Template - Date: Betway Premier League Aberdeen
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN defeated Gary Anderson 7-4 to top the Betway Premier League table for a fifth successive season, as Phil Taylor claimed the final Play-Off place on Thursday in Aberdeen.
Peter Wright’s 7-1 win over Raymond van Barneveld at the GE Oil & Gas Arena had left Van Gerwen needing to defeat Anderson if the Dutchman was to claim the £25,000 League Winner’s Bonus. The world number one rose to the challenge in a scintillating game with Anderson, taking command early on by moving into a 3-1 lead before holding off the Scot’s fightback, which included a 145 checkout.
Taylor had earlier come from 5-3 down to defeat Adrian Lewis 7-5 as he claimed the final spot in the league table ahead of Dave Chisnall, whose Play-Off hopes were ended with a six-all draw against James Wade. Those results mean that Van Gerwen and Anderson will clash again at the semi-final stage in next Thursday’s Play-Offs, as the pair continue their search for a third Premier League title.
Van Gerwen, though, leaves Aberdeen celebrating his achievement in topping the regular season’s league table for a fifth successive year since he entered the tournament. Wright produced another clinical display as he prepared for his first-ever Premier League Play-Offs challenge with a superb 7-1 defeat of Van Barneveld.
The Scot landed 180s in each of the first two legs, with the latter being a 14-dart break, before an 80 checkout moved him 3-0 up. Van Barneveld replied on double ten, but Wright posted another 180 as he regained his edge, punished misses from the Dutchman to break again, took out a 14-darter to move 6-1 up and then sealed the win with a 116 finish.
Taylor secured qualification for the Play-Offs in his final Premier League season with a 7-5 win over Stoke rival Lewis . Lewis missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish early in the game but led 4-2 with the aid of a 122 bull checkout, only to see Taylor win five of the next six legs – despite a 114 finsh from his rival – for victory.
Earlier, Chisnall’s draw with Wade ended the 2015 semi-finalist’s bid to snatch a top-four finish, despite finishing the season with a seven-game unbeaten run. Chisnall had to secure a big win to put the pressure on Taylor, but saw Wade capitalise on his missed doubles to move 3-1 up, with the aid of a clinical 71 finish. Wade then hit his fourth 180 as he moved into a 6-2 lead to secure at least a point from the contest.
Chisnall, though, took leg nine to keep his hopes in the match alive, before finishing a brilliant 129 and a 13-darter to force a deciding leg, in which he hit two 180s in an 11-dart finish to snatch a share of the spoils. Chisnall ended the game with seven 180s, but admitted that a slow start against Wade cost him.
Van Gerwen’s clash with Anderson – which is also a repeat of the World Grand Prix, World Championship and Masters finals of the past year – will open next Thursday’s Play-Offs, before Wright takes on six-time Premier League champion Taylor.
The tournament will then conclude with the final at The O2, with a £250,000 prize on offer for the eventual champion. Tickets for the Betway Premier League Play-Offs can be purchased by calling 0844 856 0202 or online via www.axs.com .
Van Gerwen is the 4/7 favourite with sponsors Betway to win the Premier League title next Thursday, with Wright 9/2, Anderson 5/1 and Taylor rated at 11/1.
Betway Premier League
Thursday May 11, GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Dave Chisnall 6-6 James Wade
Phil Taylor 7-5 Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright 7-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen 7-4 Gary Anderson
Thursday May 18, The O2, London
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Phil Taylor
Best of 19 legs
Van Gerwen/Anderson v Wright/Taylor
Best of 21 legs
Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via www.axs.com
Final League Table
|Michael van Gerwen (Q)||16||10||4||2||+32||24|
|Peter Wright (Q)||16||10||3||3||+30||23|
|Phil Taylor (Q)||16||8||3||5||+7||19|
|Gary Anderson (Q)||16||7||4||5||+12||18|
|Raymond van Barneveld||16||6||2||8||-10||14|
|Jelle Klaasen (E)||9||1||1||7||-16||3|
|Kim Huybrechts (E)||9||0||3||6||-23||3|
Prize Money Breakdown
|League Leader’s Bonus||£25,000|