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PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Wright’s play-off hopes still alive, while MVG wins all-Dutch clash

DARTS
PICTURE: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Peter Wright made sure the race for the final play-off spot in this year’s Betway Premier League will go down to the final week, after he thrashed James Wade 7-1 at the Manchester Arena tonight.

Snakebite made the most of some wasteful finishing from Wade, who with this result can no longer finish in the top four this season.

The Machine was out of the blocks quickly to take the first leg, but Wright then won the next seven legs to complete a crushing victory and move to within a point of Adrian Lewis in fourth place.

“I had to keep the pressure on Adrian and I’ve done that tonight,” he said. “I’ve still got a chance in Rotterdam and I’ll be doing everything I can against Barney.”

Michael van Gerwen kept hold of top spot in the Premier League with a 7-2 win over Dutch rival Raymond van Barneveld in Manchester.

The world number one heads into the final week in Rotterdam in pole position to scoop the new £25,000 bonus for finishing top, as victory over Barney last night kept him ahead of Phil Taylor on legs difference.

MVG averaged a superb 107.93 to beat Barney and missed double 12 for a nine darter in the sixth leg.

Van Barneveld missed double 16 to break the van Gerwen throw in the opening leg, and then had a dart in the third leg for a break as MVG managed to hold his throw in the opening exchanges.

Barney took out 97 to finish off an 11 darter to level the match at 2-2, before van Gerwen won the next five legs to run out a comfortable winner.

The first break of throw came in leg six when MVG hit eight perfect darts before missing double 12 for a nine dart finish.

The league leader finished off 122 in the eighth leg to go 6-2 in front, and a stunning 167 checkout in the following leg wrapped up the win.

“I had a little bit of pressure because I can still win the league and win the tournament but Raymond had nothing to lose and that’s dangerous,” van Gerwen said. “I was maybe trying too hard at the start.”

Gary Anderson secured his place at The O2 after overcoming Scottish rival Robert Thornton 7-1.

The defending Premier League champion produced a clinical display to book his spot in the play-offs in two weeks time.

Thornton missed a dart at tops in legs two and four and it proved costly, as the Flying Scotsman raced into a 4-0 lead.

The Thorn spurned three more darts at a double in the fifth leg, but got off the mark in the next leg with a 74 checkout to make it 5-1.

Anderson then took the next two legs to complete a 7-1 victory in the battle of the Scots.

“I’m happy with the way things are going and to be in the play-offs now,” Anderson said.

Adrian Lewis saw his play-off hopes dealt a blow after Phil Taylor reeled off six straight legs to win 7-2.

Jackpot goes into the final week of the regular season in the fourth and final play-off spot, but Peter Wright now trails the two-time world champion by just one point after he beat James Wade 7-1.

Lewis knew a win over Taylor would book his place at The O2, and at 2-1 up he made a good start in his bid to claim the two points needed to qualify.

But the Power had other ideas as he won six consecutive legs to run out a clear 7-2 winner.

Taylor finished off the match with a 121 checkout on the bull and heads into next week’s top of the table clash with Michael van Gerwen still in with a chance of finishing in first place.

“Me and Michael are going to have a cracker next week,” he said. “He’s brilliant but I’ll be ready for him and it’s going to be interesting next week and I’ll enjoy it.”

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