Raymond van Barneveld was one of the standout players from Premier League Darts Week 1.

Beating Gary Anderson 7-2, he finished with a 108.52 average, hitting six 180s in nine legs and hit seven perfect darts before fractionally missing treble 19 to leave himself a shot at a double for a nine-dart finish.

Despite being one of the standout performers of Week 1, it was van Gerwen who stole the headlines—almost affirming his position at the top and showing why "Barney" is World No. 10. But this is something that won’t affect the elder of the two Dutchmen and he seems to be relishing his position as underdog, as he told Sky Sports viewers in Liverpool:

I know I’m not the key player at the moment—it’s Phil Taylor or Michael van Gerwen. I notice it all the time when I travel, it’s Michael because he’s playing awesome.

Maybe I’m there in the underdog position. I love the crowds, they love me, and I want to play darts.

Hopefully I can show them every week—like tonight—because that’s what it’s all about.

 

The full Premier League Week 2 schedule is as follows:

Wes Newton v Raymond van Barneveld

Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright

Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock

Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor

Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen

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