- Premier League Darts
Taylor back on song as Wright powers on
Phil Taylor doubled his 2014 Premier League points tally with a hard-fought 7-5 victory against newcomer Dave Chisnall.
Taylor, who lost four of his first five games in this year's instalment, headlined week six from Nottingham's Capital FM Arena but took five attempts to land a double for the opening leg of the match.
Chisnall hit back with two 180s but superb 122 and 97 finishes saw Taylor inflict a first break of throw and establish an early 3-1 lead. Chisnall responded by wiring a 170 and, when Taylor missed three darts at double 10, he returned to clinch double four to break back.
The match was soon level and proceeded with throw before Chisnall missed the chance to break for a point; Taylor went 6-5 ahead and, with Chisnall again wiring the bull, returned to take the final leg for his second win of the tournament.
Earlier on Thursday, Peter Wright consolidated his lead at the top of the league table with a 7-3 victory against Simon Whitlock, which leaves the Wizard sitting bottom of the pile just three weeks before relegation night.
After wiring a 161 finish in the opening leg, Wright completed a double break with a superb 132 on the bullseye to lead 3-0. The Brit stemmed Whitlock's comeback with crucial two-dart 76 before checking out 92 to ensure he remained unbeaten. A 126 saw Whitlock delay the inevitable for another leg, but Wright returned to wrap his fourth victory out of six.
Michael van Gerwen thrashed Wes Newton 7-1 to keep the pressure on league leader Wright. The world champion hit 12 and 14-darters as he quickly established a five-leg lead. Newton could not keep up with Van Gerwen's brilliant scoring, but posted double eight in the sixth leg to avoid a whitewash. That seemed to get the Fleetwood ace going as he narrowly missed 127 before Van Gerwen landed double 19 to secure a point. The Green Machine followed up with an 11-darter to claim the match with an impressive 105.05 average.
Recently crowned UK Open champion Adrian Lewis kept up his fight for a play-off place as he enjoyed a narrow 7-5 win against Gary Anderson. Lewis led 4-1 before the Scot hit back with four consecutive legs to edge ahead. Missed darts from Anderson allowed Lewis to level at 5-5, before Jackpot secured at least a point with a finish on double top.
Anderson's Achilles Heel would return to haunt him in the final leg as he missed one dart at double eight and then three at double four and two, the last of which was partly down to inappropriate and ill-timed booing from the crowd. Lewis saw out the win with his favoured double top before turning to apologise to his opponent.
Raymond van Barneveld stole what could be a vital point come the end of the campaign as he and Robert Thornton played out an enthralling 6-6 draw. In a classic game of cat and mouse on the oche, Thornton broke the throw in the 11th game and had the darts for the match. However, his doubles went begging - two to be precise - before Van Barneveld coolly finished double 19 for a share of the spoils.