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 9 Review
Bradley West reports on the ninth week of Premier League Darts, which took place in Cardiff and was the end of the road for two players
Gary Anderson dispatched Adrian Lewis in highly impressive fashion as the opening stage of the 2017 Premier League concluded in Cardiff.
Elsewhere Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld all recorded victories on a night featuring only four matches as Peter Wright was awarded a default 7-0 win with Kim Huybrechts absent due to family reasons.
Match Night 9 ResultsPhil Taylor 7-5 Jelle Klaasen;
Gary Anderson 7-3 Adrian Lewis;
Raymond van Barneveld 7-2 James Wade;
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Dave Chisnall
Phil Taylor 7-5 Jelle Klaasen
Phil Taylor recovered from a poor start to defeat the already relegated Jelle Klaasen and boost his hopes of reaching the play-offs. Taylor, despite winning the opening leg, fell 4-1 behind, in part thanks to the Dutchman's brilliant 62% on the doubles.
Taylor found another gear though, winning five out of the next six legs to take a 6-5 lead. Klaasen stuggled to cope with Taylor's increased scoring power which was epitomised by the 16-time World Champion's eleven dart leg in the seventh leg of the match.
Once in front Taylor proved typically ruthless, hitting a 180 to set up a 42 finish and with it the match.
Gary Anderson 7-3 Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson produced the performance of the night to ease to victory against Adrian Lewis in Cardiff. Anderson, averaging 107, hit five 180s as Lewis simply had no answer to the Scotsman.
Despite this, Lewis actually took the early initiative to lead 2-1 after some clinical displays of finishing. After this point however, Anderson accelerated and never looked back in the contest. In the process of only allowing Lewis one more leg, Anderson hit successive checkouts of 143 and 170 whilst maintaining an unbelievable 77% checkout ratio to win in style.
Raymond van Barneveld 7-2 James Wade
In a sub-par match 'Barney's' purple patch of form continued as the Dutchman thrashed James Wade to maintain third place in the table.
van Barneveld raced into a 5-0 lead thanks to a combination of power scoring and a completely off-par Wade, who averaged only 85 during the course of the match. Wade did manage to avoid the embarrassment of being whitewashed, salvaging two legs with efficient finishing as 'Barney's' level dropped. Nevertheless, it was never enough to mount any sort of substantial resistance to RVB's much higher levels of performances and van Barneveld easily wrapped up the win by seven legs to two.
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Dave Chisnall
World number one Michael van Gerwen ensured his position at the top of the table was maintained as the first stage of the competition wrapped up with a convincing win over Dave Chisnall, who now faces a major fight to make the play-offs at the O2.
In typical MvG fashion, the Dutchman also raced into a 5-0 lead, averaging 104 to overwhelm his opponent. Chisnall did manage to claw one leg back and ,with a ton average of his own and five 180s, the man in yellow did play well but was let down by a number of missed attempts at double. In the end, this opened up opportunities to the Dutchman that he was never going to pass up.
The Premier League now continues with the remaining eight players playing each other once more to decide who finishes in the top four and moves ahead to the play-offs. With this in mind, players will play twice on certain weeks with only six Premier League nights remaining before Final Night takes place.
With the fixtures draw having now taken place, next week sees the turn of Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade to play twice on the same night, once against each other whilst Wade also takes on van Gerwen and 'Barney' also takes on his old foe, Phil Taylor, in Dublin.