A deeply disappointed Phil Taylor bowed out of this year's Premier League of Darts on night 14, after losing narrowly to current world champion Gary Anderson. With just one round of fixtures left before the play-offs commence, the 16-time world champion can no longer claim a top four place. The results of the matches in Newcastle confirmed Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld's places. They will join the favourite Michael van Gerwen and surprise package Dave Chisnall in the showpiece finale in two weeks' time.

Significant milestone

It represented a significant milestone for the PDC's elite tournament, as six-time champion Taylor missed out on the play-offs for the first time in its 11-season history.

It was always likely to be a tight tussle against Anderson, the winner of the Premier League title himself back in 2011. There was little to separate them on the night, with Anderson claiming the all-important 7-5 victory in a high quality match. After ten shared legs had been played out, Anderson finally broke Taylor's throw in the 11th and then closed out the match in the next leg. Both players averaged over 101, but it was the key statistic of the checkout percentages (50% to 38%) that edged the result Anderson's way in the end.

Van Barneveld gets the point he needs

The reigning Premier League champion van Barneveld also qualified for the tournament's finale by claiming a point against James Wade.

With Wade already out of contention this year, he had little but his pride and reputation to play for. His reward for not allowing an easy passage for the Dutchman though was an admirable 6-6 draw. Indeed it could have been even better for him, after he had established a 3-0 lead early on. 'Barney' has been the form player in the second half of the competition though and stormed back to lead 6-4, only to allow Wade to take the last two legs by missing doubles.

Lewis' win is all to no avail

Adrian Lewis is another player who has been improving in recent weeks and fully illustrated that fact by taking a hard-earned 7-5 success over van Gerwen. 'Mighty Mike' was already through to the final four knockout stages, but a three-dart average over 103 was hardly slacking. Instead, it was Lewis' average of almost 109 that was the telling statistic in their high quality clash.

Sadly for Lewis, despite the impressive victory (including two 11-dart checkouts) he will also not be featuring in the play-offs.

Chisnall wins the battle of St Helens

The remaining match in the north-east resulted in a clinical display by Chisnall, as he outclassed fellow St Helens' player Stephen Bunting 7-1. Chisnall stormed into a commanding 5-0 lead, including an 11-dart leg and a classy 137 checkout. His local rival did at least take the sixth leg to avoid a whitewash, but it only delayed the inevitable conclusion. Chisnall took the next two legs, finishing the match by taking out a checkout of 132 on the bull.

Next week's final round of league fixtures in Brighton will confirm who plays who in the play-offs. With van Gerwen playing Chisnall, it promises to be an intriguing ending to what has thus far been an exciting competition.