Michael van Gerwen was in scintillating form last night at the Barclaycard Arena, as he demolished James Wade 7-1 to move top of the Betway Premier League table, at a vital stage of the competition.
With the league leader going into the night, Phil Taylor, dropping two points at the hands of Peter Wright in the first encounter of the evening, van Gerwen knew that a convincing win from him when he took to the stage, would put in above Taylor on leg difference.
Perhaps even he however wasn’t expecting just how comfortably he would take the top spot, as he made light work of beating Englishman Wade, throwing at an average of 108.
The win also confirmed the Dutchman’s place in the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena next month, alongside Taylor who secured his last week, leaving just two more places available. World champion, Gary Anderson, knew going into the night that two wins from his two games would leave him only inches away from the O2. In the end he picked up a pleasing three with a 7-5 win over Raymond van Barneveld, and a 6-6 draw with Peter Wright, points that keep him well in contention to make the semis.
Another man who went into the night knowing he needed points was Adrian Lewis. Whilst it was him that sat in the all-important fourth place heading into proceedings, with games against Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson next on his agenda, he knew that two points with a win over Robert Thornton in Birmingham, would be very useful indeed on what turned out to be a pivotal night in the competition. He made sure there was no slip up on his part, beating ‘The Thorn’ 7-2.
The real outsider going into the night was the phenomenally hair-styled Peter Wright. Needing four wins from his last four games in the competition to stand a chance of making the semis, with two taking place last night, it was a very important evening for ‘Snakebite’. He started off very nicely by inflicting only Phil Taylor’s second defeat of this year’s tournament, beating him 7-4 to kick off the night. However, he could only manage a 6-6 draw when he closed the show up against Gary Anderson later on, in what was a brilliant game for the neutral.
So with just two more rounds of fixtures, in Manchester and Rotterdam, to come, it is still all to play for between Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, and James Wade, as to who will take the final two top four places to reach the Play-Offs at the O2 on May 19th.
Night 13, Thursday April 28 – The Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Peter Wright 7-4 Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis 7-2 Robert Thornton
James Wade 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 6-6 Gary Anderson
Image Credit to Lawrence Lustig/ PDC