Barn-storming win for Taylor
Anderson beats Wade; Lewis held again; Whitlock loses for first time
Last Updated: 24/02/12 1:08am
Phil Taylor averaged 112.91 during his win over Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld served up a treat for the Belfast crowd with a classic contest to end the action on week three of the McCoy's Premier League.
Taylor defeated his old rival 8-4 to move to the top of the table with both players producing some brilliant moments in front of a sell-out crowd at the Odyssey Arena.
Van Barneveld had a 100 per cent record on the doubles and averaged 105.93 but the Dutchman was still unable to live with Taylor as the 15-time world champion averaged 112.91, the second highest in Premier League history.
Week three results
Kevin Painter 8-3 Simon Whitlock
Andy Hamilton 7-7 Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson 8-5 James Wade
Phil Taylor 8-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Taylor broke Van Barneveld in the opening leg with a finish of 131 for a 12-darter and he looked on course for a whitewash as he raced into a 4-0 lead.
Van Barneveld, who has now failed to beat Taylor in 13 attempts in this competition, required an 11-darter to open his account in the fifth leg and then finishes of 145, 79 and 80 as he pegged it back to 6-4.
However, Taylor claimed the 11th leg with a 74 finish and the 51-year-old had the crowd on the edge of their seats with a 180 and 177 to open the 12th leg.
A wayward seventh dart drew a chorus of good-natured boos before Taylor wrapped up a memorable success.
Reigning champion Gary Anderson made it back-to-back wins with an 8-5 victory over James Wade.
The Scotsman fought back from 4-2 down to see off the 2009 champion and follow up last week's win over Andy Hamilton.
Aldershot left-hander Wade had lost his opening two matches but broke Anderson in the first leg.
Anderson struggled to find his rhythm in the early stages although he did land five successive treble 20s at the start of the fifth leg after Wade had won the previous leg with a 107 finish.
But the match turned on its head following the interval with Anderson taking complete command to lead 7-4 thanks to back-to-back breaks.
Wade briefly stopped the rot in the 12th leg only for Anderson to wrap up the victory with a 13-darter which saw him average 110 for the last six legs.
Lewis held again
World champion Adrian Lewis drew his third successive match as he shared the spoils at 7-7 with Andy Hamilton.
Hamilton looked on course to avenge his World Championship final defeat by Lewis when he made a confident start.
He nailed a 68 finish in the opening leg and then broke his Stoke rival before holding his own throw to lead 3-0.
Lewis got off the mark thanks to a superb 130 finish and a 15-darter in the seventh leg clawed back the break.
A high-quality match, which featured 11 180s, continued when Hamilton completed a 12-darter in the following leg, although both players suffered double trouble as Lewis just sneaked the 10th leg.
However, the Potters pair then had few problems holding their throw in the final four legs and a 96 finish by Lewis in the final leg ensured they took away a point apiece.
Painter sees off Whitlock
Kevin Painter ended Simon Whitlock's unbeaten start with an 8-3 victory over the Australian in the opening match of the night.
Whitlock had topped the table after claiming a win and a draw in the opening two weeks and was an odds-on favourite to triumph.
But Painter started strongly and claimed the opening three legs, the highlight an 86 finish in the second leg.
Whitlock, roared on by the majority of the crowd, hit back to take the next two legs before Painter restored his three-leg cushion.
The Englishman had been on the wrong end of a nine-darter against Phil Taylor last week, and history looked like repeating itself in the eighth leg as Whitlock landed back-to-back 180s.
However, he missed the treble 20 with his seventh dart and, although he captured the leg, Painter then rattled off three successive legs to wrap up the victory.