Thorn survives on Judgement Night, while Barney lets 6-3 lead slip as MVG shares points again

DARTS

Robert Thornton completed the great escape as he ended Judgement Night out of the bottom two, despite losing 7-4 to Adrian Lewis in Cardiff.

After seeing elimination rivals Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall both lose, the Thorn already knew he was safe as he took to the stage at the Motorpoint Arena.

Lewis punished missed doubles from the Scot as he won his sixth game of the campaign to keep hold of fourth place in the table.

Jackpot gained a break in the third leg and Thornton was never able to return the favour, as the next seven legs were shared before the two-time world champion took out 56 in the 11th leg to break again and win 7-4.

The Thorn ended up with 22.22% on the doubles and that proved costly as Lewis picked up the points in Cardiff and is only two points off from matching his tally from the whole of his Premier League campaign in 2015.

Thornton said: “I think I did the damage last week by getting the three points and the pressure was on Michael and Dave tonight.

“Once they had got beaten I could relax and enjoy my game because there was no pressure.

“My doubles didn’t go tonight but I’ll be back for the next few weeks and anything could happen now.

“I’m looking forward to the next six weeks and I’m not going to give in lightly.”

Phil Taylor moved to the top of the Betway Premier League as he came from 5-4 down to beat Smith 7-5, and in the process eliminate Bully Boy from the tournament on Judgement Night.

The Premier League debutant needed to beat the Power to have a realistic chance of avoiding being knocked out from the competition, and looked like he might pull off a victory when he went 5-4 up.

However, Taylor took out 84 for an 11 darter to level at 5-5, and after Smith missed a dart at tops to get at least a point, the Power checked out 80 to go 6-5 up.

A missed dart at the bull for a 130 by Smith then left the door open for Taylor to finish 124 on the same target to claim the win.

Michael van Gerwen made it three draws in a row as he battled back from 6-3 behind to finish 6-6 with Raymond van Barneveld last night.

In a repeat of their thrilling William Hill World Championship last 16 clash at the end of last year, it appeared that Barney was going to get the better of the world number one again, but van Gerwen won the final three legs to force a share of the points in Cardiff.

Van Barneveld crucially missed one match dart in the 11th leg to win 7-4, with MVG producing back-to-back 13 darters to rescue a point from the all-Dutch clash.

“It’s a point and I played well but I missed the double 16 for the win and it was crucial,” van Barneveld said after the draw.

James Wade ended Gary Anderson’s six-match winning run in the Premier League as the pair drew in the opening game of Judgement Night in Cardiff last night.

The Machine raced into leads of 3-0 and 4-1, before the reigning world champion hit back by winning five of the next six legs to go 6-5 in front.

Anderson then missed a dart at tops to complete an unlikely 7-5 victory, with Wade checking out 62 to pick up a point from their clash at the Motorpoint Arena.

The Flying Scotsman missed 13 darts at doubles in the first five legs as Wade surged into a 4-1 lead, before the current Premier League champion fought back to set up a chance to win the game in the final leg of the match.

But one missed dart proved costly as the Machine held his nerve in the decider, as both players shared the points for the first time this year.

“At the end of the day it’s a point but my doubles were atrocious early on,” Anderson admitted. “I got back into the game, broke James to go 6-5 up and then had a shot for the win, but James took advantage of my missed doubles and fair play to him.”

Wade added: “It’s a point gained, but I believe it was also a point lost. I didn’t expect Gary to play like he did early doors and I probably took my foot off the gas and let him get back into it.”

Elsewhere, Peter Wright got back to winning ways as he beat Chisnall 7-5, with the result also confirming Chizzy’s elimination from the tournament.

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