Michael van Gerwen beats Raymond van Barneveld in Premier League
Dave Chisnall reignites his O2 hopes with two victories
Last Updated: 21/04/17 3:49pm
Michael van Gerwen tightened his grip on the Premier League with a dominant win over birthday boy Raymond van Barneveld in Belfast.
Barney took the stage in Belfast with his family in attendance and resplendent in a new 50th birthday shirt for the evening, but he had no answer to a dominant world No 1.
Van Gerwen's 7-2 victory moved him two points clear of the field ahead of Birmingham next week, where he plays twice in a bid to secure top spot in the regular standings for the fifth season in succession.
Also victorious on the night was Dave Chisnall, wins over Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor have given him hope of a top-four finish in a battle that looks set to go down to the wire.
Chizzy started the night bottom of the table but he moves on to 12 points and just two points behind Gary Anderson in fourth place.
Taylor had earlier stunned the Flying Scotsman by reeling off seven straight legs for a 7-4 win, while Peter Wright was also a winner, seeing off James Wade in a scrappy contest that all but ends the Machine's hopes of a place in London.
Premier League Week 12 Results
|Dave Chisnall||7-3||Adrian Lewis|
|Phil Taylor||7-4||Gary Anderson|
|Peter Wright||7-3||James Wade|
|Michael van Gerwen||7-2||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Dave Chisnall||7-2||Phil Taylor|
But Van Gerwen's grip on top spot was the headline news as he gained revenge for his defeat to Barney in Manchester a couple of weeks ago - his sole defeat in the year's Premier League.
The world champion has made no secret of his desire to finish top of the standings and extended his advantage with a dominant display over his rival who had done well to keep pace in the early stages.
A brilliant 140 check-out kept Barney in touch and at 2-2 he was somehow in the contest despite a difference of almost 20 points in the averages, but MVG put his foot down to pull away, including some spectacular finishing that included two double 18s to clean up 96 and clinch his point at 6-2.
Van Gerwen went on to clinch the two points in the next leg and will face Chizzy and Lewis next week knowing four points should all but secure top spot.
In the night's other action, Snakebite remains MVG's closest rival, winning a scrappy contest against Wade that edges him closer a first place on Finals night.
Wright has played in the Premier League on three previous occasions but never made the top four and, despite changing his darts again and producing a below par display, the UK Open champion was too strong for Wade, coming through 7-3.
Chisnall was the night's biggest success story following up a brilliant win over in-form Adrian Lewis with a dominant display to see off a Phil Taylor who seemed to be suffering the effects of two games in a night.
Chizzy kicked off the night by cashing in on a slow start from Jackpot to move 3-0 in front and with the help of some strong finishing to back up his usual heavy scoring, the man from St Helens clinched a 7-3 win that hits Lewis' own play-off hopes.
Chisnall watched on as his opponent in the final match produced the night's most impressive display but The Power had to do it the hard way.
Trailing 4-0, Taylor summoned all the qualities befitting a 16-time world champion and six-time Premier League winner to reel off seven straight legs in a display that rolled back the years.
The Power averaged 110 across a seven leg stretch that left Anderson stunned and allowed Taylor to leapfrog the Flying Scotsman in the Premier League table and set him up perfectly for a second match of the night.
Chizzy knew he had to win while Taylor knew a win would leave him in pole position for one of the top-four spots but another slow start from The Power proved to be his undoing.
There was to be no thrilling comeback for a second time as Chisnall maintained his advantage and punished some sloppy darts from Taylor to secure a 7-2 win that keeps alive hope of what had looked to be an unlikely play-off place.
Taylor's win over Anderson means he is not in the top four but locked in a scrap with all but Wade for the final two places heading into the final three weeks of the regular season.
The Premier League continues next week in Birmingham and you can follow all the build-up and reaction on our Sky Sports platforms as well as when the action gets underway on Sky Sports 5 from 7pm on Thursday
Premier League Week 13 Fixtures
|James Wade||v||Adrian Lewis|
|Dave Chisnall||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Phil Taylor||v||Peter Wright|
|Gary Anderson||v||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Adrian Lewis||v||Michael van Gerwen|