Week 11 of Premier League Darts produced yet another thrilling night of tungsten action as the world’s best players collided in front of a sell-out crowd in Aberdeen.
It was a double-game week for both Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis, with the pair clashing in a fast and furious affair to close the show.
There was big movement in the Premier League table after last night’s matches, as we see below with a complete results list:
|Gary Anderson||vs.||Adrian Lewis||7-4|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs.||Phil Taylor||4-7|
|Peter Wright||vs.||Dave Chisnall||4-7|
|Raymond van Barneveld||vs.||Robert Thornton||7-1|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs.||Adrian Lewis||7-4|
|Michael van Gerwen||12||8||2||2||18|
|Raymond van Barneveld||12||6||5||1||17|
World No. 3 Lewis kicked things off against home favourite Gary Anderson and found himself 6-0 down in double-quick time.
Anderson opened with a 138 checkout and looked like inflicting a whitewash on the man from Stoke-on-Trent, but he rallied back to make it 6-4 before Anderson closed out the match.
It was then the turn of the sorcerer, Phil Taylor, who took on his apprentice, Van Gerwen. The 16-time world champion taught the current king of darts how it’s done, with a 7-4 victory.
The win saw The Power extend his unbeaten Premier League run to six matches after enduring a shaky start that included Van Gerwen whitewashing him on the competition’s opening night.
It wasn't a revenge mission for Taylor, though, who was full of praise for the Dutchman after inflicting just his second defeat of the season upon him, as PDC reported:
It wasn't about getting revenge, it was about getting the two points and it was a brilliant game. I'm playing well and I'm into the top four now, which is where I want to be. Michael came back well at me and gave everything to get level, but I knew I was still playing well and I had to keep doing what I was doing.
Michael's brilliant and he puts you under tremendous pressure, but at the moment he's the one with the big target on his back. Everybody's been after me for the last 25 years so it's nice to sit back and let someone else take the pressure.
However, Van Gerwen made amends for his early defeat by disposing of Lewis to stay top of the tree with a 7-4 victory in a repeat of this year’s World Championship semi-final.
Lewis looked far from his best on the Aberdeen stage in his earlier match with Anderson, but he managed to find a bit of form against the world champion. With four 180s and a 95.64 average, there was nothing wrong with Lewis’ scoring power, but at the doubles he was poor and that allowed Van Gerwen to take maximum points.
Following the match, Lewis revealed his dismay via Twitter but was quick to congratulate the night’s victors:
Didn't happen for me tonight but well done to Gary and mike, night all x— Adrian Lewis (@jackpot180) April 17, 2014
Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld kept up his stellar Premier League form with a 7-1 victory over Scotsman Robert Thornton.
The pair were level after the opening two legs, but six in a row for Barney saw the Dutchman keep up the pressure on his compatriot Van Gerwen at the top of the table.
Van Barneveld is a hot favourite to be in the top four and make the Premier League play-offs at the end of the season, and he said everything is going well on his quest to do just that—per PDC:
"Every week's a new chance to get two points and I'm very pleased because I've put in so much effort and practice, and my self-belief is coming back. I'm positive and everything's going well at the moment."
The night’s other match saw Peter Wright slump to his third defeat in a row at the hands of Dave Chisnall, who gave his play-off hopes a big boost.
Chizzy faces a tough task next week against Van Gerwen, but he will remain hopeful of securing a top-four spot if he continues to perform in a similar manner.
Meanwhile, Anderson will be in action twice next week at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, taking on Thornton in the night’s opener before clashing with Taylor.
The game of the week will see Van Barneveld face Lewis, with the latter needing a victory to stand any chance of a play-off appearance at the O2 Arena in May.