Template - Date: Taylor & van Gerwen get off the mark in Newcastle

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN and Phil Taylor stormed back to form in the Betway Premier League with 111 averages in victories in Newcastle on Thursday, as Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright maintained winning starts to the season.

World number one van Gerwen bounced back from last week’s defeat to James Wade with a scintillating 7-3 defeat of reigning Premier League champion Gary Anderson. The Scot was making his first appearance of the season after being laid low in Leeds a week ago and survived an early burst from van Gerwen as he took a 3-1 lead by pulling back to trail 4-3.

A swift 11-darter helped van Gerwen pull away once more before he took out 85 and 72 to complete a sensational display with a 111.88 average. “Last week I was a bit poor but this was a good performance and I played well tonight,” said van Gerwen. “It’s especially nice against Gary, he’s the World Champion and it’s the number one and two in the world so they’re always big battles.

“I played a fantastic game and I hope that I carry on playing like this for the rest of the season. I finished well at the right moments, my doubles were there and my scoring was there so it was a good night for me.” Taylor, meanwhile, responded to his defeat to Raymond van Barneveld a week ago with a superb 7-1 defeat of James Wade, averaging 111.20 and hitting seven doubles from ten attempts.

Betway Premier League

Night Two – February 11 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
James Wade 7-4 Michael Smith
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
James Wade 1-7 Phil Taylor

(93.00) James Wade 7-4 Michael Smith (91.74)

1-0 – Wade finishes 88 on double seven to claim the opening leg.
1-1 – Smith takes out 120 to level.
2-1 – Wade lands a 120 finish of his own to regain the lead.
2-2 – Smith opens with a 180 before finishing 87 in two darts to hit back.
2-3 – Smith punishes a miss at tops from Wade – for another 120 finish – by breaking throw on double ten.
3-3 – Smith is punished for a host of missed doubles as Wade pounces on double five.
4-3 – Wade takes out 71 on tops to move back ahead.
4-4 – Smith finishes 86 on double seven as he levels.
5-4 – Double five sees Wade edge back into the lead.
6-4 – Double ten for a break of throw secures Wade a minimum of a point.
7-4 – Wade is first to a finish and has enough breathing space to initially miss four match darts before landing double six claim his second successive win.

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(93.23) Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Peter Wright (88.19)

1-0 – van Barneveld lands the game’s opening 180 in a superb 11-darter, which he finishes by taking out 81 on double 12.
1-1 – Wright levels by landing double 16 at the fourth time of asking, with van Barneveld missing three darts at doubles to break throw.
2-1 – van Barneveld takes out 100 to hold throw once more.
2-2 – Wright kicks off with his first maximum before landing double 16 to square the game again.
3-2 – Double 16 sees van Barneveld edge back in front.
4-2 – van Barneveld is handed a let-off for missed doubles across two visits as Wright misses four doubles, allowing the Dutchman back to break on double nine.
4-3 – van Barneveld posts a second 180 but misses three doubles, allowing Wright back in on double ten to break back.
4-4 – Wright fires in a maximum before finishing 68 on double 16 as he levels.
5-4 – Tops edges van Barneveld back in front.
5-5 – van Barneveld opens with a 180 but double 14 sees Wright hit back square.
5-6 – van Barneveld’s miss at tops allows Wright in to take out 75 on double 12 as he seals at least a point.
5-7 – Wright produces a timely 177 to leave 24 before double 12 completes a 13-darter and maintains his winning start to the season.

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(98.92) Adrian Lewis 7-4 Dave Chisnall (98.80)

1-0 – Lewis wins the opening leg.
2-0 – Lewis breaks throw to double his lead.
3-0 – The pair trade 180s before double eight sees Lewis continue his flying start.
4-0 – Tops sees Lewis break throw again to move four legs clear.
4-1 – Chisnall finishes 74 to get off the mark.
5-1 – The pair once again swap maximums, but Chisnall’s two missed doubles allow Lewis in on tops to capitalise.
6-1 – Lewis lands a third 180 and tops as he seals at least a point.
6-2 – Chisnall takes out 110 on the bull to continue his challenge.
6-3 – Lewis fires in another maximum but misses five match darts to allow Chisnall back in on tops to keep himself in the game.
6-4 – Chisnall’s revival continues with a neat 98 checkout.
7-4 – Lewis’ fifth 180 leaves him 81 before double six completes a 12-darter as he seals the points to remain unbeaten.

66

(106.23) Gary Anderson 3-7 Michael van Gerwen (111.88)

1-0 – Anderson claims the opening leg by pinning double top for a 14-darter, making a strong start on his return from illness.
1-1 – van Gerwen opens with back-to-back 180s before landing tops for a 13-dart finish to level.
1-2 – The world number one breaks throw with a 14-darter on double eight.
1-3 – Anderson lands a 180 but can only watch on as van Gerwen takes out 105.
2-3 – Tops for a 13-darter sees Anderson hit back.
2-4 – van Gerwen restores his cushion by taking out 70 on double eight.
3-4 – Double 16 sees Anderson respond with another 13-dart leg.
3-5 – van Gerwen completes a superb 11-darter to edge clear once more.
3-6 – van Gerwen hits a 180 before taking out 85 to break with a 12-dart leg.
3-7 – The Dutchman completes a stunning display by hitting another 180 and a 72 finish, ending with a 111.88 average.

PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016, DARTS, PDC, WORLD DARTS, PIC:CHRIS SARGEANT, TIPTOPPICS, michael van gerwen, raymond van barneveld

(111.20) Phil Taylor 7-1 James Wade (101.85)

0-1 – Taylor breaks throw immediately by finishing double eight.
0-2 – The six-time Premier League winner finishes 66 to double his lead.
1-2 – Wade takes out 78 on double 12 to respond with his first leg.
1-3 – Wade scores 180, 140 and 140 to leave 41 after nine darts, only to see Taylor take out a killer 122 on double seven for a 12-dart finish.
1-4 – Taylor opens with a 180 before punishing a miss at tops from Wade, for a 116 checkout, with double four to break throw once again.
1-5 – Double eight sees Taylor move four legs clear.
1-6 – Taylor scores 180 and 177 to leave 48 before finishing double 16 for an 11-darter.
1-7 – Taylor fires in double four to complete a brilliant performance, ending the game with an average of 111.20.

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Template - Date: BBC DEAL SEES CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OF DARTS INTRODUCED TO PDC CALENDAR

THE PDC will break new ground once again in 2016 by staging its first tournament live on BBC Sport following an exciting new deal to introduce the Champions League of Darts to the circuit in September.

The eight-player tournament will be held on September 24-25 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff to kick off a new era for the sport on terrestrial television.

Featuring the leading eight players from the PDC Order of Merit following July’s BetVictor World Matchplay, the Champions League of Darts will see the stars split into two groups of four players.

Following the round-robin phase, the top two players from each group will then progress to the knockout semi-finals and final, with a huge £100,000 first prize on offer for the eventual champion.

“The BBC has a long history of broadcasting darts but this will be the start of an exciting new era,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

“The Champions League of Darts will bring the very best players in world darts – the top eight from the PDC Order of Merit – to BBC screens for an exciting, quick-fire tournament.

“In addition, it’s fantastic for us to be taking the Champions League of Darts to Cardiff. Welsh fans love their darts and this will be another great opportunity for them to see the sport’s biggest names live.

“Both live crowds and TV audiences have continued to soar for PDC tournaments in the last year, and it’s a great reflection for us that the BBC were keen to add the Champions League of Darts to their sporting portfolio.”

Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport says: “We are very pleased to be showing the inaugural Champions League of Darts on the BBC for what is promised to be a thrilling and innovative tournament.

“Darts has always had wide appeal and it is great that audiences will get the chance to see all the action from the world’s top players live on BBC Two and across our platforms.”

Further details about ticketing for the Champions League of Darts will be announced at www.pdc.tv/tickets in due course.