Week 12 of the Premier League of Darts produced more high drama in front of a rowdy crowd in Manchester.
Thursday night saw five epic battles as crowd favourites Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld sealed their places in the play-offs with wins against Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis.
Here are the results for Thursday night's action and the current group standings:
|Robert Thornton||Vs||Peter Wright||5-7|
|Gary Anderson||Vs||Phil Taylor||6-6|
|Raymond van Barneveld||Vs||Adrian Lewis||7-3|
|Michael van Gerwen||Vs||Dave Chisnall||7-4|
|Gary Anderson||Vs||Robert Thornton||6-6|
|Michael van Gerwen||13||9||2||2||20|
|Raymond van Barneveld||13||7||5||1||19|
The first battle saw Peter Wright edge out Robert Thornton 7-5. The victory ended a run of three defeats for Wright as he chases a spot in the play-offs. The win keeps him in third place overall in the table.
In a close affair, Wright broke his opponent in the 11th leg to take a 6-5 lead, with Thornton missing doubles throughout the match, allowing Wright to capture the win.
Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson shared the spoils in their match, as the tie finished 6-6. Taylor nearly conceded the match after getting his checkout wrong. The multiple world champion went for double 16 rather than double 11 on a 129 checkout, allowing Anderson to capture the leg and take a 4-3 lead, per the Daily Star.
However, Taylor rallied to make it seven matches without defeat, and he came back in the final leg to take the draw. Both men still have excellent opportunities to make the play-offs.
Van Barneveld averaged 104.19 in his match against Lewis, per Sky Sports, as he took the victory 7-3.
The Dutch legend had suffered a health scare last week after collapsing in Berlin but had recovered sufficiently to win his match on Thursday night.
As reported by ESPN, Van Barneveld said:
It's hard for me to play Premier League darts and during the weekend on the Pro Tours as well. I learned a very hard lesson in Germany, It's stress and I know I have to look after myself. I learned a hard lesson and I'm going to concentrate on the big tournaments from now on.
Current league leader Van Gerwen took his ninth win of the season as he defeated Dave Chisnall 7-4. The current champion struggled at times during the night and trailed 4-3 at one stage.
But the dynamic Dutchman then strung four legs together consecutively to power toward victory.
Van Gerwen told Sky Sports after his match: "I didn't play that well, I know I can do a lot better. But on the night the most important thing is to win. Now I've qualified for the play-offs it gives me even more confidence and I can chill-out for my games in the next few weeks. I'll be there!"
In the final match, Anderson and Thornton could not be divided as their match finished in a 6-6 draw.