James Wade produced the shock of the night with a opening victory over current champion Michael van Gerwen. The Machines triumph was made even more spectacular when you take into account he was 3-0 adrift. The world number one hit a scintillating 167 checkout to give Wade a mountain to clime. But with much improved power scoring the Aldershot man surged back into the contest. At three a piece, van Gerwen looked on the ropes, falling behind only shook the big man even more. It was a trademark 121 finish that gave Wade breathing room. A clearly disgruntled van Gerwen dropped the pace, leaving Wade to collect the three points.
Phil Taylor floundered in the clash of the titans, as Raymond van Barneveld produced an impressive display on the doubles to seal his first victory. After loosing the opening leg, Barney then went on a rampage, sealing off six consecutive legs. With the crowd firmly behind him, the big Dutchman was a fingertip away from Premier League history. One more leg would’ve secured him a 100% checkout rate. But two missed darts at double 16 swiped the record away from his grasp, but he would have the last laugh, beating Phil Taylor 7-2 in Leeds.
Gary Anderson feeling the affects of a virus meant Michael Smith had to double up. A début defeat to Peter Wright must have shocked the youngster, but he would later have to pick himself up against Adrian Lewis. The St Helen’s youngster was visibly displeased with his performance, but the match against Lewis gave him a chance to redeem himself. Unfortunately for Smith Lewis would hand the young gun a lesson. The two defeats deal a blow to his confidence, picking himself up for next week in Newcastle will be extremely difficult. You have to hand it to Lewis, ruthless finishing, and characteristically powerful scoring, gave him an early advantage over some of the big guns.
In an eventful evening, Robert Thornton’s obliteration at the hands of Dave Chisnall ranked pretty low. ‘Chizzy’ completed the 7-0 whitewash in sub 15 minutes, leaving the Scot with plenty of ground to make up already. Despite not putting in a spectacular performance, the dreadful darts from Thornton, allowed him to settle quickly. Until leg seven the former World Grand Prix champion hadn’t had a shot at double, he squandered the chance to relieve the embarrassment as Chisnall romped to an impressive victory.