5 Premier League darts moments to savour as return nears

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Leeds will be the venue as Gary Anderson bids to get the defence of his Premier League Darts crown off to the best possible start this Thursday. 

The Scot is a 10/3 shot to defend his crown, with only world number one Michael van Gerwen ahead of him in the betting at 11/10.

The weekly event has seen plenty of high-octane encounters, stunning checkouts and its fair share of controversy over the years since its inception in 2005.

We’ve taken a trip down memory lane to pick out five of the most memorable moments at the oche in the competition over the years.

MVG bursts onto the scene in a way only he knows how – 2013

Michael van Gerwen is a man known for his ability to hit some massive check-outs, and he wasted no time to show the world what he could do in the Premier League.

Having claimed the World Grand Prix in 2012, much was expected of the Dutchman in his maiden foray in the competition.

He duly delivered, forcing his way to the final, but the way in which he went on to claim the title at Phil Taylor’s expense fully deserved the rather excitable celebrations.

Floorboard-gate gets Jackpot riled – 2012

The big talking point in the previous year’s competition was probably less about big check-outs and superb fight-backs and more about the floorboards, yes really.

James Wade was 7-5 down when he began to remonstrate that he was unhappy with Adrian Lewis distracting him when walking away from the board.

What followed was a rather farcical argument between the two players and the referee over the state of the stage in Nottingham, before Lewis was left to protest his innocence in the matter.

James Wade shuts down the Power – 2008

In 2008 Phil Taylor was at his imperious best, and came into his opening tie of the competition on a 44-match winning run.

His opponent that day was tournament debutant James Wade, who had been making waves the previous year winning the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix.

The presence of The Power wasn’t enough to stop the Aldershot thrower making his debut a losing one as he battled to a 8-6 success and end Taylor’s unbeaten run, though his victim would have the last laugh when running out a 16-8 winner when the pair met in the final.

Phil Taylor goes nine-darter crazy – 2010

No-one has won the Premier League more times than Phil Taylor (though you could probably say that for most events), and the 2010 final showed you why.

Facing James Wade in the decider for the second time in three years, Taylor wasted no time in going to work, taking out a nine-darter in just the second leg.

Not content with that though, the Stoke man went and did it again 13 legs later en route to a 10-8 triumph.

Adrian Lewis’ trick-shots fail to deliver – 2007

Floorboard-gate wasn’t the first time that ‘Jackpot’ was thrown into controversy in the competition, with his debut appearance seeing the crowd and to some extent, Sid Waddell, turn on him.

Taking on Raymond van Barneveld, he seemed to play up to his reputation as an excellent exhibition player, attempting a number of no-look 180s and doubles.

Many didn’t come off, leaving the crowd to get on his back and the legendary commentator Waddell describing it as “madness” and “stupidly arrogant”, before Barney put him in his place.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.