PHIL TAYLOR suffered his first defeat of the 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with an 8-4 loss to James Wade at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Thursday.

The four-time Premier League champion showed signs of weakness with a draw against Terry Jenkins in the third week of the tournament, and fell to defeat seven days later as Wade continued his resurgence.

The world number two won seven successive legs against Raymond van Barneveld a week ago, and matched Taylor blow for blow in Belfast before delivering the killer punch with a 138 checkout to seal victory.

“James was the better man,” admitted Taylor. He held his throw well and I couldn’t break back. I missed some doubles but I’ll be back.”

Wade – whose victory makes him the first to defeat Taylor twice in the Premier League – said: “You know when you play Phil what you have to do and I did the job.

“I’m over the moon with an 8-4 win, it’s brilliant.”

Wade joined Taylor on five points in the table, three points behind clear leader Mervyn King.

King claimed a fourth successive win with an 8-4 defeat of Jelle Klaasen to continue his flawless start to the Premier League.

“I’ll take the win but it wasn’t my best display,” said King. “It’s great to win again though.

“I’m not really bothered about being top at the moment, the main aim is to be in the top four at the end of the league season.”

John Part and Raymond van Barneveld picked up their first victories of this year’s event with wins over Wayne Mardle and Terry Jenkins in the other two games to be played in Belfast.

Part won seven successive legs to see off Mardle 8-1, admitting: “Wayne was not himself and I capitalised.

“Nothing worked for him and I know how it feels to be on that side of things, but I benefitted and I can’t complain because I needed the two points.”

Van Barneveld averaged 106.51 in an 8-6 victory over a battling Terry Jenkins, who pushed the Dutchman all the way to a deciding leg in a thriller.

“It’s a tough competition this year and there are no easy games,” said van Barneveld. “I’m working hard in Holland and it showed because I was hitting my doubles and had a good average.”

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts
Week Four – Odyssey Arena, Belfast
John Part 8-1 Wayne Mardle
Mervyn King 8-4 Jelle Klaasen
James Wade 8-4 Phil Taylor
Terry Jenkins 6-8 Raymond van Barneveld

Latest Table
P W D L +/- Pts
Mervyn King 4 4 0 0 +24 8
Phil Taylor 4 2 1 1 +6 5
James Wade 4 2 1 1 +1 5
John Part 4 1 2 1 +1 4
Terry Jenkins 4 0 3 1 -2 3
R v Barneveld 4 1 1 2 -6 3
Wayne Mardle 4 1 1 2 -12 3
Jelle Klaasen 4 0 1 3 -12 1

JOHN PART 8-1 WAYNE MARDLE

JOHN PART stormed to his first win of the 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with an 8-1 demolition of Wayne Mardle in Belfast.

Part bounced back from two successive defeats with a clinical display to take seven successive legs in wrapping up the two points.

Mardle shared the opening two legs, but paid for a string of missed doubles as the Canadian capitalised.

Mardle had a chance to break throw in the third leg after a 180 pushed him ahead, but a miss at double top allowed Part in on double 18.

The three-time World Champion then broke throw on double four after landing a maximum of his own, and defied a 180 from Mardle to take a 4-1 lead with a key final-dart double five.

Double 18 put Part 5-1 up before missed doubles from Mardle in the next two legs allowed the Canadian to move to the brink of victory.

A missed double 19 from Mardle in leg nine was to be his final chance, with Part completing the win on double eight.

“I’m pretty happy because I really needed to win tonight and I got that,” said Part. “Wayne was not himself and I capitalised.

“Nothing worked for him and I know how it feels to be on that side of things, but I benefitted and I can’t complain because I needed the two points.

“It was like painting by numbers and I did what I needed to do. I hit doubles and that’s what I’ve been practising.

“I hit a couple of third-dart doubles too. Sure, I had three darts at a double but when you miss the first two because you’re over-confident I’m hitting the third because I’m putting a little extra into it.

“That’s where my game is really good right now. My practice is working and it showed tonight.

“I can get my scoring up a bit but when push comes to shove it’s more about the doubles.”

MERVYN KING 8-4 JELLE KLAASEN

MERVYN KING’S flawless start to the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts continued with an 8-4 defeat of Jelle Klaasen at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

King completed a fourth successive win in his debut year with a fine display to leave Klaasen without a victory so far in the event.

Klaasen missed the bullseye for a 167 finish in the opening leg, and that set the precedent for a number of costly misses throughout the contest.

Double four put King ahead before the duo traded 180s in the second leg – only for the roles to be reversed when a missed bullseye from the league leader was punished on double ten.

The next two legs were traded before a missed double top from Klaasen was punished by King on double 16, before he took out 116 for the first break of throw and a 4-2 lead.

Klaasen replied with a superb 158 finish, but misses at double 16 in the next two legs saw him slip 6-3 down as King’s accuracy on double top paid dividends.

A 114 checkout from Klaasen, on double top, stepped the tide, but back-to-back 180s from King in the next leg set up an 11-darter as he took a 7-4 cushion.

He also began the next with a 180, and took out double nine to secure the victory.

“I’ll take the win but it wasn’t my best display,” said King. “I felt good before I went up and when we started but then it fell away a bit.

“Jelle wasn’t really punishing my mistakes and I was a bit indifferent – but I got there in the end. Jelle’s a quick player, quicker than me, and a couple of times I had to slow myself down.

“It’s great to win again though. I’m not really bothered about being top at the moment, the main aim is to be in the top four at the end of the league season.

“I’ve got Phil Taylor next week and I’ve got to play a lot better and hit an average of 105 or 106 to get a sniff.”

JAMES WADE 8-4 PHIL TAYLOR

JAMES WADE inflicted Phil Taylor’s first Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts defeat of 2009 with a superb 8-4 win.

Wade became the first ever player to defeat Taylor in the tournament in week one last year, and repeated the feat with a classy display at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.

The world number two reeled off seven successive legs to claim his first win of the campaign a week ago, and was similarly impressive in week four.

Taylor, who had not been defeated in 26 games since the end of November, crucially missed four darts at the double to level at 3-3, which proved costly in the final outcome.

Taylor won just two of the next six legs as Wade wrapped up the win, which was sealed with a stylish 138 finish.

“James was the better man,” admitted Taylor. He held his throw well and I couldn’t break back. I missed some doubles but I’ll be back.”

Wade landed a 180 in setting up a finish in the opening leg, before Taylor replied on double 12 to level.

Taylor landed a maximum of his own in the third, only to miss the bullseye to break throw as double seven edged Wade 2-1 up.

Another 180 helped Taylor to the fourth leg, only for a second missed bullseye to again be punished in the next by a double ten from Wade.

Wade secured the game’s first break of throw in the sixth leg, with four missed darts at double top and ten from Taylor allowing him to move two legs clear.

A further miss at double top from Taylor proved costly in the seventh as Wade took out double two, before a 13-darter saw the 14-time World Champion reduce the gap to 5-3.

The duo traded maximums in leg nine before double top put Wade three legs clear once more, with Taylor replying on double 16 before Wade ensured a minimum of a draw with double 12 putting him 7-4 up.

Taylor missed the bullseye to take the next, giving Wade his shot for victory – which he clinically despatched with a 138 checkout on double nine.

“You know when you play Phil what you have to do and I did the job,” said Wade. “I’m over the moon with an 8-4 win, it’s brilliant.

“If I’d missed the 138 I think he would have come back for a draw.

“It wasn’t the start I thought I’d have got but these two games have shown what I can do and I’ll hopefully continue my success from here.”

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 8-6 TERRY JENKINS

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD claimed his first win of the 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts with an 8-6 victory over Terry Jenkins.

Van Barneveld bounced back strongly from his 8-4 loss to James Wade in Coventry with a 106.51 average to overcome Jenkins at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

The Dutchman opened the game with a 180 but Jenkins found himself 2-0 up after a strong start, taking out 121 on the bullseye to break throw in the second leg,

Van Barneveld included another maximum in hitting back to win the third on double 16, and landed the same bed in levelling in leg four.

Jenkins saw a 180 go to waste in the fifth as a missed double top allowed van Barneveld to hit the same bed and edge in front, although three missed doubles in the next allowed the Ledbury man to level.

A quality 116 finish saw van Barneveld take the seventh, but Jenkins hit maximums in the next two to go 5-4 up.

Van Barneveld snatched back the advantage with three successive legs, including checkouts of 82 and 91, to put himself 7-5 up and ensure a minimum of a point.

Jenkins landed a 180 and a two-dart 76 finish to send the game into a deciding leg, but van Barneveld produced a fifth maximum of the game before sealing a narrow win on double four.

“At 2-0 I thought ‘here we go again’ but I kept believing in myself,” said van Barneveld. “It’s a tough competition this year and there are no easy games.

“I’m working hard in Holland, going to the gym every day and it showed because I was hitting my doubles and had a good average of over 106.”

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