sport

Taylor turns on power

Phil Taylor moved into a strong position to make the Premier League play-offs after earning three points from his double shift in Birmingham.

Taylor came from behind to draw 6-6 with already-qualified Raymond van Barneveld and later returned to the stage at the NIA to beat Dave Chisnall 7-2.

With the top four in the league table qualifying for the finals at the O2 Arena on May 22, Taylor is now in third place on 17 points, one point clear of both Gary Anderson and Peter Wright, with two weeks of the regular-season remaining.

He also eliminated Chisnall from contention, the St Helens thrower enduring a miserable night having earlier lost 7-5 to an inspired Robert Thornton, the only man below him in the table.

Van Barneveld's failure to turn a 5-3 lead over Taylor into more than a draw means he is still yet to beat his old rival in 20 Premier League meetings and also missed the chance to overtake Michael van Gerwen for top spot.

Van Gerwen lost for just the second time this season, going down 7-4 to Anderson, but remains above Van Barneveld by virtue of having won more leg against the throw. Both Dutchmen have 20 points and a legs difference of +22 and are already assured of advancing to the play-offs.

Anderson, who raced 5-1 up before stumbling over the winning line, said: "I did my best to throw that away, the same scenario (as usual), I lost a couple of legs I shouldn't have but got there in the end. I'm not quite finished yet."

Peter Wright remains in fourth spot - above Anderson only on legs difference - after winning the final two to salvage a 6-6 draw against Adrian Lewis, who is without a victory in eight matches and cannot now make the play-offs.

Thornton, long since out of the play-off picture, got the night under way by hitting a nine 180s - a season-high for a single Premier League match among all players - to see off Chisnall 7-5 for just his second win of the campaign.