Wright secures his first Betway Premier League play-off spot
Peter 'Snakebite' Wright is set to break new ground in the Betway Premier League after securing his qualification for the play-offs last night (April 27).
The night in Birmingham saw Mendham-based Wright secure his play-off place by defeating Phil Taylor 7-3 win - leaving the six-time champion clinging on to his own top-four spot.
Taylor followed up 180s in the opening two legs with a 93 finish in the third to lead 2-1, but Wright levelled and then took out clinical checkouts of 104, 116 and 96 in successive legs to move 5-2 up.
Taylor shared the next two, but a missed bull in the tenth leg allowed Wright to take out 78 to secure a precious two points.
"The plan was just to try and win my game tonight, regardless of what happens with qualifying," said Wright.
"I wasn't great but I didn't play as well as I wanted to tonight but I got the win.
"My finishing was good but I wasn't really happy with my scoring, but it's always hard to beat Phil so I'm pleased with that.
"It's amazing where I've come to, I used to be 5/1 against Phil and I was odds-on today, but it's down to the hard work I've done."
He added: "I want to win my last two games and push for that top spot and challenge Michael (van Gerwen), and then try and win the final at The O2. I want to push Michael and I'm not happy being second to him, I want to beat him."
Reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen followed up a draw with Dave Chisnall with a whitewash over Adrian Lewis to continue his challenge to claim a third title in the event.
The Dutchman now sits three points clear of Suffolk's Wright in the bid to claim the £25,000 League Winner's Bonus with two weeks of the regular season remaining.
Van Gerwen's opening game of his double-header saw him come from 6-3 down to deny Chisnall a third straight victory as he Englishman paid the price for missing three match darts.
Van Gerwen took out 84 and 87 to share the opening four legs, but Chisnall took the next three to pull clear and landed double one in leg nine to secure at least a point.
Double eight kept Van Gerwen in the game before he capitalised on three misses at double 18 from Chisnall in the next to force a deciding leg, which saw the Dutchman fire in a 180 before finishing double four for a 13-darter to share the spoils.
The World Champion later returned to the stage to complete only the eighth whitewash in the history of the Premier League, averaging almost 111 in a sensational 7-0 rout of Adrian Lewis.
Van Gerwen hit 180s in each of the first three legs as he pulled clear of Lewis, whose missed doubles in the next two legs allowed the Dutchman to consolidate his advantage at 5-0.
The league leader then took out a pair of 14-darters to complete the whitewash, securing his place in the semi-finals next month and moving himself a step closer to the League Winner's Bonus.
"It's been a good evening for me," said Van Gerwen. "To go home with three points is good and I think I made a great night of it at the end with the win over Adrian.
"It was a fantastic performance and I played phenomenal against Adrian - I came alive and everything clicked.
"The first step is getting into the play-offs and the biggest step is at The O2, and I want to keep this going now. I'm feeling good and I'm playing really well."
Meanwhile, Gary Anderson gained a key victory in his bid to secure a top-four finish and challenge for a third Premier League title as he overcame Raymond van Barneveld 7-4 and James Wade kept alive his feint play-off hopes alive with a 7-4 win over Lewis in the night's opening fixture, although the 2009 champion sits three points adrift of the top four with two games remaining.
The Betway Premier League season continues next Thursday at The Sheffield Arena, with the four matches including Wright against Lewis, Van Gerwen against Taylor, Chisnall taking on Van Barneveld and Anderson meeting Wade. For tickets, call 0114 256 5656 or visit www.sheffieldarena.co.uk.
Betway Premier League
Night 13 - Thursday April 27
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
James Wade 7-4 Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor 3-7 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 0-7 Michael van Gerwen