Deputy Editor Harry Wilkinson gives a fan's perspective on how to receive the Wales football team's recent failure to qualify for the 2018 World CupWritten by Harry Wilkinson on 19th October 2017
Premier League Darts: Week 11 Review
Last week the crowd in Liverpool were treated to a nine-dart finish, as the eleventh night of the Premier League Darts took place
Adrian Lewis hit a spectacular nine-dart finish to raise the roof in Liverpool en route to defeating Raymond van Barneveld in an intriguing night of Premier League Darts as the play-offs edge ever closer.
Match Night 11 ResultsGary Anderson 6-6 Dave Chisnall;
Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Peter Wright;
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld;
Phil Taylor 5-7 James Wade;
Peter Wright 2-7 Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson 6-6 Dave Chisnall
In the night's opening match it was a case of missed opportunities for Dave Chisnall, who in failing to convert seven match darts, let Gary Anderson back in to sneak a draw.
Early in the match Chisnall produced a superb display of scoring power, evidenced in his eight 180s in the match to take a 3-1 lead before Anderson accelerated in typical fashion to take four consecutive legs.
Regardless, a mixture of uncharacteristic missed doubles from the Scot and Chisnall seizing opportunities presented propelled 'Chizzy' into a 6-5 lead. In the final leg however, after leaving 20 from nine darts, Chisnall's finishing abandoned him and with it so did the victory.
Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Peter Wright
Despite an unconvincing and out-of-sorts showing for most of the match, Michael van Gerwen managed to earn a draw against second placed Peter Wright.
Clearly not anywhere near his usual best, van Gerwen struggled to get going scoring wise and also looked nervy on his doubles as Wright clinically took advantage, putting van Gerwen under more pressure with a 50% checkout rate, to take a 5-1 lead.
At the point of no return, only affording to lose one more leg if he was to get anything out of the match, the Dutchman turned his form around with an 11-dart leg and an increase in scoring power. Wright managed to win one more leg and came close to sealing the match in the final leg but could not convert whilst van Gerwen could to ensure a draw.
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
In an incredible showing from the two-time World Champion, Adrian Lewis hit a perfect nine-dart leg and averaged 111 to sensationally power past Raymond van Barneveld in Liverpool.
At 2-1 in front, Lewis hit consecutive 180s before rounding out the nine-darter with a 141 checkout to send the crowd into delirium. On the back of this, Lewis converted a 98 checkout albeit 'Barney' held in there by taking leg six to only trail by four legs to two.
Throughout the contest, van Barneveld refused to give up, hitting doubles at the right moment on his own throw to stay in the contest. Lewis' throw proved too difficult to break though as the Stoke thrower's 70% on the checkouts and superior scoring gave 'Barney' no chances to seize the initiative with Lewis eventually running out the 7-4 victor.
Phil Taylor 5-7 James Wade
What followed the nine-dart spectacle was a rather subdued but nevertheless intriguingly scrappy affair which James Wade pipped after holding in there for most of the match.
Taylor started the better of the two and was the better player for the majority of the match, reflected in 2-0 and 5-3 leads the 16 time World Champion held in the match. Wade typically refused to give the contest up though, hitting a couple of timely finishes to level the scores at 5-5.
From here, Wade produced his best two legs of the match at just the right moment to seize the win from Taylor's grasp. Wade clinically took out a 120 finish in leg 11 before hitting a 12-dart leg to leave Taylor no way back into the affair and retain the left-hander's slight hopes of a play-off place.
Peter Wright 2-7 Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson produced the highest average of the night in a thoroughly commanding display to easily dispatch with Peter Wright in the final match in Liverpool.
The opening four legs of the match were shared as the two looked to be tightly matched and Wright did little wrong from here in all truth, averaging 103, with the only blot on his record in the match being six missed attempts at double.
Nonetheless, Anderson never looked back from 2-2, winning five consecutive legs to take the victory. Anderson, with 41% on the doubles, six 180s and a 113 average proved too much to handle for the UK Open Champion with the height of his performance a 126 finish on the bullseye as the world number two moved up to third in the standings.
Next week Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall each play two matches in Belfast in a night that may prove pivotal as to the fate of Taylor's top-four hopes.