Template - Date: Betway Premier League Leeds

PHIL TAYLOR maintained an unbeaten start to his final Betway Premier League season with a classy 7-4 win over great rival Raymond van Barneveld at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on Thursday, as Michael van Gerwen and James Wade kept pace at the top of the table.

With Taylor poised to retire at the start of 2018, the meeting with Van Barneveld – their 26th in the Premier League – marked the beginning of the end of arguably the sport’s greatest rivalry. The contest lived up to the billing as the pair enjoyed an entertaining tussle, with Van Barneveld firing in a ten-darter to level in leg four as the pair shared the opening six legs.

Taylor then finished 85, 63 and 120 to claim the first break of throw as he moved 6-3 up, with a 107 finish from Van Barneveld ensuring some nervous moments for the 16-time World Champion before double 16 secured the points. “It’s one of the best venues we play in and it was fun, it was a good game,” said Taylor. “It was a strange game and at 6-3 up I was happy to have got the draw because he was finishing well.

“I think we’ve had the best rivalry there’s been in darts and I’ll miss playing him. It’s going well so far and I’ve got the right darts, these are perfect for me now.” World Champion Van Gerwen continued his Premier League title defence with a 7-4 win over Dutch rival Jelle Klaasen, who remains without a point following three weeks.

Klaasen, though, gave the world number one a fright by coming from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 with the aid of an 11-darter, but Van Gerwen hit back to lead 4-3 before claiming the final three legs without reply for his second win of the season. “I think I deserved to win the game but we were both trying too hard,” said Van Gerwen. “I threw a couple of good scores at the right moment and hit a few doubles with my last dart a few times.

“I’m at the top of the table and I can’t complain. I haven’t played my best yet and there’s more to come. I feel great and I still averaged 102.7, which is not bad.” 2009 Premier League Champion also sits on five points following three weeks after he came from 4-3 down to defeat Adrian Lewis 7-4, benefitting from a brilliant mid-game surge.

Following a cagey opening, which included a 121 bull finish from Wade, Lewis backed up a 180 with a superb 71 checkout for a 4-3 cushion. Wade, though, levelled as he followed a maximum with a 94 finish for a 12-darter, before taking out back-to-back 11-darters as he pulled clear for the win.

“It’s very nice to get a win,” said Wade. “It wasn’t as comfortable as you’d want but you know that Adrian can turn it on, he’s one of the best in the world so a win like this is massive. “The legs of 12, 11 and 11 are probably the best I’ve strung together this season so far. I was a bit lazy but I’m taking players for granted when they’re not playing their best.”

Peter Wright leap-frogged Gary Anderson in the league table with a brilliant performance as he averaged 109 and took out four ton-plus finishes in a 7-5 win over the double World Champion, who 106.59 in reply. After Anderson won the opening leg, Wright took out two 116 finishes and a 121 combination to move 3-1 up before checking out 120 for a 4-2 cushion.

A 14-darter from Anderson, featuring two 180s, saw him hit back but even six perfect darts in leg eight were not enough for the world number two as Wright fired in another 12-darter to regain his lead. Anderson hit back with an 11-darter and a 110 checkout to force a deciding leg at 6-5, but Wright was first to a finish as double ten sealed his second victory of the season.

“I’m pleased to get the win,” said Wright, whose 109.48 average was his highest in the Premier League. “I think I can play better, but it was a win. “I was disappointed with how I played against Michael van Gerwen last week, and I’ve let players in with my mistakes but I’m learning and I didn’t let Gary back in tonight.”

The night’s other game saw Dave Chisnall pick up his first victory of the season with a 7-4 defeat of Kim Huybrechts.

Betway Premier League

Night Three – Thursday February 16th

First Direct Arena, Leeds
(109.48) Peter Wright 7-5 Gary Anderson (106.59):
(88.01) Adrian Lewis 4-7 James Wade (98.21):
(96.39) Phil Taylor 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld (97.32):
(102.78) Michael van Gerwen 7-4 Jelle Klaasen (96.24):
(101.20) Dave Chisnall 7-4 Kim Huybrechts (95.06)

Template - Date: European Tour 2017 Information

The European Tour kicks off in 2017 with the UK Qualifier for the German Darts Championship (ET1) at the Metrodome in Barnsley on Friday March 10th.

There are 12 European Tour events in 2017, following these events the European Tour Order of Merit Table ‘ETOoM’ will feature with just the prize money won from these 12 events. The top 32 from this table will qualify for the 2017 Unibet European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium 27th-29th October.

These 12 events also go on the OoM & PTOoM. For all the European Tour and Qualifier dates, including information, hotels and event brief please go to the calendar CLICK HERE:

Rules and where you can enter/qualify:

Entry to European Tour Qualifiers (Not UK ‘Q’): is open to any player from the relevant nations on payment of the relevant entry fee. However, once a player has participated in two European or Host Nation qualifying events in any one calendar year, that player must become a PDPA ProTour member in order to participate in further qualifying events that year.

Nordic & Baltic or East European qualifier entrants are not subject to this rule for 2017.

Entry to European Tour UK Qualifiers: is open to any Tour Card Holder and any player who finished in the top 32 of UK and non-European players (including ties) on the QSOoM Table. (Any player who has 5 points or more on the Q-School Order of Merit Table) 

European Tour events will be played with a 48-player main draw consisting of the top 16 ranked entered players from the ProTour Order of Merit and 32 qualifiers. The top 16 ranked entered players from the ProTour Order of Merit will be exempted and seeded in to the last 32 where they will play the 16 winners from the matches involving the 32 qualifiers.

Seeds Prize Money Rule:

Seeded players who lose their last 32 match in the event will not be credited with prize money on to the Order of Merit, ProTour Order of Merit or European Tour Order of Merit, however they shall still receive full prize money payment.

A player in the top 16 of the ProTour Order of Merit may opt to enter the relevant qualifier for the event in order to ensure any prize money won, even if that player loses his first game, counts on the relevant Orders of Merit. In order to be placed in the qualifier, a player must inform the PDC of his request in writing at the time of entry.

A player who qualifies for a European Tour event as a qualifier but later becomes a seed due to the withdrawal of one or more other players shall be credited with their prize money on the relevant Orders of Merit regardless of how far they progress in the event.

The 32 qualifiers shall come from the following qualifying tournaments:

UK Qualifier (18): shall produce 18 players from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland.

West & South Europe Qualifier (8): shall produce 8 players from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra, Italy, San Marino, Monaco, Malta, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey.

Host Nation Qualifier (4): shall produce 4 players from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the same nationality as the location of the relevant event are eligible to enter and in this instance any player with that nationality may not enter the Western Europe qualifier.

Nordic & Baltic Qualifier (1): shall produce 1 player from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

East Europe Qualifier (1): shall produce 1 player from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and any state not listed here which falls within the EADC region.

Schedule Clash Rule:

Any player who is unable to enter the West & South Europe or Host Nation qualifier due to a scheduling clash with an event in which they have been invited by the PDC, shall be deemed eligible to enter the UK qualifier for the event.

World Members (Not UK/European or Nordic):

PDPA members who are not of a nationality covered by the above qualification criteria (i.e. non-European) may participate in the UK qualifier. Non-PDPA members who are not of a nationality covered by the above qualification criteria (i.e. non-European) may participate in the West Europe qualifier on payment of the relevant fee and under the same criteria as West Europe players regarding PDPA Non-UK ProTour Membership.

Draw:

The draws for the main event, takes place the day before the main event, usually prior to any European or Host Nation Qualifiers in the venue.

Unibet European Championships

Hasselt, Belgium ‘ITV4’

Thursday 26th – Sunday 29th October