Taylor hit by Hammer blow
Phil Taylor suffered his second straight defeat in the Premier League as Andy Hamilton claimed a 7-3 win in Manchester on Thursday night.
The 16-time world champion, who looked out of sorts and at times distracted by the raucous crowd, was well beaten by his fellow Stoke thrower.
The early stages were evenly matched until Hamilton made his move on Taylor's throw in the fourth leg, and the former world championship finalist then took out 98 to break for a second time and increase his lead 5-2 in the seventh leg.
'The Hammer' was pegged back as Taylor took out double seven in the next leg, but Hamilton then took out 68 in two darts to move to the brink of victory.
He completed the job in the next leg, checking out on 90 after Taylor had narrowly missed a 126 finish.
"From the outset, Taylor just didn't seem at the races. He wasn't concentrating," expert Wayne Mardle said.
"You could clearly see Andy Hamilton was focused on the board but Phil was turning his back. He was too busy being interested in what was going on in the crowd. It's unlike him, it's normally the other way around."
Raymond van Barneveld remains top of the league standings but could only manage a 6-6 draw with Robert Thornton on Thursday night.
A sequence of five consecutive breaks saw van Barneveld go 6-4 up but Thornton hit back with a 100 checkout to keep his hopes alive then held his nerve and his throw in the final leg, taking out 78 to secure the draw
Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock registered a second straight victory as he defeated James Wade 7-4 in a match which included a total of six ton-plus finishes.
The first two legs went with throw before Wade broke in the third with a maximum 170 checkout, although he was pegged back straight away as Whitlock took out 100 by hitting tops twice.
Wade took out 103 to break again but Whitlock then reeled off four legs in a row before Wade stopped the rot with a superb 144 checkout. It was too late, however, as Whitlock finished things off with a 120 finish.