Gary Anderson bounced back from his disappointment at the UK Open with 7-3 win over Michael Smith in week six of the Betway Premier League last night.
The defending champion raced into a 4-1 lead, before Bully Boy hit back with consecutive legs to only trail 4-3. A crucial 64 finish then gave Anderson a bit of breathing space again at 5-3.
And the Flying Scotsman took the next two legs to seal a 7-3 win and leave Smith still in the relegation zone, with Judgement Night now less than three weeks away.
“I was really nervous about the game because I’ve said for years how good Michael is,” Anderson said. “He was a little bit off tonight so it was good to get the win.”
Adrian Lewis put a disappointing UK Open campaign behind him as well with an excellent 7-3 victory against Peter Wright.
Jackpot averaged a superb 107.93, while Wright was not far behind on 106.79, as the pair played out an entertaining contest which swung on a 136 checkout by Lewis in the seventh leg.
Jackpot broke the Wright throw in the first leg and the pair shared legs up until leg seven, when Lewis gained a crucial second break with a 136 checkout to go 5-2 up.
Snakebite held throw to close the deficit to 5-3, but the two-time world champion won the next two legs on double four and double tops to seal a 7-3 win.
James Wade moved back into the top four of the Premier League after winning a thrilling clash with Raymond van Barneveld 7-5.
In a match which saw five 100+ checkouts hit in just 12 legs of darts, Wade nearly let a commanding 5-1 lead slip against the five-time world champion.
The first big finish came in the very first leg, as the Machine finished off 101 to break the van Barneveld throw, before hitting double 12 to go 2-0 in front.
The Dutchman hit back in leg three with a 104 checkout to get a leg on the board, with Wade then punishing missed doubles to open up a 5-1 lead.
Van Barneveld hit back in style though, producing 118 and 161 finishes in consecutive legs to close the deficit to 5-3.
Wade then kept the sequence going in leg nine, taking out 121 on the bull to secure at least a point.
Barney grabbed the next two legs to send the match into a final leg, but after he missed three darts at doubles to rescue a point, Wade stepped in with double 16 to finally wrap up the win.
Phil Taylor handed winless Robert Thornton his second 7-0 whitewash of the season and extended his winning run in the Premier League to four games.
The Thorn was restricted to just three shots at a double in their clash at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
Taylor stamped his authority on the contest straight away as he hit two 180s in the opening leg to quickly break the throw.
Another 180 from the Power put the pressure on in leg three, and after Thornton missed a dart at tops and double 10, Taylor stepped in to make it 3-0.
A fourth 180 from the 16-time world champion in leg four kept up his ruthless display, with a score of 174 in the sixth leg helping him on the way to securing a point.
And in the very next leg the victory was sealed, as Taylor landed his fifth maximum before hitting double four to complete a whitewash win over Thornton.
“Robert didn’t deserve to be whitewashed and he missed one or two doubles,” Taylor said. “But I had to go out and do a job and I did that tonight.
“I’m gutted for Robert because he’s such a nice guy and a good player and he’s struggling a little bit, but he’ll be back.
“It’s another two points for me and I’m really looking forward to next week against Michael. I’ll be ready for him.”
In the night’s final match, Michael van Gerwen continued his red hot form with a 113.47 average to beat Dave Chisnall 7-2.
The victory included checkouts of 134, 105 and 100 in successive legs as MVG preserved his place at the top of the Premier League table.
It was the Dutchman’s fifth win in a row this season and ensures he heads into next week’s clash with Taylor just ahead in the table on leg difference.