Only four men remain from the original ten that started out, after the completion of the regular season in this year's #Premier League of #Darts. Michael van Gerwen, Dave Chisnall, Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld will compete in next week's play-offs at the O2 in London, as van Barneveld seeks to retain his title. A dramatic last night of the regular season saw the top two men share the spoils in a 6-6 draw, ensuring that van Gerwen finished on top of the table for the third year in succession. Although already resigned to his elimination from this year's competition, Phil Taylor did at least finish on a high with a convincing victory over James Wade.
Van Gerwen 6 - 6 Chisnall
Appropriately enough the top two men in the table faced each other on the final night. Whoever won the contest would finish top after 16 matches, spread across the fifteen venues. The match developed into a fitting finale between the favourite van Gerwen and the unexpected success story this year, Chisnall.
The quality of the spectacle was evident from the start, as the Dutchman took two of the opening three legs with 11-dart finishes. Chisnall levelled at 2-2 after going close to a 9-darter, before going 3-2 ahead after the next leg. The pattern of play continued with never more than one leg separating them.
The 11th leg looked likely to be decisive, as first van Gerwen missed the bull on a 170 checkout attempt, and then had to watch Chisnall take the leg with a magnificent 161 finish on the bull! 'Mighty Mike' is not the number one seed for nothing though, which he proved by checking out on 108 in the next leg for the draw. A tremendous tussle, a fitting outcome and amazing three-dart averages for both players (111.90 to 106.01 in van Gerwen's favour).
Anderson and van Barneveld both won
With the top two places determined, the remaining question concerned the 3rd and 4th place finishing order. As it was, both current world champion Anderson and van Barneveld claimed victories in their fixtures to remain third and fourth, respectively in the table. The Scot Anderson defeated Adrian Lewis 7-3, while 'Barney' had the measure of Stephen Bunting in a 7-4 success.
Taylor finishes on a high
The remaining fixture on the south coast resulted in a crushing 7-1 victory for Taylor over Wade. Both men already knew that the play-offs were beyond them, but at least 'The Power' signed off his season with a strong performance. Taylor hardly gave his opponent a chance during the match, with a 70% checkout rate and a sublime average of 108.87. Wade did not play badly though and was over the century mark himself for his average.
Play-off matches confirmed
The results on night 15 in Brighton confirmed that the semi-final play-off matches at the O2 will be as follows:
Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld