The semi-finalists of the 2014 Premier League Darts were discovered on Thursday night as Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson booked their places in final night.
Both Anderson and Taylor knew that victories would secure themselves a place in the final four, and that is what they both produced at the Brighton Centre.
"The Flying Scotsman" was first to have the chance to secure his future, and he did just that as he defeated Raymond van Barneveld 7-4. "The Power" was next to the oche and he survived a nervy contest with Robert Thornton, coming through 7-5.
This made the final match of the night largely irrelevant, as Peter Wright could no longer make the semi-finals, whilst Michael van Gerwen was already guaranteed top spot. It did not stop it being a high-quality affair, though as "MVG" fired in an average of over 110 to win the game 7-5.
Van Gerwen told Sky Sports' Dave Clark after his match, via the Sky Sports 2 broadcast:
I haven't played my absolute best game yet. I hope I will next week because it's the semi-finals, and if you don't play well you go home. This is the second-biggest tournament after the World Championships for me.
The first match of the evening was also a dead rubber as neither Adrian Lewis nor Dave Chisnall could make it into the top four. It was the former who came out on top, though, with a 7-4 victory, hitting a stunning six 180s along the way.
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Dave Chisnall pic.twitter.com/5WpPL83mEX— TeamMvG180 (@TeamMvG180) May 15, 2014
|Adrian Lewis||7-4||Dave Chisnall|
|Gary Anderson||7-4||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Phil Taylor||7-5||Robert Thornton|
|Peter Wright||5-7||Michael van Gerwen|
This left the 2014 Premier League Darts table looking like this:
|Michael van Gerwen||16||11||2||3||+27||24|
|Raymond van Barneveld||16||7||6||3||+16||20|
This leaves just the semi-finals left, which take place on 22 May at the O2 Arena in London. The draw has thrown up two potentially classic contests, with the winners going on to face each other later in the evening.
|Phil Taylor||vs||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Gary Anderson|
Van Gerwen goes into finals night as not only the defending champion in this tournament, but also the world champion. As such, it is no surprise that he is the bookmakers' favourite to lift the trophy in London, per Oddschecker.com
Phil Taylor has won this event a record six times, though, so he can never be written off. Neither can former winner Gary Anderson, nor five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, although Barney is the only one of the four semi-finalists never to have won this competition.