James Wade and Michael van Gerwen produced brilliant performances to take victories in Bournemouth on Thursday evening, while Robert Thornton continued his unbeaten start in the McCoy’s Premier League.
‘The Machine’ and ‘Mighty Mike’ both recorded averages of over 100 in their respective triumphs over Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld, while ‘The Thorn’ won the last three legs to claim a draw against Wes Newton – a sequence of results that saw the trio all reach four points after three weeks of action.
Wade admitted that his 7-4 success against Lewis was his best performance for some time, despite his run to the semi-finals of the World Championships.
He said: “I’m pleased to have finally played like this. I felt it was coming because I have been doing it in practise but frustratingly not on the stage.
“I made it easy for myself against Adrian and it felt really good.
“I’ve been putting the hard work and effort in for the last few months and it is starting to show.”
van Gerwen averaged 104 as he claimed his first win in the tournament with a rampant 7-3 defeat of van Barneveld, who had beaten him in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts in November.
“This was a special win for me,” said van Gerwen, who has also made an unbeaten start to his debut season.
“It is a little bit of payback for the Grand Slam but the important thing is that I showed that I am still in form and that I can keep it going.
“To beat Raymond van Barneveld on a Premier League stage is something special, especially with an average like that.
“I have made a great start and now it’s up to me to keep it up.”
Thornton hit back from 6-3 down to earn a draw against Newton but there was disappointment for Simon Whitlock, who lost out to Phil Taylor despite averaging over 100.
Andy Hamilton saw off Gary Anderson in the evening’s over match.
Week four sees the ten players visit Exeter next Thursday, when Wade will face Taylor, van Gerwen plays Hamilton, Thornton meets Anderson and Whitlock and van Barneveld go head to head.