Premier League Darts 2014 Results: Scores, Standings and Analysis from Cardiff

Jason PettigroveContributor IApril 3, 2014

Peter Wright won yet again to keep the pressure on leader Michael van Gerwen.
Peter Wright won yet again to keep the pressure on leader Michael van Gerwen.Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

The Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff provided the backdrop for Week 9 of Premier League darts, and once again, the atmosphere was electric and the darts action mesmeric.

Already eliminated, Simon Whitlock almost provided the shock of the tournament so far against table-topping Michael van Gerwen.

Phil Taylor gave himself hope of a play-off spot as his comeback gathers pace, and new-boy Peter Wright carried on his remarkable run of form.

Premier League Darts: Week 9 Results
Game 1Gary Anderson 5-7 Peter Wright
Game 2Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Simon Whitlock
Game 3Adrian Lewis 6-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Game 4Wes Newton 5-7 Dave Chisnall
Game 5Phil Taylor 7-4 Robert Thornton
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Premier League Darts: Updated Table After Week 9
NamePlayedWonDrawnLostPoints
Michael van Gerwen962114
Peter Wright953113
Raymond van Barneveld935111
Adrian Lewis934210
Phil Taylor94149
Dave Chisnall92438
Gary Anderson94058
Robert Thornton91446
Wes Newton (E)92256
Simon Whitlock (E)91355
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Gary Anderson vs. Peter Wright

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30:  Peter Wright of Scotland celebrates defeating Simon Whitlock of Australia in their semi final match on day fifteen of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 30, 2013 in London, England.
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Peter Wright is enjoying his debut season in Premier League darts.

Another seesaw battle, this time against Gary Anderson, set the pulses racing again, but once again, the Scot held his nerve to see out victory, a place in the semi-finals drawing ever closer.

Both players landed maximums in the opening stages, and Wright was a whisker from taking out a cool 161 finish.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20:  Phil Taylor of England makes his entrance before his second round match against Michael Smith of England during the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship on Day Eight at Alexandra Palace on December 20, 2013 in London, Eng
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Anderson was landing the doubles with regularity and keeping Wright on his toes. The breakthrough came at 5-5, when Anderson missed tops twice and double 10, allowing his opponent to at least secure the draw with a 71 checkout.

Two visits were required at the end of the 12th leg to finish the game off, but Wright's win keeps him firmly in the hunt.

He told Razwan Mirza of Sky Sports after the match: 

"I knew it was going to be a hard game against Gary - it always is. He's my idol. I can play darts when I want, and I'm playing when I want, when I need to."

 

Phil Taylor vs. Robert Thornton

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20:  Phil Taylor of England throws during his second round match against Michael Smith of England during the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship on Day Eight at Alexandra Palace on December 20, 2013 in London, England. (Photo
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Taylor is enjoying something of a resurgence in the competition, and former UK Open champion Robert Thornton was next in the firing line.

Although Thornton had pegged back "The Power" after an opening leg, the next three legs belonged to Taylor as he found rhythm in his throw and accuracy.

A 108 to finish the fifth leg took the 16-time world champion 4-1 ahead, and his impressive average of 102.48 (per Mirza) kept him far enough ahead of Thornton for him to be able to relax at the oche.

The same can't be said for Thornton, who nearly fell off the stage after taking a tumble:

After securing himself at least a point, Taylor missed two darts for the game, allowing Thornton a sniff.

However, it only delayed the inevitable, as Taylor's more clinical finishing saw him take the points and move to within a point of a play-off place, which looked barely achievable in the opening weeks of the tournament.

 

Simon Whitlock vs. Michael van Gerwen

The Wizard of Oz almost caused the shock of the night.
The Wizard of Oz almost caused the shock of the night.Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

The already-eliminated Australian almost provided the shock result of this, or any other Premier League week.

Perhaps rid of the pressure and playing his natural game, "The Wizard" could take the game to van Gerwen and see if he could respond.

It all started well for the Dutchman with a 180 to open proceedings and a 100 checkout, but back came Whitlock in the next leg with a maximum of his own.

Another 180 from Whitlock and a 116 checkout took him into the lead against the throw, and if he didn't know before, van Gerwen might have realised then he was in a game.

England cricketer Alex Hales was certainly enjoying the show:

The Australian took the next leg too, but van Gerwen gave a statement of intent with a whopping 164 finish to bring it back to 3-2.

Whitlock then rattled off three frames in a row, including a majestic 170 checkout, but as glory approached, his touch let him down.

He had a chance to seal the victory but missed all three darts, and van Gerwen didn't need asking twice. With confidence drained from Whitlock and the Dutchman in the ascendency, van Gerwen held his nerve to snatch a draw.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Michael van Gerwen of The Netherlands celebrates after winning a set during the final of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace on January 1, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Ima
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Van Gerwen needs to be careful if he wants to retain his place at the top of the tree. With Wright breathing down his neck, the Dutchman's concentration levels must be at the maximum from the get-go.

He showed that he is vulnerable by possibly being complacent against Whitlock, and he almost paid the price.

Taylor remains the dark horse, just chipping away in the background, letting van Gerwen and others take the heat, all the while building a solid platform.

If he can make it into the play-offs, then the tournament is anyone's, and Taylor has been there and done it many times before.