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James Wade produced an excellent performance in Exeter to share a draw with Phil Taylor, while Robert Thornton and Michael van Gerwen extended their unbeaten starts in the McCoy’s Premier League to four matches on Thursday evening.

Wade averaged over 100 for the second consecutive week as he moved onto five points after sharing the spoils with the world number one.

‘The Machine’ took out six combination finishes and fought back from being a break down for most of the match, by winning against Taylor’s throw in the final leg to earn a point.

“I’m pleased with a point against Phil – even if I would have preferred two,” admitted Wade, the 2009 winner.

“I have been working hard on my game. I’ve realised that you have to put in the practise if you are going to stay at the top of this game and I’ve got my head down and done exactly that.

“It is finally starting to show in my performances. I am my own worst critic but I’ve played quite well over the last couple of weeks and I hope to keep that going.”

Thornton recorded the highest average of the tournament so far with his spectacular success over compatriot Gary Anderson.

The Scottish ace averaged over 109 in a 7-2 victory as he moved onto six points and into the play-off places after a fantastic start to his debut season.

“I enjoyed myself,” said Thornton, who also beat Anderson on his way to winning the UK Open last June.

“Everything seemed to go in. I’m honoured to be here but I’m not just here to make up the numbers.

“It’s amazing to play like that in front of the crowd. I’m delighted with it.

“Gary is a great player so I knew I’d have to hit the ground running. I think I sprinted!”

van Gerwen also reached six points after a resounding 7-2 defeat of Andy Hamilton.

After winning both UK Open events last weekend, the Dutchman has now not tasted defeat for an incredible 20 competitive matches.

“It’s been a good period for me,” said ‘Mighty Mike’, the World Championship runner-up.

“I played 18 games this week and won them all so that makes me very proud and very happy.

“I love that the crowd are behind me in the Premier League.

“They give me so much energy and confidence and if I keep my confidence, I’ll keep winning!”

Raymond van Barneveld joined van Gerwen and Thornton on six points with victory over Simon Whitlock, while Wes Newton grabbed his first victory at the expense of Adrian Lewis.

By Chris Murphy

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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