PHIL TAYLOR extended his unbeaten run in the Betway Premier League to ten matches by defeating Gary Anderson and James Wade as he doubled up at the Sheffield Arena on Thursday, as Michael van Gerwen recorded the third highest televised average in history.
Taylor moved three points clear of van Gerwen at the top of the Premier League table as he enjoyed a perfect night in Yorkshire to continue his superb run of form.
The 16-time World Champion firstly overcame reigning Premier League and World Champion Anderson 7-3 as he reeled off five straight legs in their contest, capitalising after the Scot missed a chance to move 4-2 up by pouncing in clinical fashion.
Taylor then returned to the stage later in the evening to face Wade in a repeat of two previous Premier League finals, and he completed a season's double over the left-hander with a 7-4 triumph.
"I'm over the moon and it's another four points and a step closer to getting into the Play-Offs," said Taylor. "I think another one or two wins will put me through and that's what I'm after.
"Gary Anderson was the first stepping point. At three-each it was a close match and then he let me in, and I took advantage of him. It was hard in the second match against James, it's difficult but you've got to do it and to get the two points from that game is lovely."
Wade had kicked off the evening with a 7-4 defeat of 2014 Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld, who now sits six points adrift of the Play-Off places after the Aldershot ace claimed the final three legs without reply from their contest.
"It's a very important win," said Wade. "I couldn't believe some of the shots Ray gave me a chance at and it was a strange game because Ray didn't score as well as he can or finish as well as he can - but they're some of the hardest games to win."
World number one van Gerwen followed up his achievement in hitting the highest televised average in history earlier this season of 123.40 by landing the third-highest ever of 117.95 as he edged out Robert Thornton to respond to three successive draws in stunning fashion.
World Grand Prix champion Thornton hit back from 5-1 down to trail just 6-5 with a gutsy display, but van Gerwen produced an 11-darter in the deciding leg, to follow an earlier ten-dart finish, as he claimed the two points.
"It was a very tough game and Robert played really well and made it difficult for me because he never gives up," said van Gerwen, who hit five 180s in the final four legs of the contest. "I had to play well and I'm really glad I did at the end.
"The average is amazing, especially because I missed a few doubles, and it's a pleasure to play this well again and to get the two points again. After three draws I wanted to get the full house so I'm glad I did."
Adrian Lewis moved above Anderson into third place in the league table after snatching a draw with Peter Wright, who broke throw to move 6-5 up only to then miss five darts to claim the win in the deciding leg.
"It's frustrating," admitted Wright. "I was trying to go out for the win but I couldn't get anything going - it was a bad day at the office. We were both below our best but the point will help me in the league table."
The Betway Premier League continues next Thursday with Night 11 at The SSE Arena in Belfast, which will see Thornton and van Barneveld double up on the night as well as the top-four clash between van Gerwen and Anderson.
Tickets are still available by calling 028 9073 9074 or online at www.ssearenabelfast.com.
Betway Premier League
Night Ten - April 7
James Wade 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 3-7 Phil Taylor
Robert Thornton 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Adrian Lewis 6-6 Peter Wright
Phil Taylor 7-4 James Wade
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
1-0 - Wade kicks off with a superb 12-darter, hitting three 140s before taking out 81 on double six.
1-1 - Wade misses a dart at tops, and van Barneveld returns to land double nine to level.
2-1 - van Barneveld leaves 16 in his bid to break throw, but Wade finishes 101 on double 12 to edge back ahead.
2-2 - van Barneveld posts the game's first 180 before taking out double 16 to square the game.
3-2 - Wade takes out 64 on tops to move back in front.
3-3 - van Barneveld opens with a maximum before again landing double 16 as the pair continue to trade legs.
4-3 - van Barneveld misses the bull for a 122 finish, and Wade returns on double 16 to avert a possible break of throw.
4-4 - A third-dart double five sees van Barneveld hit back once more.
5-4 - The Dutchman hits his third 180, but Wade holds his nerve to finish 62 on double ten.
6-4 - van Barneveld opens with a 174 score, but Wade lands a 177 in reply before pouncing on three misses at double 18 from his opponent to finish tops for a 13-darter to break throw, securing at least a draw.
7-4 - Double ten sees Wade secure victory to continue his run of form with a fifth match unbeaten.
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
1-0 - Anderson lands the game's first 180 before taking out 74 on tops.
1-1 - Taylor finishes 61 on double 16 to level.
2-1 - Taylor fires in a maximum, but Anderson hits double 12 to avert a possible break of throw.
2-2 - Taylor follows his second 180 with a clinical 96 checkout.
3-2 - Anderson kicks off the leg with a 180 before finishing 64 on double eight to edge back ahead.
3-3 - Anderson posts a third 180, but misses tops to take out 68 for a break of throw, and Taylor steps in to finish 76 on double eight to level.
3-4 - Taylor produces a brilliant 12-darter to break throw and move ahead for the first time, following three 140s by taking out 81 on tops.
3-5 - Double ten sees Taylor hold throw to open up a two-leg lead.
3-6 - Anderson misses a dart at tops to take out 80, and Taylor breaks throw for a second time by returning to land double 16.
3-7 - Taylor seals victory by landing a third-dart double 16, ending Anderson's seven-match unbeaten run and extending his own unbeaten streak to nine matches.
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen
1-0 - Thornton opens the game with a 180 before finishing 42 for a 14-darter.
1-1 - van Gerwen finishes tops to square the contest.
1-2 - van Gerwen hits tops again to break throw and move ahead.
1-3 - The Dutchman opens up a two-leg lead with a brilliant ten-dart finish, scoring 180, 135 and 170 before landing double eight.
1-4 - van Gerwen again lands a 170 score during the scoring phase of the leg, and when Thornton misses the bull to finish 81, the Dutchman lands double ten with his third dart to move three legs clear.
1-5 - Thornton fires in a second 180, but another miss at the bull allows van Gerwen in to finish 78 on double 12 to claim a fifth straight leg.
2-5 - The Scot hits a maximum and tops to respond with his first leg in six.
2-6 - van Gerwen's brilliant finishing continues as he takes out 138 with two treble 19s and double 12 to seal at least a point.
3-6 - Thornton's opening 174 is followed by a 180 from van Gerwen, but the Scot finishes tops for a superb 11-darter to hit back again.
4-6 - The pair trade 180s before van Gerwen misses two match darts at double 16, allowing Thornton in to break on tops.
5-6 - van Gerwen lands two 180s to Thornton's one in a brilliant treble of maximums in successive visits, but two further missed match darts from the Dutchman allow Thornton to take out 76 on double eight to force a decider.
5-7 - van Gerwen opens with a sixth 180 before completing an 11-darter to seal the win, ending with a 117.95 average - the third highest individual televised average in history.
Adrian Lewis v Peter Wright
1-0 - Lewis kicks off the match with a 180 before claiming the opening leg.
1-1 - Wright lands double 12 to level the contest.
2-1 - Double ten sees Lewis edge back ahead.
2-2 - Wright finishes 77 on tops to square the game once more.
3-2 - The pair trade 180s before Lewis finishes 97 as he averts a possible break to move back into the lead.
3-3 - Wright opens with a 180 before hitting double ten to complete a superb 14-darter.
4-3 - Lewis kicks off with a maximum for the third time when throwing first, and takes out double 18 to regain the edge with a fine leg.
4-4 - Wright initially misses double 19 to finish 96, but Lewis misses two darts at double 12 to break throw, and the Scot returns to land double 19 to level again.
5-4 - Wright this time misses a chance to break throw - wiring the bull for a spectacular 167 checkout - and Lewis returns on double eight to regain the edge.
5-5 - Lewis lands a 171 score, but Wright fires in double ten to square the game.
5-6 - Wright posts his third 180 before initially missing two darts at doubles to break throw, but when Lewis is unable to take out 94, the Scot returns on double four to finally move ahead as he seals a minimum of a point.
6-6 - Wright misses five darts to claim the win, and Lewis finishes 80 on double ten to snatch a draw.
Phil Taylor v James Wade
1-0 - Taylor lands double eight to take the opening leg.
2-0 - Taylor fires in a 180 before finishing 121 on the bull to break throw for a two-leg lead.
2-1 - Wade lands a 180 before capitalising on a scrappy end to the leg by hitting double ten.
3-1 - Taylor scores 177 before finishing 84 on the bull, punishing Wade's miss at double 14 for a 121 finish.
4-1 - Taylor kicks off with a 180, with both players missing a dart at tops before the Stoke ace returns to post double ten for a three-leg cushion.
5-1 - Wade misses two darts at tops to punish a pair of misses from Taylor, who returns on double four to pull clear with a third break of throw.
5-2 - Wade finishes 101 on tops to respond with a break of throw.
5-3 - Double tens sees Wade claim a second successive leg to halve the deficit.
6-3 - Double 16 sees Taylor secure a minimum of a point from the game to extend his unbeaten run to ten games.
6-4 - Wade capitalises on Taylor's missed match darts by landing double 12 to keep his hopes of claiming a draw alive.
7-4 - Wade lands a 180 but wires double ten for a 140 checkout, and Taylor follows a 177 by hitting double 12 to claim the win with a superb 13-darter.