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Premier League Darts Play Off Places Confirmed

Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson book last two semi final spots

Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson are the four players progressing to the semi finals of the Premier League after a big night in Brighton.
Phil Taylor completed his resolute revival after losing four of his opening five matches, as he defeated Robert Thornton 7-5 to seal third place in the final table.
As had been his custom during the season, Taylor once again made life tough for himself as he missed his chances to wrap up a more comfortable win, before hitting double eight to eventually seal his place in next week’s Play-Offs.
The six-time Premier League champion will travel to The O2 on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run, as he prepares to face rival Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-finals for a second successive year.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Taylor. “Everybody wrote me off at the start of the season and they had every right to, because I was struggling – but I knew I’d come good in the end.
“I’ve got a great chance of winning this title now but I’ve got to get myself ready for the semi-finals now because it’s a big night next week.
“This is the best Premier League I’ve ever played in and I’ve loved it, even when I was losing. It was a matter of rebuilding and getting myself back on track, but I’ve done what I needed to to get into the Play-Offs.”

Anderson, the 2011 Premier League champion, will also challenge to lift the trophy following his 7-4 victory over van Barneveld – a six-time semi-finalist who had already secured his place in the top four.
Anderson had trailed 2-1 early on but won five successive legs on his way to victory, with checkouts of 100 and 124 in successive legs helping to turn the game in his favour.
“It’s nice to get that over and done with to be honest,” admitted a relieved Anderson. “My scoring was great but my finishing in the first few legs was terrible, and I was still thinking about what I needed to do.
“The 124 was a big shot and it made a difference, and I came good in the end. I’ve gone seven games undefeated now and that’s great going into the Play-Offs,” he added.
Those wins denied Peter Wright the chance to snatch a Play-Off spot, as the World Championship finalist ended the season in fifth place after he went down 7-5 to Michael van Gerwen, despite a 161 checkout bringing the sell-out Brighton crowd to its feet.
Van Gerwen signalled his intent to retain the title ahead of his semi-final against Anderson by posting the highest average of the league phase with a superb 110.85 in a performance which included three 11-dart finishes.
There was to be no repeat of the on-stage antics in Dublin which kick-started a fierce rivalry between the two earlier in the season, as a deflated Wright bowed of the competition.  

“I’m very proud to have finished at the top of the table for the second successive year and that shows that I’ve been the best player over 15 weeks – but I still have to perform in the semi-finals and final,” admitted van Gerwen.
“Last year I finished top of the league and then won the trophy and that’s what I want to do in the Play-Offs. I’m feeling good and my form’s great, as I showed with this win tonight, so I want to carry that on next week.”
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis ended the season on a high with a second successive victory as he defeated Dave Chisnall 7-4 in Brighton, but he remained in sixth place in the final league table.

“It was a difficult game for both of us because there was nothing on the game, but we were good in patches and it’s great for me to get the win to finish the season,” said Lewis.
“I wasn’t consistent enough this season and didn’t deserve to be in the top four, but I’m putting a lot of work in both in practice and in other areas of my life to try to make myself better.”
The destiny of the Premier League title will be decided next Thursday at The O2 in London, with van Gerwen’s semi-final with Anderson opening the night before van Barneveld meets Taylor.
The PDC World Youth Championship final between Keegan Brown and Rowby-John Rodriguez will then take place before the earlier semi-final winners return to the stage to compete for the £150,000 top prize.
Premier League Darts Results
Week 15 – May 15, The Brighton Centre
Dave Chisnall 4-7 Adrian Lewis Gary Anderson 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld Robert Thornton 5-7 Phil Taylor Peter Wright 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Play-Offs line-up – May 22, The O2, London
Premier League Semi-Finals: Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final: Keegan Brown v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Premier League Final van Gerwen/Anderson v van Barneveld/Taylor

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Harry James
Harry James' love for sports began in his high school basketball days. Sadly, an injury meant he couldn't further his NBA dreams, but the hooper's loss is our gain as he then found journalism.

Harry James' love for sports began in his high school basketball days. Sadly, an injury meant he couldn't further his NBA dreams, but the hooper's loss is our gain as he then found journalism.

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