Premier League Darts: Phil Taylor win overshadowed by spitting incident
Last Updated: 29/03/13 10:36am
Phil Taylor: World champion defeats Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor went joint-top of the McCoy's Premier League Darts table with a 7-3 victory over his old rival Raymond van Barneveld in Glasgow.
Taylor now has 10 points, the same as Van Barneveld and both James Wade and Michael van Gerwen after eight matches.
The world champion received a hostile reception from the SECC crowd - with one spectator appearing to spit on him as he walked to the stage - but he shrugged that off as he raced into a 3-0 lead against the Dutchman.
Van Barneveld, who had never beaten Taylor in their 15 previous Premier League meetings, finally got on the scoreboard by taking the fourth leg.
He also took the sixth leg with a 13-darter but missed several chances to break Taylor's throw in both the fifth and seventh legs which ultimately proved crucial.
The Englishman broke for a second time to lead 6-2 and although Van Barneveld hit back with a 144 finish, Taylor then took out 72 to seal the victory.
"I was really nervous before the game and there was a lot of pressure on us both," said Taylor.
"Barney's a brilliant player and he hit the 180s at the right time, but he couldn't quite hit his finishes tonight - apart from the 144, which was brilliant!"
Adrian Lewis extended his unbeaten run to four matches with a 7-4 defeat of Andy Hamilton.
The two Stoke stars made nervy starts, missing a total of 17 darts at doubles before Hamilton claimed the first leg.
Hamilton followed up in the next leg but Lewis roared back by winning four successive legs.
A break of throw put Hamilton back in the match at 4-3 but he then bust 164 in the next leg and Lewis stepped in to win the leg.
Hamilton refused to buckle and hit back with a 100 finish for a 12-darter only for Lewis to reply with a 124 finish before taking the 11th leg to secure a precious two points in the battle to avoid relegation.
"After four weeks I didn't think I'd make it to the latter stages but I've got a great chance now," said Lewis. "As soon as I had to fight for my life, I've been pulling something out of the back."
Robert Thornton is now safe from the drop after thrashing Simon Whitlock 7-1 to the delight of the Glasgow crowd.
The Scot averaged 107.65 in a one-sided contest to leave Whitlock, who managed to win just the fifth leg, perilously placed ahead of a tough clash with Michael van Gerwen next week.
Thornton said: "To be safe from relegation and to play in front of a crowd like this makes everything worthwhile - it was amazing. It's brilliant, one of the most memorable nights I've ever had."