PHIL TAYLOR’S disastrous start to the 2008 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts continued with an 8-3 loss to Peter Manley at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Taylor has now lost three of his opening four games in the tournament, having gone through the first three years unbeaten.

The 13-time World Champion landed two ton-plus finishes, but his slower scoring came back to haunt him as Manley produced a fine display to claim his first televised win over Taylor since 1999.

“I’m not playing like I can do on stage at the moment, I’m getting nervous and it’s affecting me,” admitted Taylor.

“I’ve never had to deal with this before but hopefully I’ll come through it and it’s not for the lack of practice.

“I’m putting myself under pressure but I missed a couple of finishes and Peter didn’t. He played well.”

Manley said: “I’m really enjoying myself at the moment and it’s paying off for me.”

James Wade now sits a point clear at the top of the table as the only unbeaten player following four weeks – after world number one Raymond van Barneveld was defeated 8-5 by Terry Jenkins.

Jenkins backed up his victory over Taylor a week ago to see off the Dutchman in style, while Wade produced a polished display against World Champion John Part.

The 23-year-old reeled off five straight legs in the middle of his clash with the Canadian before sealing an 8-4 triumph.

Adrian Lewis claimed his second win of the campaign with an 8-6 defeat of Wayne Mardle – who came back from two legs behind three times only to miss out in the deciding leg.

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts
Night Four, Ricoh Arena, Coventry
John Part 4-8 James Wade
Wayne Mardle 6-8 Adrian Lewis
Peter Manley 8-3 Phil Taylor
Terry Jenkins 8-5 Raymond van Barneveld

JAMES WADE 8-4 JOHN PART

JAMES WADE continued his fine start to the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with an 8-4 win over World Champion John Part.

Wade had claimed two wins and a draw in the opening three weeks, but produced his most accomplished display yet in the competition against the Canadian.

A devastating mid-game burst of five successive legs saw Wade take an unassailable 7-3 lead before he wrapped up another two points.

A tight opening to the contest saw both players hold their throw for the first six legs – including a 120 finish from Part in the third in response to two 140s from Wade which had given him the early advantage in the leg.

Wade landed a maximum in the sixth to enter the break level at 3-3, before opening the next with another 180 and securing the first break of the match to nudge in front on double top.

Part wired double 12 for a 101 finish which would have seen him hit back immediately, with Wade moving 5-3 up and breaking again in the next to go three clear.

Wade took a fifth straight leg to seal at least a point at 7-3 before being punished for two missed match darts as Part landed double 18 to stay alive.

The Canadian also struck a 180 in the next, but Wade immediately hit back with another maximum of his own before taking out double 16 for victory.

“The first six legs were good and the next six weren’t as good – despite me pulling away,” said Wade. “But I feel really good and am very pleased.

“My throw hasn’t been right for a couple of months but I’ve worked hard and it’s coming back – it’s starting to feel easy.

“When it doesn’t flow for me I struggle and it’s hard work.”

ADRIAN LEWIS 8-6 WAYNE MARDLE

ADRIAN LEWIS edged out Wayne Mardle in a final-leg thriller at the Ricoh Arena to grab his second win of the 2008 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts.

Lewis punished a string of missed doubles from Mardle to continue his promising start to the campaign.

He took a two-leg lead three times in an enthralling contest, only to be pushed all the way to a deciding leg for the second successive week – following up his draw with James Wade last week by getting past the winning post this time around.

The duo broke each other’s throw in the opening two legs – Lewis kicking off the match with a maximum – before Mardle landed two 180s in the third leg to move 2-1 up.

However, Lewis took the next three to move 4-2 up at the break, including a 13-darter in leg six which included a 177 score to set up a double 12 finish.

Mardle defied further maximums from Lewis to take the first two legs after the break and level, but a poor leg saw him slip 5-4 behind before the Stoke youngster landed a fine 12-darter to again move two clear.

Mardle edged the next leg, but paid the price for six missed doubles as Lewis ensured a minimum of a point a 7-5.

Mardle kicked off the 13th leg with a maximum, and took the leg in 14 darts to send the match into a decider.

He landed a 180 for a third successive leg, but a missed double top for a draw allowed Lewis back in, and he took out double eight ot seal both points.

“Last week I threw away a point and I was worried I’d do it again, so I’m very relieved I got away with that,” admitted Lewis.

“I wasn’t too confident on my doubles tonight but I was positive at the end there and it paid off.

“Wayne hit plenty of 180s and kept coming at me, but I’m obviously delighted to have another win. It’s still early days and I’ve got to keep winning now.”

Mardle admitted: “I should have won – there were four legs where I missed doubles and that would have made it a whole different score.

“I keep thinking of draws. It’s a strange situation to be in when you can aim for a draw instead of the win, and when I got level I was thinking I could get a draw instead of kicking on for the win.

“I felt great most of the way through but I missed too many doubles.

“There’s a long way and I’ve still got a chance of making play-offs, but I’ve got to tighten up my doubles – they have cost me each week.”

PETER MANLEY 8-3 PHIL TAYLOR

PHIL TAYLOR’S disastrous start to the 2008 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts continued with an 8-3 loss to Peter Manley at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Taylor has now lost three of his opening four games in the tournament, having gone through the first three years unbeaten.

The 13-time World Champion landed two ton-plus finishes, but his slower scoring came back to haunt him as Manley produced a fine display to claim his first televised win over Taylor since 1999.

Taylor took out 118 to level in the second leg, only for Manley to take the next three for a 4-1 lead – including a 121 finish on the bullseye and a 96 checkout.

Taylor took out 105 on double 16 to prevent Manley moving four legs clear, only for the Carlisle-based thrower to return from the break with three in a row to go 7-2 up.

He also landed a 180 – his first of the competition this year – in the next, only for Taylor to respond with three ton-plus scores and a double five finish.

But Manley sealed the win in style, taking out a second 121 checkout – of treble 20, treble 15 and double eight – to settle a remarkable triumph.

“I’m really enjoying myself at the moment and it’s paying off for me,” said Manley. “I felt relaxed on stage and have finished well throughout the Premier League.

“Phil’s a great player, a machine, and I don’t know what he’s going through at the moment, but it’s the most open Premier League we’ve ever had and I’d love to be in the top four come the play-offs.”

Taylor conceded: “I’m not playing like I can do on stage at the moment, I’m getting nervous and it’s affecting me.

“I’ve never had to deal with this before but hopefully I’ll come through it and it’s not for the lack of practice.

“I’m putting myself under pressure but I missed a couple of finishes and Peter didn’t. He played well.”

TERRY JENKINS 8-5 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

TERRY JENKINS ended Raymond van Barneveld’s winning start to the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with an 8-5 win in Coventry.

Jenkins followed up his win over Phil Taylor a week ago with another high-quality display, including a 156 finish in taking five of the final seven legs.

The pair were locked at 3-3 following an intriguing opening half to the contest before Jenkins found an extra gear following the break.

He took out the 156 finish – the highest of the night to earn him a £1,000 bonus, edging out van Barneveld’s 131 in leg eight – before three successive legs put him 7-4 up.

Van Barneveld landed a fourth 180 of the contest in the next to stay alive, but Jenkins sealed victory on his favourite double top.

“Beating Phil and Raymond in successive weeks is very pleasing for me,” said Jenkins, who moves up to fourth in the table.

“We both struggled a bit tonight, maybe we had too much respect for each other, and I made hard work of it but made my shots count in the second half.”

Van Barneveld admitted: “I don’t know what happened. I prepared really well and felt great going into the match, but I had an off-night.

“Terry played pretty well and that 156 he hit was a killer blow.

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