Anderson flying high
Gary Anderson produced a brilliant performance to win the 2011 Premier League with a thumping 10-4 win over Adrian Lewis.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 20/05/11 9:13am
Gary Anderson produced a brilliant performance to lift the 888.com Premier League darts trophy with a thumping 10-4 win over Adrian Lewis at Wembley Arena.
In a rematch of the World Championship final won so memorably by Lewis in January, 'Jackpot' tackled 'The Flying Scotsman' in the big game, but this time it was Anderson who got the upper hand in emphatic fashion.
Another display of heavy scoring saw Anderson take his 180 tally to 79 for the tournament, with seven in his 8-6 semi-final win over Raymond van Barneveld and four more in the final, where he found much more clinical form on his finishing.
Lewis had produced a brilliant performance to batter reigning champion Phil Taylor 8-3 in his semi-final, but he could not match that 104 average performance as he found himself 9-1 down in the final as quick as a flash.
Anderson looked unstoppable and, although he missed a few winning doubles to allow Lewis to grab a few legs, it was only delaying the inevitable and he soon nailed double ten to win his first major tournament.
"I'm shattered, the next seven days I'm going to do nothing but sit on my backside and put my feet up," Anderson, who claimed the £125,000 first prize, told Sky Sports. "It's been a long time coming but I've got there in the end.
"To play Adrian in the final again, I thought it was going to be the world final all over again, but tonight he was a bit off the boil."
After missing 17 darts at doubles in a stuttering semi-final match against van Barneveld, Anderson was right on form when he returned for the final, as he was fired up for his revenge mission for Lewis' World Championship victory.
Lewis felt that he took his foot off the gas after earning such a huge victory over Taylor in the semi-finals, and once behind he could never catch the Flying Scotsman.
"Obviously beating Phil I think I went in there a bit half hearted I thought I was going to win it," said Lewis. "I started a bit slow and I was chasing from the start. I thought I might get back into it at 9-3 but he played brilliant."
The night started with Taylor winning the throw but handing it to Lewis in their semi-final, but his trademark move backfired as Lewis held his throw and rattled off the first three legs to power into an early lead.
'The Power' dragged it back to 3-2 but crucially Lewis won the sixth leg, and after the break he pulled away and won at a canter in the end, with a 104 average and six 180s - against just a 99 average and one maximum from Taylor.
Van Barneveld also started brightly in his semi-final clash with Anderson, but after moving 4-1 ahead the big Dutchman started to struggle as the Flying Scotsman came back to lead 5-4 although in truth both men struggled badly on their doubles.
Anderson was still scoring heavily though, with seven 180s, and despite a 137checkout from Barney he had just enough to book his place in the final and the chance for revenge against his World Championship conqueror.
For Barney and Taylor, two giants of the game with 20 world titles between them, they had to trudge back to the stage for the third place play-off, and although neither were enthusiastic Taylor eventually came through a low-key affair 8-6 to claim third and an extra £10,000.