After the high tension of 'Judgement Night' in Manchester last week, which resulted in the dramatic elimination of Kim Huybrechts and Peter Wright from the competition, the Premier League of #Darts continued at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield yesterday. The raucous fans were treated to some high quality darting action and a strangely off colour performance by Phil Taylor, as he was thrashed 7-2 by his old rival, Raymond van Barneveld. Dave Chisnall was the big winner on the night, as he claimed two victories from as many matches. In stark contrast, James Wade lost twice and as a consequence opened up the door for the chasers to edge closer to the final top-four place.

Advertisements
Advertisements

A slimmed down competition of just 8 remaining players will battle over the next 6 weeks to whittle the field down to just the top four players, who will then compete in the play-offs. With the existing league points carried over into the next stage, several of the players have to pick up points quickly, if they intend to contest the later stages.

Chisnall took his opportunity with both hands to cement his second place in the table, firstly cruising past World Champion Gary Anderson 7-3, then returning to the stage later on to play even better against Wade. His 7-1 demolition of the left-hander was achieved with a three-dart average of 114.17, the St Helens player's best ever in a televised competition.

Wade's miserable night began with another loss to the resurgent Adrian Lewis 7-4, who had only just escaped elimination the week before.

Advertisements

The victory moved Lewis back into contention for the top 4 places, illustrating the fine margins between success and failure in the competition.

Wade's defeat had offered Taylor a wonderful opportunity to charge into the top four places and leapfrog Wade, but he played well below par throughout against his Dutch opponent. As his darts seemed to have a tendency to slip into the five bed, instead of the twenty he was clearly aiming for, van Barneveld edged into an early 2-0 lead without breaking sweat. Taylor somehow steadied himself to close the gap to just 3-2 but his form was hardly improving and he faded away to a demoralizing loss in the end. With an unheard of average of just 86.80 for Taylor, compared to his standard of 100 or more, he must have wondered quite what had happened to his game on the night, especially in light of the numerous doubles he missed.

Despite the atrocious form of the player nicknamed 'The Power', the 16-time World Champion ended the evening in 4th place, but only due to the mass of legs lost by Wade over the two games he had played.

Advertisements

The table has bunched up behind Taylor and Wade though, with five players now within one win of gate-crashing the play-off places.

At the top, Michael van Gerwen remained unbeaten in the league this year, edging a close contest against Stephen Bunting 7-5. Chisnall is now just a point behind, having played an extra match by comparison to the world number one player. Anderson still looks relatively secure back in third place on 13 points, four points ahead of the chasing pack.

The fixtures continue next week in Aberdeen, when it is Taylor and Bunting who will double up and play two matches apiece on the night.