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McCoy’s Premier League Darts: Double Delight Sends van Gerwen to Summit in Sheffield

Michael van Gerwen moved clear at the top of the McCoy’s Premier League table with a pair of fantastic victories in Sheffield on Thursday evening.

The 23-year-old Dutchman produced a fabulous performance to defeat world number one Phil Taylor before seeing off James Wade to take four points from his two fixtures at the Motorpoint Arena.

van Gerwen, who has all but secured a place in the play-offs, was particularly pleased with his dominant display against 16-time World Champion Taylor.

“It is a special moment to beat Phil in the Premier League,” said van Gerwen, who lost out to ‘The Power’ in January’s World Championship final.

“I think I should have won 7-1 but winning is the most important thing, whatever the score is.

“I was much the better player in that one and then I managed to win a game when I didn’t play as well against James.

“Before tonight I was targeting a minimum of two points so to take four makes me very happy.

“I hope I can do the same next week. It is a little target of mine now to be the first person to win the league part of this tournament except Phil Taylor!”

van Gerwen kicked off a fruitful evening with a 13 darter in the opening leg against ‘The Power’.

‘Mighty Mike’ hit double 16 for a break of throw after both players missed darts at doubles

van Gerwen fired in a second 180 but missed four darts at his double before Taylor took the third leg.

But the Dutchman bedded his third maximum before cleaning up eleven before Taylor pulled a leg back on double 16.

A bullseye finish gave van Gerwen a three leg lead but he missed five darts to break before ‘The Power’ pinned double nine to make it 5-3.

A fifth 180 helped van Gerwen ensure at least a draw, as he took out 80 in two darts.

And he pegged double eight to seal brilliant victory before returning to the stage in the last match of the evening against Wade.

He won the first two legs before ‘The Machine’ got off the mark.

But ‘Mighty Mike’ rattled of the next five to take a commanding lead.

Wade then went on a run of three straight legs before van Gerwen closed out the match, sealing victory with a 13 darter.

The win moved the Premier League debutant two points clear of Wade at the summit of the league table.

van Gerwen will play twice again next week when he faces Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld in front of an expected 10,000 strong crowd in Dublin.

By Chris Murphy

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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