Premier League Darts: Michael van Gerwen sitting pretty; Simon Whitlock relegated
Michael van Gerwen ended Peter Wright's unbeaten Premier League record with a bad-tempered 7-5 win in Dublin.
By Joe Drabble - @SkySportsDrabs
Last Updated: 28/03/14 8:26am
Phil Taylor avoided a bottom-two finish with a thrilling 6-6 draw with great foe Raymond van Barneveld, who is still yet to beat 'The Power' in the Premier League in 19 meetings.
Gary Anderson eased any relegation fears with a 7-3 rout of Wes Newton in the first match of the night, only for 'The Warrior' to respond later in the evening with a 6-6 draw which eliminated Whitlock.
Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis also played out a draw in the match of the night, with 'Chizzy' among three players who could slip into the bottom two on 'Judgment Night' in Cardiff next week.
While Taylor vs Van Barneveld was the headline act, it was Van Gerwen's top of the table showdown with Wright which had the most serious implications at the head of the league.
A pantomime rivalry has been developing between the pair in recent weeks and that continued as 'SnakeBite' did his best to wind up the reigning world champion, who was clearly riled by his opponent's tactics.
MVG had the final say, though, snatching victory in the deciding leg with a slick 128 checkout before blasting Wright in the post-match interview.
Van Gerwen told Sky Sports: "I always like to win but think that what he did in the game was out of order. You shouldn't do that to each other. I never saw Phil (Taylor) do that to me or Aidy (Lewis). He showed no respect. I just think we're professionals and he shouldn't do things like that. It made me really angry.
"He's a good player, but he doesn't need to do things like that with his feet (kneeling down). Just play normal darts. I only want to thank the crowd. I won the game and that's the most important thing."
Wright responded by saying: "I don't give a monkeys. That's the way I play, if he doesn't like it, tough. I'm going to do him next time."
Six-time Premier League champion Taylor and Dublin favourite Van Barneveld ended the night's action with a high-quality stalemate.
'Barney' missed two darts for a guaranteed draw at 5-3 ahead and another at 5-4 as Taylor reeled off three legs in a row to threaten victory.
But the Dutchman wasn't to be denied and claimed a deserved point on double eight with Taylor lying in wait.
There was no separating Lewis and Chisnall, either, as both men traded 180s for fun during a 6-6 thriller.
'Jackpot' Lewis sits comfortably in fourth, while Chisnall faces a final round relegation shootout with Newton in Cardiff next week.
Newton's evening started badly with a 7-3 thrashing at the hands of Anderson, who was 50 per cent on the doubles, but the Warrior bounced back with a 6-6 draw with Whitlock, who waved goodbye to the tournament.