sport

Jackpot hits back to hold MVG

Adrian Lewis came from 6-3 behind to draw against Michael van Gerwen as the Premier League Darts witnessed three 6-6 stalemates in Exeter.

It was a night for the 6-6 draw with the first three matches all ending in stalemates, just as the big game of the night did between the two men expected to dominate proceedings for years to come.

Two-time world champion Lewis had to come back from 2-0 down and then 6-3 behind to claim a dramatic point against current world champion van Gerwen - with both men slightly disappointed they didn't win the match.

"These feels like a loss for myself," said Van Gerwen. "I'm playing Adrian Lewis one of the best players in the world. I was ahead 6-3 but he started to hit his doubles at the right moments and he came back strongly. But we both ended up with a point and we're both still in the running for the top four so we'll have to be happy with that."

Lewis was clearly revved up for the match as he wants to prove that he is right up there with man-of-the-moment Van Gerwen.

"I've had a chest infection recently so I've been laid low but I was up for this tonight," said Lewis. "It was a weird game as we both didn't play to our best, we played to a mediocre standard.

"I was after him in that much, I psyched myself up and hit a nine darter against Phil (Taylor) in the practice room but it just didn't turn out in the game. He was the best player all year and deserved to be world champion but I'm coming for him.

"He thinks he's No 1, and I think I'm No 1, so this coming year we'll find out."

Phil Taylor managed to grab a first win of the season last week, but he could not build on that as he fell to a narrow 7-5 defeat to Gary Anderson after missing out on a late chance to grab a draw.

Unusually, it was Anderson who was better hitting the crucial doubles, as he showed when he took out 97 to finish the match after Taylor had missed two darts for a point - to leave him languishing near the foot of the table.

Premier League leader Peter Wright kicked the night off with the first draw after Robert Thornton played a superb last two legs from 6-4 down to claim a point.

The Thorn was playing twice in Exeter as Wes Newton had to sit out with tonsillitis, but it looked like a sour start to the night as Snakebite produced two ton-plus finishes to claim a point, but the 180-laden response was emphatic.

Thornton returned for the final match of the night against Australian Simon Whitlock and was cruising at 5-3 before Whitlock picked off four legs on the spin to claim a dramatic 7-5 success.

The Aussies was winless and pointless this season but grabbed a first two-pointer of the campaign with a remarkable 100% record on his doubles to keep his hopes of avoiding relegation well and truly alive.

It was a tight affair also for Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall, as their clash also ended up in a 6-6 draw as Barney missed tops in the final leg to miss out on all two points.

Chisnall was arguably the better player throughout but Barney was hanging on in their until the end when he nailed 89 on the Bull to claim a point before a 180 put him in the driving seat in the last leg, but in the end a draw was deserved as Barney remained third in the table.