Taylor powers past Wade at O2

Niall Cronin

A RECORD crowd of just under 10,000 crammed into the O2 in Dublin last night and saw 15-time World Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor maintain his unbeaten start in this season’s Premier League Darts.

Taylor cruised to an 8-2 victory over James Wade in round seven of the league on a night when reigning World Champion Adrian Lewis claimed his first victory of the competition.

Lewis was talking up his chances ahead of his game against Kevin Painter last night and, despite the seemingly straightforward 8-3 scoreline in favour of Lewis, the two-time World Champion had to dig deep to punish Painter’s 11 missed chances at a double.

The first six legs went with the throw, before Lewis pulled away to win five legs without reply, gain his first win to go with the three draws he had already achieved in the previous six weeks.

Lewis said: “It’s a big relief. To take seven games to get a win shows how tough the Premier League is, but I think there’ll be no stopping me now.” Taylor remains top of the table, though, following his beating of a lacklustre Wade. Wade, who enjoyed success in Dublin before when winning the Grand Prix, underperformed as Taylor recorded his sixth victory in seven weeks. Taylor’s win saw his lead at the top of the table extended, as Simon Whitlock could only draw with Andy Hamilton in the opening game.

Whitlock was second before last night’s action, but a resilient display from Hamilton, saw him claim a valuable point with a 7-7 draw with the Australian. The match of the evening was the clash of Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson with the Dutchman continuing his good run of form to defeat Anderson 8-5 with an impressive 107.22 average. ‘Barney’ is now second following that win.