In her final article for Redbrick, sport online editor Nancy Frostick reflects on a year of sporting retirements and looks forward to the next generation of Redbrick writersWritten by Nancy Frostick on 19th June 2017
Premier League Darts: Week 10 Review
Dublin was the host city for week 10 of Premier League Darts with some of the highest quality arrows on show, Bradley West reports
Michael van Gerwen narrowly edged James Wade in a classic Premier League encounter which saw both players average over 110 whilst Phil Taylor saw off his old adversary Raymond van Barneveld in one of the highest quality nights in the history of Premier League Darts. This was all played out in front of a typically raucous crowd in Dublin.
Match Night 10 ResultsJames Wade 5-7 Michael van Gerwen;
Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Phil Taylor;
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Peter Wright;
Adrian Lewis 7-3 Gary Anderson;
James Wade 2-7 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
World number one Michael van Gerwen ousted James Wade by seven legs to five in a thrilling match that will go down as one of the best ever in the history of the Premier League.
Coming off of a terrible run of form that has seen him lose four of his last five matches, Wade delivered his best performance of the tournament by a long way with an average of almost 111, 71% on the doubles and four 180s and, remarkably, this was still not enough to even claim a point.
It was Wade who was the faster out of the blocks, hitting a 13 dart leg and three 14 dart legs to race into a 4-2 lead, taking every chance forged against the Dutchman. With the game at an already high level, van Gerwen responded by raising his game to best Wade's stats with a sensational display of darts.
Seemingly awoken at the threat of defeat, MvG reeled off four straight legs with a barrage of power scoring and pinpoint attempts at double. Unperturbed, Wade responded with a 12 dart leg under immense pressure before leaving 41 after nine darts in the deciding leg to bring him within touching distance of a deserved 6-6 draw.
Agonisingly for Wade, but compelling and thrillingly for the crowd, van Gerwen sealed the win with a unbelievable 138 checkout whilst Wade waited on 41 for a turn that never came. van Gerwen continued to show just how good he is with this sensational victory at the highest level but credit also must go to Wade for helping to deliver a truly amazing match.
Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Phil Taylor
Following the epic opening encounter was the small matter of 'Barney' versus Taylor, commonly considered the biggest rivalry in PDC history, and both players kept the high standards going in an entertaining match.
After sharing the opening two legs it was Taylor who seized the initiative as a succession of impressive checkouts took the 16-time World Champion into a 4-1 lead. Despite a small rally from van Barneveld to make the score 4-3, it was Taylor who controlled the match as the Dutchman failed to replicate Taylor's more consistent scoring power.
Taylor, with 41% on the doubles, proved far more clinical in reeling the three more legs needed for victory in succession to maintain his push for a play-off place.
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Peter Wright
Dave Chisnall produced his best display of the tournament, averaging 106, but this was still not enough to claim victory as a Peter Wright comeback ensured the points would be shared in Dublin.
In another match of thoroughly high standards, Chisnall started the better of the two and maintained a good standard throughout, hitting seven 180s alongside converting six out of eight attempts at double to go within one of victory with a 6-3 lead. The highlight of Chisnall's play though was an incredible 145 checkout which helped 'Chizzy' maintain his advantage over Wright.
Wright though, who has seen his form decline in recent weeks, despite trailing Chisnall in the scoring and finishing stats managed to claw his way to a draw with three consecutive legs, doing just enough to maintain his second position in the table.
Adrian Lewis 7-3 Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis continued to put himself in contention for a top four place with a highly impressive victory over Gary Anderson, having lost the reverse fixture by the same scoreline only a week prior.
After winning a tour event at the weekend, Lewis maintained his upturn in form by producing an average of almost 100 to dominate the scoring in the match. The match was won and lost though in the disparity between the two players standard of finishing.
Anderson missed 18 of the 21 attempts he had at double, harkening back to the struggles the Scotsman long faced before winning his two World Championships, and Lewis took full advantage of this returning a checkout percentage of 58% to take a solid win over the world number two.
James Wade 2-7 Raymond van Barneveld
In the second match of the night for both Wade and van Barneveld, the two understandably managed to live up to the high standards they set in their opening matches.
It was Wade who would come off worst though, taking a heavy defeat at the hands of 'Barney' for the second straight week to leave himself a long way off of the play offs following two defeats in Dublin.
Nevertheless, van Barneveld still managed to find his rhythm in his second match of the night as, following a slow start, the Dutchman accelerated from 3-2 up to win the next four legs and take victory. Averaging 100 and with five 180s, van Barneveld overpowered his opponent and, in doing so, further staked his claim for a top four finish.
Next week the Premier League roadshow heads to Liverpool where Peter Wright and Gary Anderson have the honour of playing twice. First Anderson takes on Dave Chisnall whilst Peter Wright clashes with Michael van Gerwen in an enticing encounter before the two face each other in the final match of the night.