The Machine Secures Fourth Play-Off Place

James Wade claimed the final place in the McCoy’s Premier League Darts Play-Offs as he drew with Phil Taylor in Newcastle on Thursday, while Michael van Gerwen ensured he would top the league table with a thrilling display at the Metro Radio Arena.

Premier League Darts

The Machine – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

McCoy’s Premier League Darts Results

Week 14 May 9 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Andy Hamilton 5-7 Adrian Lewis
Robert Thornton 4-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 6-6 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 6-6 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Robert Thornton
Simon Whitlock 4-7 Raymond van Barneveld

2009 Premier League champion Wade entered the 14th and final league night holding fourth place but knowing that Robert Thornton and Simon Whitlock could overtake him depending on their results.

After Thornton lost his opening game in Newcastle with a 7-4 defeat to Raymond van Barneveld and Whitlock drew with Adrian Lewis, Wade went into his clash with Taylor knowing that his fate was in his own hands.

The world number four produced a typically determined performance with some key finishes as he held his nerve to claim a draw with Taylor, and the point proved to be enough when Thornton was defeated 7-1 by van Gerwen later in the evening.

Wade will now face van Gerwen in the semi-finals at The O2 next Thursday, while Taylor plays van Barneveld in the other last four clash as the quartet battle for the £150,000 prize and to lift the prestigious trophy in London.

“It was nervy but I did enough and that draw was bigger than any win I’ve had all season,” said Wade. “I feel fresh now and I’m ready for the Play-Offs.

“Michael’s a brilliant player, but I’m also pretty good myself and I think it’s the most even Premier League ever. I don’t think anybody could pick a player to win it.

“I still haven’t played great, and apart probably from five games where I played well and in other games I rode my luck and got through them. I’ll prepare right for the Play-Offs and I’m looking forward to it.”

Van Gerwen ensured that he would end his debut Premier League season at the head of the table with a sensational display to defeat Robert Thornton 7-1 in a game which took less than 15 minutes.

Thornton could still have ousted Wade from fourth had he whitewashed the Dutchman, but that prospect was ended inside 90 seconds as van Gerwen took the opening leg.

He also won the next five legs – hitting four 180s in the process – to lead 6-0 and then had a dart at tops for a 113 finish as Thornton hit tops to get himself off the mark.

Van Gerwen, though, opened the next leg with scores of 180 and 177, and though he missed out on a nine-dart finish he went on to seal victory with a 105.35 average to confirm that he would become the first player other than Taylor to top the Premier League table following the weekly rounds.

“It was a big target for me and it’s a very special moment for me,” said van Gerwen. “It means a lot to me and you can see how difficult it is to finish top because nobody has ever done it other than Phil.

“It was important to win tonight with a very good game, and I can look forward to playing James in the semi-finals now. He’s a quality player who knows exactly how to win games, but I just want to play my own game, like I did tonight.

“I think I’ve done very well in the last 14 weeks but we have one big week left and I’ve got two more games to win – and I want to win them both.”

Van Barneveld finished a point behind his fellow countryman on 23 league points as he secured a return to the Play-Offs in style with a brace of 7-4 victories against Thornton and Whitlock.

“I couldn’t do any more than win both games,” said van Barneveld, who was cheered on by Newcastle United’s Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul. “I’ll congratulate Michael on finishing top because he’s deserved it over 14 weeks.

“To have the number one and two in the league from Holland is a good result but I have to focus on the Play-Offs now. It’s a totally different game now but all four players in the semi-finals deserve to be there.

“I’ve had many years where I’ve been in the Premier League semi-finals and not reached the final, so my first target is Phil Taylor. It’s a really hard task and it seems he always plays his best game against me, but if I play my best game I can beat anyone I want.

“Hopefully next week it will be a good battle and I’ll practice hard for it. I’m battling, my head is right and I believe in myself again, and if you believe in yourself then anything is possible.”

Reigning champion Taylor, meanwhile, finished third in the final league table and will face van Barneveld in the semi-finals as he bids to claim a seventh McCoy’s Premier League Darts title.

After hitting back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 against Wade, Taylor went on to grab a point as he showed his versatility around the board by hitting five scores of above 170 in the contest.

“It was an exciting match to be involved in and I knew what it meant for James,” said Taylor. “I could feel the tension in that last leg because he needed the draw.

“It was different for me because I’d already qualified, but it’s a different mindset next week because you either win, or you’re out.

“I’m still picking my form up and I’ve got a few days now to finalise everything for the Play-Offs and I’ll be there or thereabouts. It’s been a tough 14 weeks so I’m pleased just to get through, and anyone who has qualified for the semi-finals deserves it.”

Two-time World Champion Lewis, meanwhile, ended the season with a flourish by defeating Andy Hamilton and drawing with Whitlock, although he still ended the season in eighth place, two points adrift of Hamilton.

“It’s been a really disappointing season but I’m delighted to get a win against Andy and to draw with Simon,” said Lewis, who hit a 170 finish in his clash with Whitlock.

“I wanted to end the season on a high and my form’s starting to come back – but it’s just too late and I wish I could start the season again now to be honest. I can look forward now to the UK Open and I think I’ll be hard to beat there.”

Thursday’s results in Newcastle brought the league phase of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts season to a close, with the revamped format having seen Gary Anderson and Wes Newton relegated following nine weeks before the battle for Play-Off places went all the way to the 14th night.

2013 Premier League Darts Final League Table Standings

P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen – Q 16 11 2 3 +34 39 24
Raymond van Barneveld – Q 16 10 3 3 +24 41 23
Phil taylor – Q 16 8 4 4 +22 40 20
James Wade – Q 16 7 3 6 +6 31 17
Robert Thornton 16 6 3 7 -7 31 15
Simon Whitlock 16 7 1 8 -9 33 15
Andy Hamilton 16 6 0 10 -11 30 12
Adrian Lewis 16 4 2 10 -27 25 10
Wes Newton 9 2 1 6 -14 5
Gary Anderson 9 2 1 6 -18 5

Van Barneveld and Taylor will open the Play-Offs at The O2 next week, before van Gerwen faces Wade as the quartet contest repeats of the World Championship semi-finals held less than six months ago.

The winners will then contest the final for the right to leave The O2 carrying the prestigious trophy and a £150,000 first prize.

Van Gerwen is the 11/10 favourite to win the McCoy’s Premier League Darts title with Coral, the official bookmaker of the event, with Taylor priced at 7/4, van Barneveld 11/2 and Wade the 8/1 outsider.

Van Gerwen is priced at 3/10 by Coral to defeat Wade, who is 5/2 to reach the final, while Taylor is the 4/9 favourite to defeat van Barneveld, who is 7/4 to win through to his first Premier League Darts final.

The night at The O2 will also feature the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final between St Helens’ Michael Smith and Kettering’s Ricky Evans, who will be playing for a £10,000 first prize as the Under-21’s event concludes with the best-of-11 leg decider between the Premier League’s semi-finals and final.

Tickets for the McCoy’s Premier League Darts Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 16 are still available by calling 0844 856 0202 or by visiting

May 16 – The O2, London
McCoy’s Premier League Darts Semi-Finals

Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Best of 15 legs
PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final
Ricky Evans v Michael Smith
Best of 11 legs
McCoy’s Premier League Darts Final
van Gerwen/Wade v van Barneveld/Taylor
Best of 19 legs

Week 14 Match Information

Andy Hamilton v Adrian Lewis
0-0 – Andy Hamilton will throw first
1-0 – Hamilton hits a 180 and lands double five to take the opening leg.
1-1 – Hamilton adds a second maximum of the game, but Lewis lands tops with his third dart to level.
2-1 – Lewis misses double seven to break, and Hamilton takes out 120 to take leg three.
3-1 – Lewis is off-target with darts at double 18, nine and four and Hamilton punishes him by hitting double eight to level.
4-1 – Hamilton punishes a slow leg from Lewis by being first to a finish, and he pins double eight to take a third successive leg.
4-2 – Hamilton hits a 165 score to leave 40, but Lewis lands tops to hit back.
4-3 – Hamilton posts a third 180 of the contest, but Lewis finishes 72 on double 12 to break throw.
4-4 – Lewis lands three 140s, with Hamilton landing a maximum in reply but only able to watch as the world number three finishes 81 on double six to level the game.
5-4 – Hamilton regains the lead by hitting a 180 and double five.
5-5 – Lewis finishes 60 on tops to level the game.
5-6 – Another tops finish from Lewis sees him break to lead for the first time and secure at least a point.
5-7 – Lewis claims victory by hitting double four.

Robert Thornton v Raymond van Barneveld
0-0 – Robert Thornton will throw first
0-1 – Thornton misses tops to finish 94, and van Barneveld lands the same bed to finish 82 to break throw.
1-1 – Thornton levels by taking out 116 on tops.
2-1 – Thornton opens with a 180 and finishes 81 on the bull for a 12-darter.
2-2 – van Barneveld levels on double eight.
2-3 – Thornton opens with a 177 score, but misses two darts at double eight to punish van Barneveld’s off-target dart at the bull as the five-time World Champion returns to hit double eight.
2-4 – van Barneveld takes out a brilliant 161 checkout to bring the Metro Radio Arena crowd to its feet.
3-4 – The Dutch star misses double top to finish 151 this time, and Thornton lands double ten to hit back.
3-5 – Thornton misses his chance to level with five darts at double four and two, and van Barneveld takes out double eight to win a key leg.
4-5 – Thornton lands a 180 and finishes tops to put aside his double troubles.
4-6 – Thornton misses double 12 and two darts at double six, and van Barneveld hits double eight to ensure a minimum of a point.
4-7 – van Barneveld hits two 180s as he seals victory with a 12-darter on double 16.

Adrian Lewis v Simon Whitlock
0-0 – Adrian Lewis will throw first
0-1 – Whitlock opens with 140 and 180, with Lewis replying with a maximum but missing three darts at double 16 to allow the Australian in on tops to break throw.
1-1 – Whitlock misses four darts to win the leg, and Lewis returns on tops to level.
2-1 – Whitlock hits another maximum, but Lewis posts double eight to hit the front.
2-2 – The Australian scores three 140s and hits double ten for the leg.
3-2 – Lewis posts a 180 in reply and hits tops to edge back ahead.
3-3 – The pair trade 180s, with Whitlock then missing the bull for a 164 finish before returning after a miss at tops from Lewis to land double eight and leve.
3-4 – Lewis misses tops and Whitlock hits the same bed to break throw.
3-5 – Whitlock takes out 74 to move two legs clear for the first time.
4-5 – Lewis lands double eight with his third dart as he hits back.
5-5 – Lewis thrills the Newcastle crowd with a brilliant 170 finish.
6-5 – Lewis posts double eight to ensure that he will end the season on a high with at least a draw.
6-6 – Whitlock initially misses the bull to take out 86, but Lewis is unable to finish 102 and the Australian returns to grab a point to keep alive his Play-Off hopes.

The first three results mean that if James Wade defeats Phil Taylor in the next game, the 2009 champion will qualify for Play-Offs

Phil Taylor v James Wade
0-0 – Phil Taylor will throw first
0-1 – Taylor misses the bull to finish 123, and Wade finishes tops to break throw immediately.
0-2 – Wade misses three darts to win the leg but is able to return and land double five to move two legs up.
1-2 – Taylor is first to a finish, and though he misses three darts at double 16 and eight, he returns to post double four.
2-2 – Wade misses tops to take out 108, and Taylor finishes 69 on the same bed to level the game.
3-2 – Taylor opens with a 177 and completes a 12-darter on tops to hit the front for the first time.
3-3 – Wade kicks off with scores of 180 and 140 and lands double eight to square the contest.
4-3 – Taylor hits scores of 174 and 177 as he leaves 50 after nine darts – before bizarrely bursting his score by landing single 18 and tops before then returning to hit single ten and tops for a 14-darter!
4-4 – Wade lands a second 180 of the game before hitting double ten to level once more.
5-4 – Wade posts a 180 to leave 84 after nine darts, but misses a dart at the bull to break throw as Taylor finishes 96 for a 14-darter to edge back ahead.
5-5 – Taylor misses a dart at tops to break on 72, and Wade pins 90 on double 15 with a superb finish to level.
6-5 – Taylor takes out 76 in two darts to earn himself at least a draw – meaning that Wade cannot secure qualification with a point himself.
6-6 – Wade leaves 50 after 12 darts and lands tops for a 14-darter to grab a draw, which eliminates Simon Whitlock.

Should Robert Thornton whitewash Michael van Gerwen, he would be level with Wade.

Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton
0-0 – Michael van Gerwen will throw first
1-0 – Thornton misses double 12 for a 101 finish to break and van Gerwen hits tops to win the opener – confirming James Wade as the fourth-placed player for the Play-Offs.
2-0 – van Gerwen lands a 180 and finishes 81 on double 12 for a 12-dart finish to double his lead.
3-0 – The Dutch star continues his charge by landing a 180 and finishing double ten for a 14-darter.
4-0 – van Gerwen opens with two 140s and finishes double eight to break throw for a second time.
5-0 – van Gerwen lands 140 and another 180 before finishing double eight for a 14-darter.
6-0 – The league leader adds another maximum and finishes 84 for another 14-dart finish as he moves to the brink of victory.
6-1 – van Gerwen misses double top for a 113 finish which would have sealed the whitewash, and Thornton lands tops to get off the mark.
7-1 – van Gerwen opens with a fifth 180 and a 177 to set up a possible nine-dart finish, hitting a treble 20 but missing a second dart at the target in his bid for a 144 finish – although he sets up double four to seal a brilliant victory with a 105.35 average.

Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
0-0 – Simon Whitlock will throw first
1-0 – Whitlock opens with contest with double 16 for a 14-dart finish.
1-1 – van Barneveld takes out 68 on double four to level.
2-1 – Double four sees Whitlock edge back ahead.
2-2 – Whitlock lands a 180, but the Dutch ace posts double ten to finish 60 and square the game.
3-2 – Double 16 gives Whitlock a third leg.
3-3 – Whitlock posts a maximum but misses the bull to finish 161, and van Barneveld takes out 88 on double 14.
4-3 – Whitlock lands another maximum, and is given a reprieve from a miss at double 18 for the leg when his opponent cannot land double 16 to finish 101, and the Australian this time takes out 36 for the leg.
4-4 – Whitlock opens with 180 and 140 but van Barneveld posts double 16 to avert a possible break and level.
4-5 – van Barneveld secures the games first break of throw, landing tops after his opponent missed the same bed.
4-6 – Whitlock misses double 16 for a 109 finish to break back, and van Barneveld hits double two to ensure at least a draw.
4-7 – Double eight ensures that the Dutch ace ends the league season with a second victory of the night

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