5 great stories of this year’s Premier League Darts
Fresh from losing his World Championship crown to Michael van Gerwen in January, the last thing Phil Taylor would have wanted is to start his tilt for another Premier League title with a defeat to the Dutchman. However, not only did The Power lose but he suffered his first ever career whitewash as MVG won all seven legs to set off a dismal run for the six-time champion where he failed to win a match until Week 4.
2. Snakebite rattles the champ
After clashing in the Ally Pally final at the beginning of the year there was already plenty of tension preparing to simmer to a boil between Peter Wright and MVG and their first Premier League clash in Week 8 did not disappoint. Needing 161, Snakebite promptly hit the T20 and T19 before stepping away from the oche to rouse the crowd before targeting the bullseye. The crowd may have liked it but MVG certainly didn’t and punished Wright by winning that leg and the next three to set-up victory. Wright also bent down in slapstick style when attempting to hit a T20 later in the game leaving the defending champion to criticise his opponent in the post-match interview. Wright didn’t seem concerned though responding when asked about their next match that he would ‘smash him’.
3. Record crowd set in Leeds
PDC chairman Barry Hearn has been rightfully lauded for masterminding the emergence of darts as one of the most watched live events in the UK and a historic crowd at Leeds’ First Direct Arena for Week 7 was an incredible achievement for the man and the sport. Over 11,000 filled the West Yorkshire venue setting a new record for the amount of people watching a live darts event.
4. No shortage of draws
One feature of this year’s league was the amount of games that failed to produce a winner with a record number of draws recorded in 2014. Almost a third of the games finished all-square with 19 6-6 scorelines posted from the 69 matches, including 12 in a five week blitz starting in Exeter.
5. The return of Gary Anderson
The 2011 champion would have counted himself fortunate to have been included in this year’s edition considering the criteria for James Wade’s omission. After the death of his brother and father in a short space of time the hugely popular Scot visibly struggled on the oche and it has been one of the standout pleasures of this year to see Anderson regain his confidence and what can be devastating form. A year ago it would have been difficult to see the 43-year-old having the composure to overcome Barney in a match of that magnitude last week but he did in style in the end and his resurgence is a clear vindication of what must have been a difficult decision to keep him in the event.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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