• Premier League

Taylor revival continues as Barney shines in Steel city

ESPN staff
April 10, 2014
Phil Taylor moved into the Premier League top four for the first time this season © PA Photos

Phil Taylor continued his Premier League resurgence with what could turn out to be a crucial victory in the race for a play-off place after he defeated rival Adrian Lewis 7-4 in Sheffield.

Taylor, looking to regain the crown from Michael van Gerwen, suffered a horrific start to his Premier League campaign but rallied in the last few weeks to put himself well within contention of a place in the final four.

The Power's revival continued to blossom following a superb performance in another high-quality game with former protégé Lewis, his opponent in arguably the greatest ever televised match at the Grand Slam of Darts last year.

A classy 102 finish saw Taylor level at 4-4 with a break of throw, but it was the brilliant 144 checkout from the Stoke ace which really knocked the stuffing out of Jackpot to make it 6-4. Despite Lewis posting his fifth 180 of the night, Taylor finished tops for two points and a place in the top four for the first time this season.

Michael van Gerwen remains top of the pile and looks great value to retain his title after a hard-fought 7-5 victory against Robert Thornton.

Thornton missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish in the ninth leg, but returned to sink double six and move back to 5-4. The Scot soon levelled for 5-5 but, after narrowly missing the bull for a 124, Van Gerwen returned to secure at least a share of the spoils.

Not one to be upstaged, Van Gerwen opened the 12th leg with back-to-back 180s but fell short when aiming for the treble-19 on 141. Nevertheless, the Green Machine returned and comfortably finished proceedings to consolidate his lead at the top.

Raymond van Barneveld now sits second, albeit after playing a game more, following a double success in the Steel city.

Van Barneveld edged Dave Chisnall in the opening match of the night which included 116 and 110 finishes from Barney and a brilliant 164-out from debutant Chisnall.

The Dutchman then beat Peter Wright 7-5 in the night's closing match to secure four points out of four. Wright, meanwhile, lost out 7-4 to an impressive Gary Anderson in his opening match. The Flying Scotsman moved within a point of a top-four place, alongside Lewis, while Wright remains third on 13 points from 11 matches.

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