Template - Date: BETWAY Premier League Night 14 – Manchester

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN and Phil Taylor set up a showdown for the Betway Premier League’s new £25,000 league leaders bonus in Rotterdam with victories as the tournament visited Manchester on Thursday, where reigning champion Gary Anderson sealed his Play-Off spot.

Van Gerwen’s 7-2 win against Dutch rival Raymond van Barneveld was followed by Taylor’s triumph by the same scoreline in their all-Stoke contest to leave the pair locked on 24 points at the top of the table.

With the 2016 season having seen the introduction of a £25,000 bonus for the player who tops the league table at the end of the regular season, the battle to secure that prize will fittingly conclude on the final league night as van Gerwen and Taylor clash in front of 10,000 fans in Rotterdam.

Van Gerwen averaged a superb 108 in his defeat of van Barneveld, who could only watch on as his rival missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish during the clash before the world number one sealed victory with checkouts of 122 and 167.

Taylor, meanwhile, reeled off six straight legs to come from 2-1 down against Lewis to sweep to victory with an average of almost 104 to maintain the pressure on van Gerwen.

Lewis now sits just one point ahead of Peter Wright in the race for fourth place, with the Scot having ended James Wade’s Play-Off hopes with a crushing 7-1 win from their contest in Manchester.

Anderson, meanwhile, secured third place and a semi-final spot as he overcame Scottish rival Robert Thornton 7-1 with a clinical display to continue his bid to retain the prestigious title by ensuring his place at The O2 on May 19.

Night 14 – May 5th – The Manchester Arena
James Wade 1-7 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 7-1 Robert Thornton
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 2-7 Phil Taylor

Current Table following Night 14

24 Points – Michael van Gerwen +40
24 Points – Phil Taylor +37
20 Points – Gary Anderson +16
17 Points – Adrian Lewis +5
16 Points – Peter Wright 0
14 Points – James Wade -11
11 Points – Raymond van Barneveld -8
6 Points – Robert Thornton -39
Dave Chisnall (E)
Michael Smith (E)

(97.29) James Wade 1-7 Peter Wright (99.15) 1-0 – Wade finishes 56 on tops to claim the opening leg. 1-1 – Wright fires in the game’s first 180 but both players miss five darts at doubles before the Scot returns to finish double one to level. 1-2 – Wright hits another 180 before breaking throw by finishing 66 with a tidy bullseye, double eight combination. 1-3 – Wright lands his third maximum in as many legs, but this time misses two darts at double eight – only for four misses from Wade across two visis to give him a reprieve on double four. 1-4 – Wade misses tops to finish 80, and Wright finishes double 16 for another break of throw. 1-5 – Double 16 sees Wright claim a fifth successive leg to continue his charge. 1-6 – The players trade 180s – Wright with his fifth and Wade with his first – before a third-dart double three sees the former World Championship finalist secure a minimum of a draw. 1-7 – Wright fires in his sixth maximum, and punishes a missed bull from Wade with double 16 to seal victory – ending Wade’s Play-Off hopes and keeping alive his own chances of a top four finish.

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(99.33) Gary Anderson 7-1 Robert Thornton (90.40) 1-0 – Anderson lands a 174 score to leave 32 before hitting double four to win the opener. 2-0 – The pair miss a dart each at tops before Anderson returns to hit the bed and double his lead. 3-0 – Anderson fires in a 180 before returning on double 12 to win a third successive leg. 4-0 – Thornton’s miss at tops allows Anderson in to follow a 180 with double 18. 5-0 – Anderson punishes three misses from Thornton as he wins a fifth successive leg. 5-1 – Thornton defies another 180 from Anderson to take out 74 on tops for his first leg. 6-1 – Anderson hits tops to secure the point he needs to seal a Play-Off place. 7-1 – Thornton misses the bull to take out 90, and Anderson returns to finish double four to claim victory and continue his challenge to retain the title.

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(107.93) Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Raymond van Barneveld (100.78) 1-0 – van Barneveld lands a 180 before missing double 16 to break, and van Gerwen hits the same bed to win the opener. 1-1 – Double 12 sees van Barneveld level. 2-1 – van Barneveld again misses one dart to break throw, and van Gerwen finishes double five to lead again. 2-2 – van Barneveld opens with a 180 and levels with a superb 11-darter by taking out 97. 3-2 – van Barneveld hits another maximum, but van Gerwen finishes 78 on tops to edge back in front. 4-2 – MICHAEL VAN GERWEN MISSES DOUBLE 12 FOR A NINE-DART FINISH! The world number one opens with two 180s to set up a possible nine-darter, and lands treble 20 and treble 19 before missing double 12, although he returns to eventually hit the bed – at the fourth time of asking – for a 12-darter to break throw. 5-2 – A 68 finish sees van Gerwen win a third straight leg. 6-2 – van Barneveld lands his fourth 180, but a 122 finish from van Gerwen seals at least a point from the game. 7-2 – van Barneveld hits another maximum, only to see van Gerwen wrap up victory in stunning style with a 167 checkout.

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(94.11) Adrian Lewis 2-7 Phil Taylor (103.72) 0-1 – Taylor lands double top to break throw in the opening leg. 1-1 – Lewis hits back to level, punishing two missed doubles from his rival with double four for a 14-darter. 2-1 – Double seven sees Lewis hit the front. 2-2 – Taylor lands a 180 before taking out 82 to level. 2-3 – Taylor finishes 14-darter on double ten to break throw and regain the lead. 2-4 – A 68 finish, for another 14-dart leg, sees Taylor move two legs clear. 2-5 – Lewis kicks off with a 177 but misses three darts at a double to allow Taylor on for another break, hitting double 14 for a 13-dart finish. 2-6 – Taylor secures a point by landing tops for a 14-dart leg. 2-7 – Taylor’s 180 is followed by a 171 score from Lewis, which prove to be his final three darts as the 16-time World Champion powers home a 121 checkout on the bull for a 12-darter to seal the win.

PDC PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2016, DARTS, EXETER, PDC,PHIL TAYLOR, ADRIAN LEWIS, TIPTOPPICS.COM PHOTO:CHRIS SARGEANT

The final BETWAY Premier League Darts fixtures of the season, with the top 4 players qualifying for the play offs at the O2 on May 19th.

Night 15 – May 12th – The Ahoy Arena, Rotterdam
Robert Thornton v James Wade
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: Sold out

Play-Offs – May 19th – O2 London
Semi-Finals
2v3
1v4
Final