Raymond van Barneveld makes it four wins in a row as Premier League visits Cardiff

By Alex Moss
31 MARCH 2017 • 10:28AM

Raymond van Barneveld chalked up his fourth consecutive win in the Betway Premier League as he swept past James Wade 7-2 in Cardiff last night, where Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor also picked up victories.

Van Barneveld, the 2014 Premier League champion, has climbed into the top four with his recent run of form, beating the world’s top two players van Gerwen and Anderson, and he continued that with a ruthless display against Wade.

The Dutchman limited Wade to just one dart at a double as he won the opening five legs without reply, before the 2009 Premier League champion finished 36 and 70 to take two of the next three.

However, van Barneveld, who had claimed his sixth leg with an excellent 12-darter, took the ninth on double seven to secure another two points in his bid to secure a spot in the play-offs.

“That’s four wins on the trot so I’m very happy,” said van Barneveld. “It’s so tight in the league table so I had to focus and you have to play well against everyone.

“James didn’t play as well as he could and I was surprised at that but I’m happy with the win.”

DARTS
Michael van Gerwen climbed back to the top of the Betway Premier League table last night CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Reigning Premier League champion van Gerwen moved back to the top of the table with an impressive 7-1 win over Dave Chisnall, averaging 104.25 and hitting 50 per cent of his darts at a double.

The world number one had lost his first game of the season last week against van Barneveld, but returned to winning ways as he defied five 180s from Chisnall with a dominant display.

“I had to play well tonight and I’m happy that I did,” said van Gerwen. “The pressure was on me because I want to be back on top of the table where I belong and where I’ve worked hard for.

“When you lose a game, like last week, you’re upset but tonight I enjoyed it again. I’m a happy man and I’m already looking forward to next week.”

DARTS
Gary Anderson boosted his hopes of qualifying for the play-offs with a 7-3 victory over Adrian Lewis CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Two-time Premier League winner Anderson fired in finishes of 143 and 170 in a superb 7-3 win over Adrian Lewis, averaging 107 as he came from 2-1 down to clinch his third win in four games.

“I didn’t think the performance was as good as the average, but I’ll take it!” said Anderson. “There was some good scores and some bad scores – the 170 felt like it came from nowhere and I took out the 143 too.

“We all want to get into the play-offs. When the tournament starts you don’t want to be in the bottom two, and once you get past tonight it’s a fight for the top four and everyone’s trying for it.”

DARTS
Phil Taylor battled back from 4-1 down to beat Jelle Klaasen 7-5 in Cardiff CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Six-time Premier League champion Taylor also had to come from behind before he saw off Jelle Klaasen 7-5 in a deciding leg.

Klaasen – who had been eliminated before his ninth league match – raced into an early 4-1 lead, before Taylor, aided by an 11-darter, turned the match around to claim his second win on the spin.

“It’s another two points for me and they could all prove crucial at the end of the season,” said Taylor. “It could prove the difference for getting into the play-offs – if I’d lost I think I’d have struggled to qualify.

“I think Jelle’s injury affected him, at the beginning he was fairing well but during the game he was struggling and he wasn’t the same player. Fair play to him, it must be very frustrating but he’s battled on.”

DARTS
Peter Wright addresses the Cardiff crowd last night CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

The night had seen just eight players in action, with Kim Huybrechts – who had already been eliminated – absent to remain in Belgium with his terminally ill mother, meaning that Peter Wright was awarded a 7-0 victory in his intended opponent’s absence.

“All our thoughts are with Kim and his family,” said Wright, who made an appearance on stage in front of the sell-out Cardiff crowd before the event and signed autographs for the fans.

“You have a fantastic crowd in Cardiff, the atmosphere is amazing and I’m gutted that I’m not playing. I was looking forward to trying to win tonight but unfortunately I’ve got to get back on the practice board.”

The Premier League continues with the visit to Dublin’s 3Arena next Thursday, as the second phase of the season begins with five games.

Betway Premier League
Night Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Phil 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
NB: Peter Wright awarded 7-0 win following Kim Huybrechts’ withdrawal.

League Table

As of March 30 2017 P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen 9 6 2 1 +19 21 14
Peter Wright 9 6 1 2 +16 16 13
Raymond van Barneveld 9 5 2 2 +8 18 12
Gary Anderson 9 4 3 2 +10 12 11
Phil Taylor 9 4 3 2 +5 20 11
Adrian Lewis 9 4 1 4 0 18 9
James Wade 9 3 2 4 -3 16 8
Dave Chisnall 9 3 0 6 -16 12 6
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 15 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 11 3

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Raymond van Barneveld aiming for fourth win in a row in the Premier League tonight

By Alex Moss
30 MARCH 2017 • 2:47PM

Raymond van Barneveld is targeting a fourth win in a row when he faces James Wade in the Betway Premier League tonight.

The 2014 Premier League champion has climbed up into third place after recording wins over Jelle Klaasen, Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen in the last three weeks.

And the Dutchman can give his play-off bid a further boost with a victory over Wade at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff this evening.

“It’s really competitive and it’s great that I’ve beaten the number two and the number one in the world in the last two weeks,” said van Barneveld.

“My form is there and the last two weeks have been great, but now I have to focus on James.”

Tonight’s Premier League fixtures have been reduced from five to four, as Peter Wright has been awarded a 7-0 win in his scheduled game against Kim Huybrechts, after the Belgian withdrew from the match due to family reasons.

The revised order of play for tonight’s Betway Premier League will now be as follows:

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

April 2017

SATURDAY 1

Players Championship 5 (PDC) – Milton Keynes Report

British Inter-Counties Championship matches (BDO) – various venues (runs through to Sunday 2) Report

SUNDAY 2

Players Championship 6 (PDC) – Milton Keynes Report

THURSDAY 6

Betway Premier League Week 10 (PDC) – Dublin, Ireland

FRIDAY 7

German Darts Open (ET3) UK Qualifier (PDC) – Barnsley

White Mountain Shootout (BDO) – USA (runs through to Sunday 9)

Mediterranean Open (WDF) – Turkey (runs through to Sunday 9)

SATURDAY 8

Players Championship 7 (PDC) – Barnsley

Bulls German Open (BDO) – Bochum, Germany

SUNDAY 9

Players Championship 8 (PDC) – Barnsley

Bulls German Masters (BDO) – Bochum, Germany

MONDAY 10

Cut off for the World Trophy (BDO)

THURSDAY 13

Betway Premier League Week 11 (PDC) – Liverpool

FRIDAY 14

German Darts Masters (ET2) Host Nation Qualifier (PDC) – Jena, Germany

Victorian Easter Classic (BDO) – Corio, Australia (runs through to Sunday 16)

SATURDAY 15

German Darts Masters (ET2) (PDC) – Jena, Germany (runs through to Monday 17)

Unicorn Challenge Tour 5 and 6 (PDC) – Barnsley

Winmau Iceland Open (BDO) – Iceland

Belfrey Open (BDO) – Belgium

SUNDAY 16

Unicorn Challenge Tour 7 and 8 (PDC) – Barnsley

Bruges Open (BDO) – Belgium

THURSDAY 20

Betway Premier League Week 12 (PDC) – Belfast

German Darts Open (ET3) European and Host Nation Qualifier (PDC) – Saarbruecken, Germany

FRIDAY 21

German Darts Open (ET3) (PDC) – Saarbruecken, Germany (runs through to Sunday 23)

Charlotte Open (BDO) – USA (runs through to Sunday 23)

SATURDAY 22

British Inter-Counties Championship matches (BDO) – various venues (runs through to Sunday 23)

Estonian Open (BDO) – Tallinn, Estonia

DON Youth Cup (WDF) – Russia

SUNDAY 23

Estonian Masters (BDO) – Tallinn, Estonia

Murray Bridge Classic (BDO) – Australia

North Island Masters (BDO) – New Zealand

THURSDAY 27

Betway Premier League Week 13 (PDC) – Birmingham

FRIDAY 28

European Darts Grand Prix (ET4) and Gibraltar Darts Trophy (ET5) UK Qualifier (PDC) – Wigan

Silver Cup Challenge (WDF) – Canada

SATURDAY 29

Players Championship 9 (PDC) – Wigan

Denmark Open (BDO) – Denmark

SUNDAY 30

Players Championship 10 (PDC) – Wigan

Winmau Denmark Masters (BDO) – Denmark

Zakamsk Youth Cup (WDF) – Russia

Michael van Gerwen aiming to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League tonight

By Alex Moss
30 MARCH 2017 • 1:34PM

Michael van Gerwen is hoping he can get back to winning ways in the Betway Premier League in Cardiff tonight.

The reigning Premier League champion saw his unbeaten record this season ended by Raymond van Barneveld in Manchester last week.

Van Gerwen takes on Dave Chisnall at the Motorpoint Arena this evening and will need a victory to return to the top of the table.

“It was disappointing to lose to Raymond but that game’s gone now and I have to prepare myself properly for this week,” said the world number one.

“It’s close between everyone (in the table) so you can’t afford any more mistakes.

“Dave’s a brilliant player and he’s one of the biggest scorers in the game, so I know I’ve got to be on form.”

Van Gerwen dropped to second place in the table this morning after it was announced Peter Wright had been awarded a 7-0 win in his scheduled game tonight against Kim Huybrechts, after the Belgian withdrew from the match due to family reasons.

The revised order of play for tonight’s Betway Premier League will now be as follows:

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

Kim Huybrechts pulls out of Premier League in Cardiff tonight due to family reasons

By Alex Moss
30 MARCH 2017 • 10:52AM

Kim Huybrechts has withdrawn from tonight’s Betway Premier League fixture in Cardiff due to family reasons.

The Belgian was scheduled to play his final game of the season before elimination against Peter Wright at the Motorpoint Arena this evening.

Huybrechts has informed the PDC that he is unable to travel to the UK, in order to remain with his terminally ill mother in Belgium during her final hours.

As the withdrawal comes in week nine, and with Huybrechts already eliminated from the Premier League as of next week, under the tournament rules the game will not be played.

Wright will now be awarded a 7-0 win and will not compete in Cardiff tonight.

“We all send our best wishes to Kim and his family during what is a particularly difficult period,” said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

“This was not the way that Kim wanted his Betway Premier League season to end, but the needs of his family are foremost at this time.”

The revised order of play for tonight’s Betway Premier League will now be as follows:

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson both feeling confident ahead of Premier League tussle in Cardiff

By Alex Moss
29 MARCH 2017 • 10:25PM

Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson will both be aiming to steal a march on each other when they do battle in the Betway Premier League tomorrow evening.

The duo have met in two previous PDC World Championship finals at Alexandra Palace, but their next meeting, at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, will have Premier League points on the line this time round.

Both players are locked together on nine points after eight games each, with Anderson just ahead of his rival in the table by virtue of a superior legs difference.

Lewis is looking to extend his three-game winning streak in the competition when he takes on the world number two tomorrow night.

“It’s not going too bad, points-wise,” said Lewis. “I know I’m coming into form and I’m practising hard.

“I just go up there and try my best, and at the moment the results are coming even if I’m not at my best.

“I’ve had three wins on the trot and I want to keep that going now.”

DARTS
Gary Anderson can boost his Betway Premier League play-off hopes with a victory over Adrian Lewis in Cardiff tomorrow night CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Lewis prevailed 7-5 when the two met in the 2011 PDC World Championship final, while Anderson reversed the scoreline in his favour in the second world final decider between the pair in 2015, and the Scot is predicting another entertaining contest in Cardiff.

“The games usually get built up but Adrian’s back playing how we know he can,” said Anderson.

“He’s a good friend of mine and he has me in stitches all the time, laughing about things, but we’ll go up there and the best man will win on the night.

“I’ve had lots of draws and games I could have won. I’m trying to get more time on the practice board and I’m going to put the work in.”

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

Phil Taylor not putting any pressure on himself ahead of clash with Jelle Klaasen in the Premier League

By Alex Moss
29 MARCH 2017 • 9:16PM

Phil Taylor says the pressure will be off both him and Jelle Klaasen when the two face off in the Betway Premier League tomorrow night.

Klaasen, along with Kim Huybrechts, can no longer avoid being eliminated from the tournament heading into ‘Judgement Night’ at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff tomorrow.

Both Klaasen and Huybrechts will exit the Premier League after tomorrow night’s fixtures, leaving the eight remaining players to battle it out for the top four and places in the end of season play-offs.

“Jelle will be dangerous because he’ll want to finish on a high and there’s no pressure on him – but it’s the same feeling for me too,” said the 16-time world champion Taylor, who plans to retire from competitive darts at the end of this season.

“I’m enjoying it now and I’m not going to put myself under pressure. I’ve had 30 years of being under pressure week-in and week-out, and I’ve earned the right to enjoy myself a bit, but I’m going to keep pushing to get into the top four.”

Taylor joined Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis on nine points in the table after defeating then table-topper Peter Wright 7-5 in Manchester last week.

Klaasen’s 7-5 defeat to Lewis last week means he can no longer catch Dave Chisnall who, in eighth place and on six points, is three points clear of both the Dutchman and Huybrechts heading into tomorrow’s action.

Huybrechts takes on Wright in Cardiff tomorrow night, with the Belgian bidding to claim his first victory of the campaign, which would ensure he does not take the unwanted record as the first player to register no wins in a Premier League season.

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)