‘The Machine’ took out finishes of 135, 134 and 130 to seal the win.
“This game is all about finishing and that’s been my strength again,” said Wade, who takes on relegation-threatened Gary Anderson in Brighton next week.
“Everyone knows the form that Michael has been in but mine has been picking up and nobody scares me.
“I’m putting the work in this year and it’s showing in my performances.”
Thornton assured he would not be involved in the ‘Judgement Night’ relegation scrap as he produced an excellent display in defeating Simon Whitlock.
‘The Thorn’ moved onto nine points after averaging over 107 to delight his home crowd, while ‘Barney’ was beaten by Taylor.
The night’s results mean Whitlock may have to get a result against van Gerwen if he is to avoid relegation in Brighton next week.
By Chris Murphy
‘Barney’ will meet the ‘The Power’ for the first time since their high profile World Championship semi-final clash at Alexandra Palace.
But the Dutchman, who is one of two players already safe from the threat of relegation, says the pair have left that affair in the past.
“We’ve solved what happened at the World Championship and we’re still friends,” van Barneveld told www.pdc.tv
“We’ll forget all about that game this week and I have to because it’s a big game.
“In all these years in the Premier League I’ve never beaten him and only got one draw, so it would be a dream to beat him. I know I can do it but I’ll have to lift my game from last week when I drew with James Wade.
“This is a shorter format than the World Championship, the best of 12 legs, so I know I have to start well. I didn’t play my game in the first four or five sets the last time we played and I’m not sure why.
“Perhaps it was because he is Phil Taylor, but I played so many great matches in the World Championship up to that point and against him I didn’t turn up.
“When I did turn up I was 5-1 down and it was a tough battle because from that far behind against Phil Taylor you’re never going to beat him.”
Wade will do battle with the other player who can’t be relegated in van Gerwen – in another repeat of the World Championship semi-finals.
Simon Whitlock and Robert Thornton will both be looking to add to their points tally and move closer to safety when they go head to head, with ‘The Thorn’ enjoying home advantage.
Gary Anderson meets Wes Newton while Adrian Lewis and Andy Hamilton do battle in the evening’s other matches.
The ten Premier League players will then become eight when they head to Brighton for the final week of action before relegation in what is being billed as ‘Judgement Night’.
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Now, three of the stars of the incredibly popular Premier League Darts are heading back to the city to treat fans to another night of superb sporting entertainment.
Table-topping Dutch duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld spearhead the brilliant line-up on show at the inaugural Belfast Masters, which takes place at The Devenish Entertainment and Leisure Complex next Friday (5 April), to take on some local hopefuls and fellow professionals.
They will be joined by Simon Whitlock following the much-hyped ‘Judgement Night’ which will see hundreds of thousands of viewers tune in to see which two stars will suffer the fate of relegation from the Thursday night tournament.
Over a thousand fans are set to flock to the Devenish to see their darting heroes in more intimate surroundings, with VIP ticket holders getting the exclusive chance to meet the players.
Northern Ireland’s very own History Maker Brendan Dolan will also compete in the biggest darts show Belfast has ever seen aside from the Premier League itself.
Four local men have earned the right to share the stage with the darting elite. Gary Elliot, Dave McCusker and two players with the same name, John Elder, will take on the professionals in the main event, an eight-man knockout tournament.
The night will also see two challenge matches, including one between Northern Ireland Darts legends Geoff Wylie and John Magowan to warm up the crowd.
And van Gerwen, the leader of the Premier League, can’t wait to get back to Belfast.
“I’m really looking forward to going back for this event with a chance to meet the fans,” said ‘Mighty Mike’.
“It will be a night of great darts, which we will all want to win but we will have a lot of fun too.
“Fans should snap up the remaining tickets as they won’t be disappointed.”
A range of ticket options are available and can be purchased directly from The Devenish (02890 301154) or via the event’s promoters MODUS Sports Management online at www.dartshop.tv or by calling the box office 08450 180 180.
A limited number of tickets will be made available on the door on the night of the event.
Darts will be back at the Devenish just a fortnight later when professional player Chris Mason takes to the stage for a charity night in support of Cedar Foundation on Saturday 20 April.
van Gerwen produced a sensational display to take a 7-1 triumph against Gary Anderson, with the Dutch ace hitting consecutive checkouts of 121, 120 and 164 along the way.
The 23-year-old’s fourth win of the season, in which he averaged over 107, sent him to the summit of the table and clear of any relegation danger with ‘Judgement Night’ looming in two weeks.
“I played really well and I’m very happy with this,” van Gerwen told www.pdc.tv
“My finishing at the beginning of the game was very good with those three ton-plus finishes but I was playing so well that I didn’t give Gary any chances.
|Michael van Gerwen||7||4||2||1||+15||10|
|Raymond van Barneveld||7||4||2||1||+10||10|
van Gerwen added Saturday’s title to the two he had previously won last month, before Thornton stopped his rampant run on Sunday and took the honours himself.
‘Mighty Mike’ saw off Michael Smith in Saturday’s final to clinch the £6,000 first prize after he had narrowly missed double twelve to nail a nine-dart-finish in an earlier round.
“It’s always nice to win a tournament like this and I’m delighted,” van Gerwen told PDC.tv
“I know I’m playing well and I’ve shown everyone again today.
“I was strong from the beginning but I played a lot of good players, like Simon Whitlock, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright. I’m full of confidence and I’m taking that into my games at the moment.”
The Dutch sensation looked set to continue is incredible run of success on the Pro Tour, having won UK Open qualifiers 1, 2 & 3 in addition to the final Players Championship event in 2012, before he ran into the brilliant Thornton in Sunday’s semi-finals.
Thornton, the reigning Speedy Services UK Open champion, claimed a 6-3 victory, before triumphing 6-4 against Jamie Caven in the final.
“I’m chuffed to bits to get the win,” said Thornton, who will be appearing alongside van Gerwen in the Portsmouth International Masters in June.
“It’s about time Michael let somebody else win!
“In all seriousness though it’s so tough now.
“The standard is incredible and it’s a proud day when you win one of these.
“It’s harder than winning your Premier League match on a Thursday night and in an odd way, playing in that tournament has prepared me for this!”
Both players will turn their attentions to night seven of the McCoy’s Premier League in Cardiff, where they are in action on Thursday.
There was also a strong showing from Paul Nicholson in both of the weekend’s events, with ‘The Asset’ reaching the quarter-finals on both days.
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC
‘Barney’ stayed at the top of the table after taking a point from his 6-6 draw with ‘The Thorn’, who bounced back after suffering his first defeat in his debut season a week earlier.
van Barneveld looked set to take victory in a game that included five consecutive breaks of throw but, with the Dutchman leading 6-4, Thornton hit fine finishes of 78 and 100 to share the spoils.
Fantastic finishing was the theme in a thrilling game between Whitlock and James Wade, which went the way of ‘The Wizard’ despite sensational checkouts of 170 and 144 from ‘The Machine’.
Whitlock eventually triumphed 7-4 as both players hit three finishes over 100.
And the Australian ace was delighted to come out on top in such a great game.
“It was a brilliant match and an important win,” said the world number five.
“I knew that I’d have to play great darts to beat James and it proved to be the case.
“He produced some class finishes and I had to deal with that and take some decent shots out myself.
“I felt I had to get at least a point tonight so it’s a huge win and I’ll have to play my best game again next week to beat Andy Hamilton, but that’s the Premier League for you!”
van Gerwen produced another brilliant performance to see off Wes Newton with an average of over 100 as he put last weeks defeat to Adrian Lewis behind him.
Lewis and Gary Anderson reached stalemate, while Phil Taylor was beaten by Andy Hamilton in the evening’s other match.
By Chris Murphy
James Wade and Simon Whitlock will do battle at Manchester’s MEN Arena on Thursday evening, when table-topper Raymond van Barneveld will meet Robert Thornton on night six of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts season.
Wade, who sits second in the league table, is looking to build on an impressive run of form that has seen him take seven points from his five matches so far when he meets ‘The Wizard’, who also enjoyed victory in Nottingham last week. (more…)
|Last 16 Losers||£1,000||£600|
|Last 32 Losers||£500||£400|
|Last 64 Losers||£250||£200|
|Nine-Dart Finish Bonus||£500||£400|
Wade produced a brilliant performance to see off Thornton with a 7-1 triumph, averaging over 105 and taking out two 121 finishes along the way.
“I felt really good up there and it showed in my performance,” said ‘The Machine’, who upped his points tally to seven.
“I keep saying it but the practise is really making all the difference and I feel that there’s more to come.
“In fact I know there is. I’m working harder than ever on my game and I’m delighted with the start I’ve made.”
Whitlock had to fight back from 4-1 down to take a 7-5 triumph against Wes Newton and was delighted to claim his second win of the season.
He said: “That could be a very important win.
“I have been playing well for the last few weeks but not getting the results so I’m thrilled to win tonight.
“Every game is so competitive that you’ve got to be happy with every good result.”
van Barneveld went top of the table with his 7-5 success against Andy Hamilton, as six 180s and an average of over 100 gave the Dutchman his fourth win of the season.
“Every opponent is tough in the league so I’m really delighted to have got four wins already,” said ‘Barney’ who faces Thornton next Thursday.
“I’m a confident person now and maybe that’s what got me through in the last leg. I was relaxed and I believed in myself.
“That’s so important in this game and I will have to do it all over again next week against Robert, who has been amazing in his first season.”
Michael van Gerwen suffered defeat at the hands of a rejuvenated Adrian Lewis, while Gary Anderson beat Phil Taylor in the evening’s other matches.
By Chris Murphy
SKY SPORTS will take its partnership with the Professional Darts Corporation into a 25th year thanks to a new five-year broadcast deal.
The agreement offers Sky Sports viewers over 50 days of live and exclusive darts throughout the year including the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship each Christmas until 2018.
As part of the deal, Sky Sports viewers will also enjoy live coverage of the McCoy’s Premier League, PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix, William Hill Grand Slam of Darts, Betfair World Cup of Darts and the Betfair World Matchplay, which celebrates its 20th staging this summer.
The partnership between Sky Sports and the PDC extends back to the organisation’s formation two decades ago, beginning with the 1994 World Championship.
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports has worked with the PDC since the early 1990s, helping to build the sport from working men’s clubs to some of the biggest arenas in the UK and Ireland.”
He added: “This is a real success story and an excellent long term partnership. Our live coverage and promotion of darts is unique and Sky Sports viewers can enjoy the fantastic atmosphere that these events generate for a further five years.”
Since the PDC’s formation, live televised darts has grown from just a few hundred fans at venues such as the Circus Tavern and Salford’s Willows Variety Centre, to over 10,000 fans at the O2 Arena for the Premier League.
The World Championship offers £1 million in prize money – over 15 times the prize fund for the PDC’s first World Championship back in 1994 – while over £5 million prize money is now paid out annually on the PDC circuit.
PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: “We’ve just celebrated our 20th World Championship with the best tournament ever staged, and both that event and the current McCoy’s Premier League Darts show how far the sport has come in the past two decades.
“Sky Sports has played an integral part in the growth of darts, with its innovative and high quality broadcasts and fundamental support of the PDC, and we are delighted to sign this new broadcast contract.
“This deal is not only great for the PDC but also for our players, who will be playing in huge events live on Sky Sports in the coming years.”
This announcement continues a series of strong major rights deals for Sky Sports over the twelve months, including: Barclays Premier League, England & Wales cricket, British & Irish Lions, Heineken Cup, European Tour, Ryder Cup, NBA, NFL, plus many more.
ive darts coverage is also available via Sky Go, which offers Sky customers access to live and on demand programmes and films from up to 43 channels on a wide range of internet-connected devices including laptops, smartphones, tablets and games consoles.
Watch the McCoy’s Premier League Darts live on Sky Sports, with the current season running through until the Play-Offs on Thursday May 16.
See tonight’s Week Five action live from 7pm on Sky Sports HD2 from the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.
Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC