THE McCoy’s Premier League Darts visits Dublin for the first time on Thursday night, as World Champion Adrian Lewis bids to turn his season around with victory in the Emerald Isle.

The 14-week league season reaches its half-way stage with four matches in front of a sell-out 9,000 crowd at The O2.

Whilst world number one Phil Taylor sits four points clear at the top of the league table after being unbeaten in his first six matches, World Champion Lewis is joint bottom with just three points.

They came from a trio of draws in the first three weeks, with an 8-5 defeat to James Wade last week his third successive loss.

Lewis plays Kevin Painter in Dublin as he seeks to record his first win of the season, and admitted: “I’m going through a rough patch.

“I’m very inconsistent in my scoring but I’m working hard on the practice board to and get that back.
“I’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, and hopefully my luck will change. The Play-Offs are a big doubt at the moment but I’ll be back – I’m not a two-time World Champion for nothing.”

World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton is also level with Lewis on three points at the bottom of the table, and plays Simon Whitlock as he seeks to record his first victory since the opening week.Whitlock has been defeated by Hamilton in the semi-finals of both the World Matchplay and World Championship in the past year, and the Australian said: “He’s got the better of me a couple of times but it’s a new game this week.

“I’m taking it one week at a time and everything’s going pretty well so far – my scoring’s fine, I’m finishing okay and I’m second in the table.”

Taylor plays 2009 champion James Wade as he seeks to extend his winning run to six successive matches since a draw with Lewis on the opening week.

“James always raises his game when we play and we’ve had some great battles,” said Taylor. “He’s coming back into form and has had some good results recently, so his confidence is growing.

“I’m looking to keep pushing on now. It’s been a great six weeks but I’ve got to make sure I keep playing well and winning”

Wade has won his last three games to join reigning champion Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld and Painter on six league points.

“It’s coming good and I’m getting some rub of the green, but with that performances come, and hopefully the good darts will follow,” said Wade.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a bad game against Phil but he does it week-in, week-out. I’m certainly not bothered about playing him, that’s for sure.

“Phil’s going to play brilliantly but I know the way I’m playing at the moment, where I know what I’ve got in the tank that’s not coming out, that I can beat him.”

The night’s other game sees van Barneveld and Anderson clash as the pair seek to improve their standings in the race for top-four places.

Anderson was defeated 8-6 by Simon Whitlock in Glasgow last week, and admitted: “I was so desperate to play well in front of the Scottish fans and it just didn’t happen for me.

“This is a new week and I know I’ve got to be better against Raymond. He’s having a good season so far.”

All 9,000 tickets for the McCoy’s Premier League Darts at The O2 in Dublin have sold out, as the venue welcomes a record crowd for a PDC tournament.

McCoy’s Premier League Darts
Week Seven
March 22 – The O2, Dublin

Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7pm

Week Seven Match Odds, courtesy of www.williamhill.com
Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock
5/2 Andy Hamilton
9/2 Draw
4/7 Simon Whitlock

Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter
8/13 Adrian Lewis
9/2 Draw
9/4 Kevin Painter

Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
6/5 Raymond van Barneveld
9/2 Draw
6/5 Gary Anderson

Phil Taylor v James Wade
1/3 Phil Taylor
11/2 Draw
4/1 James Wade
William Hill are the official betting partner of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts.

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