Liverpool witnessed another dramatic night of Premier League action, with three matches ending all square!
The two big all Unicorn clashes ended in stalemate – draws not really helping any of the players, while Phil Taylor was back in the winner’s circle, but Gary Anderson is out of contention despite a brave display to claim a draw against Adrian Lewis.
Andy Hamilton and Raymond van Barneveld will both feel they should have won.....the Dutchman is still in it on 11 points, but a 5th draw for ‘The Hammer’ leaves him on 9 points and having to win his last two games to qualify for the last four.
“I have no explanation for the way I played,” said Barney. “But I can still qualify and probably didn’t deserve any more than the draw.”
That was his honest assessment, while Hamilton was philosophical. “Another one I should have probably won but I am still enjoying it and still in the mix!”
Hamilton raced 3-0 up against Barney, taking out 152 and 93 on the bull after the Dutchman had missed darts to win both legs.....it was cruel but highly effective.
Barneveld started to fight back and the 7th leg was all important, because Hamilton missed three darts to open up a 5-2 advantage and Barneveld stepped in. He levelled at 4-4 and the next four legs were shared.
Crucially though, Barney missed two darts at D12 to break for 7-6 (both darts were on the wire) and Hamilton kept his cool to earn his point.....the Dutchman dominated the final leg and hit ‘tops’ to take the draw.
But Kevin Painter will be kicking himself.
‘The Artist’ now needs a miracle to reach the play-offs after throwing away a great winning position against Wade in what was a terrific all Unicorn match-up to start the night at the Echo Arena.
Painter missed two darts to win 8-4 and he ended up paying a heavy price.
It was his first draw of the PL season, but ultimately it may cost him a tilt at the play-offs.
“Really disappointing for me,” admitted Painter. “At 4-1 up it was there for the taking and missing those darts to win it really hurt me in the end. I will keep battling away but that will go down as another game I should have won.”
An 11 darter and a 12 dart leg with a 120 finish saw him race 4-1 in front.....Wade nailed a 12 darter to break back for 2-4 and both were averaging over 100.
A third 180 and two-dart 93 check-out pulled another leg back for Wade, only for Painter to nail a brilliant 126 – his 14th ton plus finish of the PL campaign....Wade’s response was a 123 finish on the bull....it was great to watch.
But when Painter produced a fabulous 10-darter to lead 7-4, it looked all over.....but he missed those two darts at D12 and D6 and Wade took out 83 to stay in the hunt.
The World No.3 then stepped in to take the last two legs to pinch a point.....but it is a priceless point which could yet make all the difference in the play-off race.
He plays Taylor in Birmingham next week and his last match is against Barneveld, while Painter plays Lewis and Hamilton in his last two games.
Taylor did his fellow Team Unicorn stars a big favour by walloping ‘The Wizard’!
Whitlock was actually 3-1 in front after hitting a terrific 161 finish on the bull, but when the Australian critically missed a dart at ‘tops’ to go 4-2 up, it changed the game.
Whitlock missed and Taylor didn’t as ‘The Power’ reeled off seven consecutive legs to claim his 8-3 victory....an end average of 104.41 and an impressive eight doubles from only 14 attempts.
Taylor was very relaxed and back in business after his defeat at the hands of Lewis in Bournemouth.
“It’s still wide open isn’t it? It is great to see because it has been a great Premier League season and I reckon it will go down to the wire in Newcastle in a fortnight,” said Taylor.
Gary Anderson deserves a lot of credit for the way he played.
He won four of the last five legs to snatch a deserved point against Lewis.....the World Champion was firing as he came from 0-2 down to win six of the next seven legs, including the first 170 finish of the PL season!
But Anderson fought back.....Lewis actually hit seven perfect darts in the 12th leg, but in between the Scot stormed back, as he hit three 180s and he levelled with an 11 darter and an average of 99 shows he is getting back to something like his best form.
Four legs out of five for the Scot and there is no doubt that he thoroughly deserved the draw in Liverpool.
Liverpool PL Results:
James Wade 7-7 Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor 8-3 Simon Whitlock
Andy Hamilton 7-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 7-7 Gary Anderson
1 – Phil Taylor – 21pts
2 – Simon Whitlock – 14pts
3 – James Wade – 12pts
4 – Adrian Lewis – 12pts
5 – Raymond van Barneveld – 11pts
6 – Kevin Painter – 9pts
7 – Andy Hamilton – 9pts
8 – Gary Anderson – 8pts
Week 13 Birmingham schedule:
Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Kevin Painter v Adrian Lewis
James Wade v Phil Taylor
By STUART PYKE at the Echo Arena, Liverpool
Photos courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC