Premier League Darts: James Wade draws with Phil Taylor to progress to last four
Last Updated: 20/05/13 9:45pm
James Wade: Held his nerve to secure a draw with Phil Taylor
James Wade secured a spot in the semi-finals of the McCoy's Premier League after holding Phil Taylor to a 6-6 draw in Newcastle.
Wade, Simon Whitlock and Robert Thornton all went into the final evening of the regular season with a chance of claiming the final play-off spot, with the latter two having the advantage of two matches on the night.
But after Whitlock and Thornton could not beat Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld respectively, Wade knew a win would book his spot on Finals Night.
Although he did not manage to defeat 16-time world champion Taylor, Thornton was unable to secure the improbably lopsided win he needed against Michael van Gerwen in the next match on stage.
As a result, Wade will now go up against table-topping van Gerwen after his impressive victory over the Scot - with Taylor playing Raymond van Barneveld in the other semi.
Raymond van Barneveld hits a 161 checkout in his 7-4 win over Robert Thornton, in the darts Premier League.
Taylor put Wade under immense pressure late on but the 2009 winner held his nerve, taking out 90 in two darts in the 10th leg to hold throw and prevent his opponent from moving to the brink of victory.
Taylor then held throw to move 6-5 ahead and again pile the pressure on Wade, who took out 50 in impressive style to secure the draw.
Thornton had earlier missed a chance to temporarily move into the top four when he slumped to a 7-4 defeat against van Barneveld.
The five-time world champion took out 161 on his way to the victory, with Thornton squandering six darts at a double when the contest was finely poised in the eighth leg.
Whitlock, meanwhile, was eliminated from contention as his 6-6 draw with Adrian Lewis was cancelled out by Wade's result against Taylor.
Lewis, who hit a maximum checkout of 170 during the contest, finished his disappointing campaign on a high note as he had earlier beaten Andy Hamilton 7-5 after coming back from a 4-1 deficit.