With eight rounds of matches completed in the Betway Premier League, half of the players are still involved in the battle to avoid elimination from the competition on Judgement Night next week. Kim Huybrechts looks most likely to be one of the two men that will drop out of this year's event after Manchester, as his match at the 3Arena in Dublin last night ended in another defeat.

His chances of survival were left in the balance after all four of the other men above him in the table all lost as well. That leaves Adrian Lewis, Raymond van Barneveld, Peter Wright and Stephen Bunting all in danger, unless they pick up points on night nine.

At the top of the league, world number one Michael van Gerwen continued his consistent run of form to remain two points above current World Champion Gary Anderson.

Huybrechts matched Phil Taylor for much of their contest in Dublin, but crucially allowed the 16-time World Champion to pull clear at 4-4 and take the next three legs in succession for a 7-4 victory. The turning point occurred in leg ten, when the Belgian lost his chance of a 100 finish when hitting a single one. Taylor finished clinically from there on and would have been pleased with his 104.04 average overall, but for Huybrechts his sixth loss leaves him two points adrift in the table. 'The Power' was slightly amused that his 115 average last week saw him lose his match then, yet a far lower three-dart score this week was sufficient for a convincing win.

Such are the fine margins at this level.

Van Gerwen has no such concerns, as he sits proudly at the summit of the league after beating compatriot van Barneveld 7-2. The reigning champion had no answers against his younger opponent, who remains unbeaten in the competition on 6 wins and two drawn matches after averaging 108.71 on night eight.

The highlights for the top Dutchman included a near nine-darter (he missed double twelve) and a ruthless 160 checkout to complete the victory. An average of 104.37 for 'Barney' suggests that his form is improving, but with Anderson lying in wait for him in Manchester, he will need to perhaps find even more to pick up the points there.

Adrian Lewis was another to be convincingly beaten in Ireland, as the dark horse for the title this year, Dave Chisnall continued his (mainly) winning ways in the league with a 7-2 triumph. The St Helens' player now sits comfortably in third place on 11 points.

The other two pairings saw Anderson edge Bunting 7-4 and James Wade end Wright's recent run of picking up points with a 7-3 success. The Scot's success over Bunting included classy finishes on 152 and 134 early on, but he still trailed 4-3 before showing his champion ability to take the next four legs on the spin. Both players' averages were slightly disappointing though at under 97.

Huybrechts must now defeat Bunting next week to have any chance of staying past night nine in the competition, while Lewis and van Barneveld need points from their matches if they are to escape the drop.