Premier League 2014 - Second League Day

Adrian Lewis brilliant start to the Betway Premier League Darts season continued as he defeated 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor 7-3 in Bournemouth on Thursday, as reigning champion Michael van Gerwen and newcomers Dave Chisnall and Peter Wright remained unbeaten.

Two-time World Champion Lewis followed up last week's heavy victory over Simon Whitlock in Liverpool with another superb display as he saw off Taylor in their all-Stoke battle.
Taylor had been whitewashed in last week's opening night by van Gerwen, and looked on course for another incredible reverse when Lewis took the opening five legs of their clash at the BIC. Taylor - who had hit two nine-darts as he won Sunday's UK Open Qualifier in Wigan - missed five darts to win the game's opening leg and wasted a further two chances in the fifth as Lewis pulled clear. The six-time Premier League Darts champion hit back by winning three of the next four legs, taking out a 140 finish in the process, but was unable to claw back to claim a draw as Lewis completed his win on double 16.

"Phil wasn't at his best tonight but I got the job done with an average over 100, so I'm happy with that," said Lewis. "He started like a train in the first leg but missed a couple of doubles and it knocked his confidence a bit. He's on the mend though and he's getting better with the new darts. When he took out the 140 it was 'game on' again, and I'm glad I got the result. It's a great start for me and I want to stay where I am and keep on winning, so I'll move on now and look forward to next week."

World Champion van Gerwen, meanwhile, continued his strong opening to the defence of his title as he matched Lewis with a second successive win, defeating Robert Thornton 7-5 in Bournemouth. Thornton had paid the price for missed doubles in his loss to Dave Chisnall in Liverpool and continued to struggle with his finishing as van Gerwen took an early 3-2 lead in their clash on the south coast. The Scot finished 78 and tops as he moved 4-3 up, but missed a key dart at double top for a 118 finish in the ninth leg as van Gerwen won the next three legs to move 6-4 up, and though Thornton forced a decider, the reigning champion was too strong as he secured both points.

"I wasn't at my best tonight but it's important to dig in when you're a little bit off and still get results because you're never going to be at your best in every game," said van Gerwen. "It was a close game but the ninth leg was the key and I felt like I would win it after that. To have won two from two is a great start and I want to keep that going next week, but Robert played well tonight too and he will take a lot of confidence from the game."

Newcomers Chisnall and Peter Wright also remain unbeaten following two weeks, after they shared the points in a six-all draw in Bournemouth.
In a game of two halves, Wright raced into a 5-1 lead only for Chisnall to hit four 180s in a three-leg burst to kick-start his challenge as he pulled back to claim a draw.

"At 5-1 down I just told myself to relax and throw my darts because I wasn't really expecting to get back into the game, but this showed that things can change very quickly and that you've got to hang in there," admitted Chisnall. "When Peter got the leg to go 6-4 I thought the game might have gone at the end, but I managed to cling on and that could be a big point for me."

Gary Anderson produced a superb performance as he picked up a 7-2 win over Simon Whitlock, leaving the Australian without a point after two weeks and alongside Taylor at the foot of the table.
Whitlock had actually led 2-1 early on, but Anderson broke in the fourth leg and then took out a key 126 on the bull to lead 4-2 as he won six successive legs to sweep to victory with a 98 average and seven doubles from just ten attempts in a clinical display.

"I played well this evening and I'm really enjoying my darts at the moment," said Anderson, who won the German Darts Championship a fortnight ago. "I felt very comfortable out there and put Simon away clinically - which is important as he's a class act and a devastating finisher, but I hit my own doubles well."

Wes Newton also got off the mark as he hit back from 3-1 and 5-3 down to defeat Raymond van Barneveld 7-5 in their clash in Bournemouth. Van Barneveld had been superb in seeing off Anderson on the opening night and continued that as he took an early 3-1 lead against Newton, who boosted his challenge with a 149 checkout as he levelled at three-all. Van Barneveld punished missed doubles from his opponent to win the next two to regain the edge, only for Newton to step in to win the next two after the Dutch ace missed his chances to seal a point, before a 100 finish put the world number eight 6-5 up and tops in the decider completed his comeback.

"It's a massive relief to get the win," admitted Newton. "After last week I did feel the pressure coming into this game but I kept telling myself to keep fighting and try to dig out at least a point from the game. Some of my finishing was great, and the 149 was awesome for me - especially at that stage of the game. I've not been playing my best darts but I've got to battle and try to get as many points as I can because you're playing the best players in the world every week. Last year's Premier League was a great experience for me and I was so grateful to be given a second chance. To play in venues like this every week is tremendous and I'm giving it my all."

Ave180sDoublesPlayervPlayer Ave180sDoubles
91.3627/20Newton 7:5v. Barneveld89.6915/12
92.4046/22Chisnall 6:6Wright83.8306/21
98.1337/10Anderson 7:2 Whitlock90.0532/6
100.5747/15Lewis 7:3Taylor98.2733/12
90.2305/23Thornton 5:7v. Gerwen95.8357/16

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