Scotland’s Gary Anderson remains top of the 888.com Premier League Darts table as the tournament’s only unbeaten player following his third successive victory, an 8-1 rout of Welshman Mark Webster.

Anderson took the final six legs without reply in seeing off the left-hander, hitting seven 180s in the process.

Phil Taylor swept aside Terry Jenkins 8-2 at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on Thursday night, before declaring: “I’m ready to rule the world again”.

Taylor lost his World Championship title in January during a run of seven months without a major victory, and suffered his heaviest ever Premier League Darts defeat in the opening week of the season.

However, he followed up his 103 average in a win against Mark Webster in week two with a ruthless 8-2 thrashing of Jenkins to set himself up perfectly for a clash with Raymond van Barneveld next Thursday.

“I was pretty steady and am pleased to get the win, and I’m trying to get better each week,” said Taylor. “I’m ready to rule the world again and I’m going to do everything I can to do that.

“I’ll be using the rest of the year to get ready for the World Championship but retaining the Premier League trophy is the first goal and I’m up for the challenge.

“Barney’s on a high and so am I at the moment and it will be a brilliant match next week.”

Van Barneveld picked up his second successive victory with an 8-6 defeat of World Champion Adrian Lewis in a thriller.

Lewis had hit a 170 finish in coming from 5-2 down to force a deciding leg, before van Barneveld posted a 13-dart leg to take victory.

“Even though I’d missed some doubles to win the game before the last leeg I had no doubts I would win,” said van Barneveld. “I’m working hard and really looking forward to playing Phil Taylor next week.”

Australia’s Simon Whitlock won the night’s other game in a see-saw battle with James Wade, who came from 4-1 down to lead 5-4 before the 2010 World Championship finalist took the final four legs without reply.

“It wasn’t nice being sat at the bottom of the table after two weeks without a point so to get a win in is fantastic. Hopefully I can get a few more in the coming weeks.”

The tournament continues next Thursday with the fourth of 14 league nights around the UK being held at Exeter’s Westpoint Arena, where Jenkins plays Whitlock, Webster faces Lewis and Anderson takes on Wade before Taylor and van Barneveld clash.

Some tickets remain on sale on 08444 99 99 55 or through www.ticketzone.co.uk.

888.com Premier League Darts
Week Three – Odyssey Arena, Belfast

Gary Anderson 8-1 Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock 8-5 James Wade
Adrian Lewis 6-8 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 8-2 Terry Jenkins

GARY ANDERSON 8-1 MARK WEBSTER
GARY ANDERSON maintained his winning start to the 888.com Premier League Darts, powering past Mark Webster 8-1 with another comprehensive display.

The Scot claimed the third successive victory of his debut Premier League Darts season in style with the heaviest win of the opening three weeks, hitting seven 180s and averaging almost 100.

He punished missed doubles from Webster to take the opening leg, and never looked back as he stormed to victory.

Webster had hit a 180 in the opening leg only for Anderson to hit double ten, but the Welsh ace then missed six darts to level in the second as Anderson returned from two earlier misses at double top to move 2-0 up.

Webster checked out 102 to win the third leg, but two further misses in the next allowed Anderson – who had hit his second 180 earlier in the leg – to finish double five for a key 3-1 lead.

Double top gave the Scot a three-leg cushion, which he then extended in style with a brilliant 11-dart finish.

He had opened the leg with successive 180s to set up a possible nine-darter – with Webster replying with a maximum of his own – and although Anderson’s chances of achieving the feat were ended when he missed a seventh dart at treble 20, he returned to finish 41 on tops to move clear at 5-1.

Anderson also posted another 180 in a 13-dart finish to win a sixth leg and punished two misses from Webster in the next to lead 7-1, before finishing 78 to complete a heavy win over the left-hander.

“The scoreline maybe flatters me and it didn’t feel like an 8-1 win, but I’ll take that,” said Anderson. “I hate to beat a mate so heavily but I did what I had to do and was ruthless at times.

“I took my chances and Mark didn’t, and he will be gutted about that because he struggled. I missed some darts at a double early on but he missed his chances and let me in.

“I still feel there’s more inside me and I’m not happy with any average under 102. I want to average 111-115 on a consistent basis and I believe the 120 average is achievable.

“But to keep winning is the main thing and I’ve managed to do that again.”

SIMON WHITLOCK 8-5 JAMES WADE
SIMON WHITLOCK took the final four legs without reply to claim his first win of the 888.com Premier League Darts season, defeating James Wade 8-5 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

The Australian looked set to suffer a third straight loss when he saw 2009 Premier League Darts champion Wade hit back from 4-1 down to lead 5-4.

However, Whitlock regained his pwoer scoring with four maximums in three legs as he hit back to grab the points.

The pair shared the first two legs of the contest before Whitlock took three in a row to move 4-1 up, defying a Wade 180 in leg three with a 14-dart finish which he followed with a break of throw and two double ten finishes.

He was unable to pull further clear as Wade took the sixth on double five, before the left-hander broke on double ten to reduce the gap to 4-3.

A brilliant bullseye finish for a 128 checkout saw Wade level the contest, and even a 180 from Whitlock was not enough to stem the tide in the next as the world number three took out 81 for a 12-darter to lead 5-4.

Whitlock replied with a 13-darter in the next to tie the match – hitting two 180s and leaving double one after nine darts before checking out at the third time of asking – and then punished Wade’s miss at the bull in a key 11th leg.

Both had traded 180s before Wade’s miss allowed Whitlock in for a 14-darter as he regained the lead at 6-5, and a crucial 174 set up double 12 as he won his seventh leg of the contest.

Whitlock then completed the win by checking out double 19 at the third opportunity as he grabbed his first points of the campaign.

“It’s great to get the win and I’m looking to build a bit of momentum now to get into the league,” said Whitlock.

“I went 4-1 up but found myself 5-4 down and then relaxed a bit and the darts started to go in. I pulled out some big darts and James missed a couple of doubles but I’m relieved to have got the win.

“It wasn’t nice being sat at the bottom of the table after two weeks without a point so to get a win in is fantastic. Hopefully I can get a few more in the coming weeks.”

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 8-6 ADRIAN LEWIS
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD continued his brilliant return to form by edging out Adrian Lewis 8-6 in the 888.com Premier League Darts at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.

The Dutchman condemned World Champion Lewis to a second successive deciding-leg defeat as he posted a 13-dart finish – his third of the contest – to grab both points following a thriller.

He had led 3-1 and 7-3 before Lewis followed up an earlier 170 checkout by winning three successive legs to force a decider, only for van Barneveld to prove too strong.

Lewis had made a brilliant start, hitting scores of 174 and 180 with his first two visits to the oche and taking the first leg in 11 darts after his chances of a nine-darter went begging.

Van Barneveld replied with a 180 in a 14-darter to level before breaking throw in the third, and double 16 gave him a 3-1 cushion.

Lewis replied with a 14-dart finish which featured his second 180, but missed double ten for a 140 checkout to level as van Barneveld scrambled in double 16 at the fourth time of asking.

Double top gave the five-time World Champion a 5-2 lead, before Lewis took out the maximum 170 finish to win a third leg of the game and earn himself a £1,000 bonus as the night’s highest checkout.

Van Barneveld replied with a fine 13-dart finish and then punished three misses from Lewis by taking out 96 in two darts to lead 7-3 and ensure a minimum of a draw from the game.

Lewis hit back with another maximum and double 18 to punish a missed double 16 for the win from the Dutchman in the next, and van Barneveld also missed double top in the 12th as Lewis hit the same bed to keep the game alive.

Lewis then fired in his fourth 180 of the game in a 13-dart finish to send the match into a decider, which saw van Barneveld hit scores of 140, 100 and 170 with the throw to pull clear before sealing victory on double eight.

“Even though I’d missed some doubles to win the game before the last leeg I had no doubts I would win,” said van Barneveld.

“Adrian hit a fantastic 170 finish when I was on a double but I stayed pretty focused and was strong with the darts.

“I’ve lost matches averaging 103 and more so it’s better to win by averaging less. I’m working hard and really looking forward to playing Phil Taylor next week.”

PHIL TAYLOR 8-2 TERRY JENKINS
PHIL TAYLOR swept aside Terry Jenkins 8-2 in the 888.com Premier League Darts at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on Thursday night, before declaring: “I’m ready to rule the world again”.

Taylor lost his World Championship title in January during a run of seven months without a major victory, and suffered his heaviest ever Premier League Darts defeat in the opening week of the season.

However, he followed up his 103 average in a win against Mark Webster in week two with a ruthless 8-2 thrashing of Jenkins to set himself up perfectly for a clash with Raymond van Barneveld next Thursday.

“I was pretty steady and am pleased to get the win, and I’m trying to get better each week,” said Taylor. “I’m ready to rule the world again and I’m going to do everything I can to do that.

“I’ll be using the rest of the year to get ready for the World Championship but retaining the Premier League trophy is the first goal and I’m up for the challenge.

“Barney’s on a high and so am I at the moment and it will be a brilliant match next week.”

Taylor made an immediate statement by hitting three tons in the opening leg of the contest, which he won on double eight, before breaking Jenkins’ throw with a brilliant 11-darter, which featured a 180 and a 96 finish.

He also won the third on double ten before moving four legs clear when Jenkins missed one dart at tops to get off the mark in his first sight at a double.

Jenkins did take the fifth leg in 14 darts to get himself onto the scoreboard, but Taylor’s response was immediate and heavy as he hit two 180s in a 13-dart finish to lead 5-1.

Double 16 gave him a sixth leg before Jenkins posted a 180 and double top for another 14-dart finish in pulling back to 6-2.

Taylor, though, made light work of wrapping up the victory with finishes of double six and double four to take the next two legs and seal a comprehensive second victory of the season.

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