Sports writer Bradley West reports on what happened at the 2017 edition of Finals Night in the Premier League DartsWritten by Bradley West on 20th May 2017
Premier League Darts: Week 14 Review
Sports writer, Bradley West, reports as Sheffield was the host city for the penultimate week of matches before Finals Night
Phil Taylor all but ensured his passage through to Finals Night at the 02 on May 18th with a priceless victory over World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen whilst Gary Anderson ensured his place in the play-offs with a routine win over James Wade. The line-up for Finals Night is almost guaranteed now but the battle for first and third positions is still up for grabs, which is crucial in determining who faces who in the semi finals on Finals Night.
Match Night 14 ResultsPeter Wright 7-2 Adrian Lewis;
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Dave Chisnall;
James Wade 3-7 Gary Anderson;
Michael van Gerwen 3-7 Phil Taylor
Peter Wright 7-2 Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright cruised past Adrian Lewis to keep his hopes of finishing top of the table alive, especially as league leader Michael van Gerwen suffered defeat later in the night.
Wright, averaging over 100, simply overpowered an under par Lewis whilst he also took his chances clinically, for the most part, to end 'Jackpot's' chances of reaching Finals Night.
Lewis, averaging only 92, never really got into the contest and, when he fashioned chances for himself, he failed to take seven out of nine opportunities at double ending any hopes of holding on and prolonging the contest.
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Dave Chisnall
Dave Chisnall continued his superb run of form with a 109 average in a narrow win over Raymond van Barneveld which raised his chances of qualifying for the O2 in a remarkable turnaround from six weeks ago, albeit Phil Taylor's later victory made those chances extremely slim.
With the match evenly poised at two legs apiece, Dave Chisnall crucially broke 'Barney's' throw with an outstanding 142 finish that seemed to visibly demoralise the Dutchman. This in combination with Chisnall's continued sensational scoring power, averaging 109 even with 11 missed darts at double, that van Barneveld could not match, ending the former World Champions' hopes of reaching the O2 in the process.
James Wade 3-7 Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson, despite being far from his scintillating best, eased past James Wade in the evening's penultimate encounter.
The Scotsman confirmed his place at Finals Night with a victory which was effectively guaranteed after six legs, Anderson soaring into a 5-1 lead even though he was not scoring particularly well nor putting every chance at double to bed.
Wade got two legs back to make the score 5-3 but he still never looked capable of pulling off the same comeback Anderson did to him in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign. An 87 will not win any matches against the top players on the PDC and so this match capped another disappointing night for Wade. He's had far too many of these during the tournament to realistically reach the play-offs.
Michael van Gerwen 3-7 Phil Taylor
The biggest shock of the night saw one of Phil Taylor's best performances of this year's Premier League, at such an opportune time, in beating Michael van Gerwen by seven legs to three.
Despite being outscored by the World Number 1, Taylor was far more ruthless on the doubles and deservedly proved victorious, capitalising on nine missed doubles from van Gerwen.
van Gerwen averaged only 25% on the doubles and has now opened the door slightly for Peter Wright to top the table following the final night of the regular season next week in Aberdeen. With only one point separating them however, Wright must better van Gerwen's result and overcome a five leg difference, meaning the advantage is still with the Dutchman.
For Taylor, the win means he is two points ahead of fifth placed Chisnall going into the final round of fixtures meaning that Chisnall needs to win and requires Taylor to lose and, with ten legs separating them, a ten leg difference must also be overturned. Therefore, barring a remarkable evening in Aberdeen, Taylor will be at the 02 on 18th May.
|van Gerwen (Q)||15||22||29|
For the final night of the regular league campaign, week 15 emanates from Aberdeen in what is sure to be a raucous atmosphere backing the home favourite Gary Anderson in his heavyweight contest against Michael van Gerwen whilst Dave Chisnall knows he will need to win big against James Wade and Phil Taylor will need to suffer a decisive beating at the hands of Adrian Lewis.