Taylor powers to the top
Phil Taylor powered to the top of the Premier League table with an emphatic 8-2 victory over Raymond van Barneveld in Birmingham.
Last Updated: 26/03/09 10:27pm
Phil Taylor powered to the top of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League standings with an emphatic 8-2 victory over old rival Raymond van Barneveld in Birmingham.
The two darting heavyweights took to the oche in a repeat of the 2009 PDC World Championship final, and once again van Barneveld failed to cope with a ruthless Taylor.
The victory puts the 14-time world champion on top of the Premier League table after previous pacesetter James Wade was held to an entertaining 7-7 draw by John Part.
Another raucous evening also saw Jelle Klaasen pick up his first win of the campaign with an 8-6 success over Terry Jenkins, while Mervyn King returned to winning ways with an 8-2 victory over Wayne Mardle.
Taylor, who averaged 102 to brush past 'Barney', overcame an uncharacteristically sloppy start - quickly putting seven missed darts at double 16 behind him to open up a 3-0 lead.
Once again van Barneveld failed to land his trebles with enough regularity, and one man who doesn't need two invitations is Taylor, who took a 4-2 lead into the interval.
When the players returned to the oche so too did Taylor's persistent high scoring - 'Barney' simply blown away by what was another darting masterclass.
'The Power' reeled off four consecutive legs to finish with another three figure average, condemning van Barneveld to his third defeat of the season in the process.
Speaking to Sky Sports 1 after the match, Taylor said: "I'm absolutely over the moon - I couldn't be any happier.
"I think against Barney there is always got to be something a little bit special. He's one of those fellas where if it just doesn't quite go the right way he seems to drop his head a little bit but I didn't want to let him off.
"I've done it before and Raymond is one of those players who bullies you if you are not quite on your game but he is a great player and he is going to get better and better and better."
The victory nudged Aldershot dartist Wade down to second-place on leg-difference after he and Canadian Part both averaged 99 during a high-quality second match of the evening.
Former world champion Part and world number two Wade matched each other throw for throw in a tight battle which amazingly saw neither player relinquish their throw.
'Darth Maple' needed just five darts at his opening five doubles as his clinical finishing kept 'The Machine' on the back foot for the majority of the match.
A two-dart 65 finish from Part guaranteed him at least a point, and despite a poor start to the deciding leg, Wade held his nerve to wipe out 78 under intense pressure and claimed a point.
In the opening match of the evening, 'The King' returned to winning ways with a comfortable 8-2 rout over an out-of-sorts Mardle.
After taking the Premier League by storm in his debut season with four consecutive wins, King slumped to back-to-back defeats before rediscovering his golden touch in Birmingham.
Mardle, testing out a new throwing action during the match, was once again left to rue missing a host of doubles as the Norfolk-thrower capitalised clinically to move 5-1 up at the break.
A 120 'Shanghai' finish sprung the 'Hawaii 501' fans back into life immediately after the interval, however that was as good as it got for Mardle and King took out 126 on the bull to finish the night in third spot.
The remaining match of the evening saw 'The Matador' celebrated his first ever Premier League victory with an 8-6 win over Jenkins.
The Dutchman signalled his intent by opening up a 2-0 lead on double 10, only for 'The Bull' to show typical resolve by breaking back and then wiping out 104 to move 3-2 ahead.
It was not until both players resumed from the interval that Klaasen upped his game - hitting the game's first 180 before opening up a 6-4 lead.
A 12-darter from Jenkins made things interesting, however in the deciding leg, with the game poised at 7-6, Klaasen held his nerve with an 81 finish to clinch his first win of the campaign.