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James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld both fought hard to grab their first wins of the 2012 McCoy’s Premier League season at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter.

Wade took out three ton-plus finishes in an 8-6 victory over Kevin Painter whilst ‘Barney’ recovered from being 6-4 down to beat Andy Hamilton.

Simon Whitlock posted his highest average so far but was beaten by an in-form Phil Taylor, who broke his own record for the highest average in the competition with a staggering 117.35.

Wade took out 118 and 117 twice in his victory over ‘The Artist’ to get his first two points on the board. ‘The Machine’ was delighted to get the win after three successive defeats. He said: “It’s such a relief to win a game, the standard is so high. It has been frustrating for me because I know I have the ability, but I’ve always been a fighter and hopefully I’ll win a few more matches now.”

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Van Barneveld continued his strong start to the season when he produced a brilliant fight-back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The popular Dutchman won the last four legs to complete a courageous comeback against Hamilton. ‘Barney’ said:  “It was a really good game and I’m very happy to come out with the win. Andy was finishing well but I still believe that I can do great things and I’m fighting hard. I have a great team around me, who believe in me and I believe in myself.”

Whitlock put in a strong performance, averaging 105, but could do little to prevent Taylor from powering to an 8-4 victory. The 15-time world champion’s imperious three dart average of 117.35 was not only the highest in Premier League history, but also the second highest ever seen on television.

In the night’s other match, reigning Premier League champion Gary Anderson beat world champion Adrian Lewis 8-1.

Wade and van Barneveld face each other in Brighton next week, where Whitlock will take on Lewis.

By Chris Murphy

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