PDC World Champion Raymond Van Barneveld came out with guns blazing in the Holsten Premier League with an 8-5 victory over Adrian Lewis.
Coming off of his World Championship loss to Barney, Phil Taylor manages to fend off a come back from Roland Scholten.
From Sky Sports:
Phil Taylor maintained his unbeaten record in Premier League darts as he salvaged a 7-7 against Roland Scholten at Plymouth Pavilions.
‘The Power’ destroyed Scholten 16-6 in last year’s final, but the Dutchman was on the verge of gaining revenge as he won four successive legs to move 7-6 ahead.
But Taylor, deposed as world champion by Raymond van Barneveld in December, won a nervy 14th leg to stretch his league record without defeat to 29 matches.
Scholten played superbly in the closing stages of the match but nerves got the better of him as he pushed for victory and he had to settle for becoming only the third man after van Barneveld and Colin Lloyd to take a point off Taylor.
Five successive legs went against the throw before Taylor won with the darts to move into a seemingly unassailable 6-3 lead.
But that was Scholten’s cue to hit top form and checkouts of 126 and 146 – the highest of the night – brought him back into the match.
At 6-6 Taylor inexplicably missed six darts at doubles before Scholten picked off 81 to guarantee himself a point.
However, he was unable to convert it into a victory and ensure a Dutch double over the Potteries, following van Barneveld’s win over Adrian Lewis in the opening match.
The world champion recovered from a slow start, which saw him lose the opening two legs, to win six of the next seven and take control of the match before eventually winning 8-5.
Lewis, 22, is the youngest player in the eight-man field, but nevertheless had been tipped for great things ahead of his debut in the competition.
He did not let his supporters down as he pushed the Dutch master all the way, his three-dart average just a shade beneath van Barneveld’s with both players touching 100 throughout the match.
However, Lewis was made to pay for his mistakes and ultimately that was to prove the difference.
Van Barneveld opened with several slack darts, throwing 45 on his first visit and struggling to find his momentum.
But once he had got into his flow the maximums began to follow and three successive legs gave him a 3-2 lead.
The 37-year-old former postman missed two darts at doubles in the sixth leg, allowing Lewis to steal it, but the roles were reversed in the eighth and ‘Barney’ opened up a 5-3 lead.
After seeing his opponent take the ninth leg, Lewis upped his game and although he narrowly missed a 164 checkout he won the 10th leg to bring it back to 6-4.
The next two legs went with the darts, leaving van Barneveld needing one more for the match, yet he only took it after Lewis had squandered five attempts at the double.
Dennis Priestley and Terry Jenkins are also making their first appearances in the competition and it was Priestley who won their opening night match 8-5.
The first five legs went with the darts before Priestley broke through for a 4-2 interval lead.
Jenkins hit back immediately, but once again it was Priestley who edged two legs clear at 7-5 before holding his nerve to collect two points.
In the third match of the night, Peter Manley secured a dramatic 8-6 victory over Colin Lloyd with a bullseye finish.
‘One Dart’ led 3-0 and 6-3 before Lloyd pulled level at 6-6. Then, after Manley won the 13th leg to earn at least a draw, Lloyd missed two darts at double 20 which would have earned him a point.
Needing 90 for the match, Manley hit 25, 15 and then the bull to raise the roof at the Pavilions.
Story from Sky Sports.