So far, 6 tantalising weeks of Darts has seen 180’s fly across Britain from 10 of the best in the game.
Currently, Dutch maestro Raymond van Barneveld sits top of the pile with 4 wins while his fellow countryman Michael van Gerwen is just below Barney with 3 victories.
At the bottom, a spirited two performances from Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis still sees him fighting to avoid the impending relegation which will see the two bottom players after Week 9 eliminated.
The beauty of this year’s PDC Premier League is that it is closer than ever. Phil Taylor is on for a hat-trick of losses; something unfounded usually for The Power whilst former champion Lewis is trying to rekindle his play from before.
The show will move on to Cardiff next and Barney will be up against 2009 champion James Wade. ‘The Machine’ has shown consistency and a coolness that brought him the title previously. Perhaps a home crowd will give this match more of an edge for Wade despite Barney’s high scoring and brilliant checkout percentage.
Taylor will face League debutant Wes Newton, who himself is trying to fend off relegation. A great of the game Taylor should not be underestimated at any cost to still take this title eventually and experience in this match may be crucial.
Elsewhere, van Gerwen will be given a test by Scot, Gary Anderson, who on his day can produce fantastic Darts. Anderson himself has felt the brunt of the competitiveness of the Premier League so far and finds himself in the mix for relegation.
Possibly the least talked about match of the night will be Andy Hamilton up against Australian Simon Whitlock. So far both men sit in the middle of the pack with 3 wins and 3 losses. It is perhaps this inconsistency to pick up points that may see them both with a chance of relegation so points are definitely important. It should however be noted that Hamilton oversaw Phil Taylor last week with a confident 7-3 victory.
Out of the ten players so far in the League, I have perhaps been most enlightened by the high scoring and tenacity shown by debutant Robert Thornton. Thornton, who faces Adrian Lewis this week, finds himself 4th, with 2 wins and 3 draws. It is the ability to pick up points which has seen Thornton in a comfortable territory.
So far, no 9-Darters have been seen. Last week saw James Wade pick up a tasty 170 checkout in Manchester. Gary Anderson can feel confident with regards to a 9-Darter. He hit one in a UK Qualifier midweek; an event which in form van Gerwen won.
Make no mistake, the current Premier League seems tighter than ever and as the tungsten continues to be thrown, each match becomes even more of a spectacle of importance every week.