sport

Dutch pair into play-offs

Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld secured places in the Premier League play-offs with wins in Manchester.

League leader Van Gerwen beat Dave Chisnall 7-4 for his ninth win of the season, taking his points tally to 20 and meaning he is guaranteed a top-four finish and with it a place at the O2 Arena on May 22 with three weeks of the regular-season remaining.

Van Gerwen was not at his best, trailing Chisnall 4-3 before reeling off four legs in a row to turn things round.

"I didn't play that well, I know I can do a lot better," he told Sky Sports.

"But on the night the most important thing is to win. Now I've qualified for the play-offs it gives me even more confidence and I can chill-out for my games in the next few weeks. I'll be there!"

Van Barneveld is also into the play-offs after averaging 104.19 during a 7-3 success against Adrian Lewis.

The 47-year-old Dutchman suffered a health scare when he collapsed at Berlin airport last weekend and plans to cut down on his schedule to avoid any repeat.

"It's hard for me to play Premier League darts and during the weekend on the Pro Tours as well," admitted Van Barneveld, who is a point behind compatriot Van Gerwen in the table.

"I learned a very hard lesson in Germany, It's stress and I know I have to look after myself. I learned a hard lesson and I'm going to concentrate on the big tournaments from now on."

Peter Wright ended a run of three defeats with a 7-5 victory over Robert Thornton in the opening match of the night to keep hold of third in the table.

A tight contest went Wright's way as a result of Thornton's trouble on double top, which he missed regularly throughout.

Wright broke throw in the 11th leg for a 6-5 lead and held for the two points - but only after Thornton had missed two darts for a share.

Also in the race for the two remaining play-off positions are Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson, who shared a 6-6 draw.

Anderson rallied from 3-1 down to end Taylor's three-match winning run and later returned to the stage to complete his double shift with another draw against Thornton.

That leaves Taylor a point behind Wright in fourth place but above Anderson on legs difference from Anderson. Taylor has a game in hand on both.

Chisnall and Lewis both sit four points back on 10 points, while Thornton is bottom and cannot make the play-offs.