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Article: Darts: Premier League Week 7 - Peview by Phill Catterick

Darts: Premier League Week 7 - Peview by Phill Catterick

BRIGHTON becomes the next venue to host a round of the 2009 Whyte and Mackay Darts Premier League, and provides the last fixtures in the first round of matches, before the `second legs` take place, starting next week at the Birmingham.

And as ever, the evening throws up some interesting ties, with Phil Taylor taking on John Part-and these two men have had some interesting battles over the years, and the rivalry between them is still ever present. Part remains only one of three men to beat Taylor in a World Championship final; the other two being Raymond Van Barneveld and Dennis Priestley.

For some, this tournament is only just beginning. The bottom four in the table presently will still all believe they have a chance of reaching the play-offs, and will need to kick-start their campaign with a win in the south-east.

There are still 16 points to play for in the tournament, and players will almost certainly need a double figure points score to make it to Wembley. Mervyn King will feel confident of being there already; having tallied 9 points in the first half of the competition, as has James Wade.

Jelle Klaasen on the other hand will probably need to win at least four of his remaining matches to have any chance of reaching finals night, but with him playing a revitalised Raymond Van Barneveld this Thursday evening, his chances could well be much slimmer than what they are now.

James Wade will be looking to build on his impressive run of form after a poor start to the tournament, and he takes on Wayne Mardle who himself will want a win to boost his top four chances, but needs to produce his `A` game rather than his `C` game-very rarely is he consistent in his performances!

Terry Jenkins too needs to produce some good Darts this week-he is still to record his first win of the tournament, and his doubles are completely to blame. He used to be clinical on his outshots, particularly double top-but now you wouldn’t gamble a penny on him hitting it with three arrows in his hand.

And he will have glanced at the fixtures in disbelief this week as he has to take on the league leader Mervyn King. And many would say at the worst possible time as he let slip his 100% record last week against Barneveld.

Both very capable players, and if both produce their best darts then we could be in for one hell of a match. Unfortunately, Jenkins isn’t throwing particularly well, and with him struggling on his doubles, he will find it tricky to overcome a man who is regularly averaging around a hundred.

King will be determined to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, and has a perfect chance to do so against a man low on confidence. I predict Merv will claim his fifth win of the campaign and leave Terry scratching his head one more time.

Phill’s Prediction: King 8- 5 Jenkins

Wayne Mardle v James Wade

The World number two is playing some great darts at the moment, and it’s going to take something special to stop `the machine. ` And Mardle hasn’t exactly been impressive in the tournament to date, going down 8-1 to John Part a couple of weeks back, and he can’t afford at this stage to be hot and cold whenever it suits him. Wins are vital right now, and unfortunately I don’t see him getting one against Wade.

James is in form right now, and infact won the Blue Square UK Open North West Regional’s Final against Kevin McDine over the weekend. The win means he will definitely be at the Reebok Stadium to defend his UK Open title later in the year.

Mardle’s inconsistency and Wade’s recent run of good form means I only see one winner in this encounter.

Phill’s Prediction: Mardle 5-8 Wade

Raymond Barneveld v Jelle Klaasen

The last time these two met was in the World Championship quarter-finals, and Barney produced a scintillating performance which included a fantastic nine-dart finish.

And judging by how he performed last week against King, I wouldn’t bet against him hitting another-he remains the only man to have hit one in the premier league incidentally.

Klaasen knows what it takes to beat Barneveld-he was the man who beat his fellow countryman in the BDO final of 2006. Until December, Barney had never beaten Klaasen on TV, but he soon put that statistic right, and two in a row wouldn’t go a miss.

Jelle’s starting to produce some good stuff, but against Barneveld he will need to be at his absolute best, and I don’t think he will quite have enough to fend off the five time World champion.

Phill’s prediction: Barneveld 8-4 Klaasen

Phil Taylor v John Part

And finally, the two rivals go head to head in a match which has more often that not produced some great darts down the years. The stats will say Phil has overcome the `Darth Maple` more often that not, but Part will always be one he fears, and can’t afford to give him a chance because the Canadian will take it every time.

Part hasn’t been brilliant average wise, but he scores steady tons and ton forties, and finishes well on his doubles. However, that won’t be good enough against `The Power.` He’s got to score 180’s and take out big outshots if he’s to have any chance of taking at least a point from the game. I don’t see this happening, and Taylor needs to put together a few wins if he’s to win the league, which is always his goal.

Phill’s prediction: Taylor 8-4 Part

Not one of the top four can rest yet in this competition. There are so many points still to play for, and still plenty to lose. Every player will be looking over their shoulder, and doing their best to ensure that either their place in the league is maintained, or making sure that they move up a couple of places so they make the stage at Wembley.

The bottom four will have the bit between their teeth as the second round of fixtures approach, and the likes of Taylor, Wade, Barney and King can’t afford to rest, because after all……This is the Premier League!


Story By: Darts Fans Online

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