REIGNING McCoy’s Premier League Darts champion Gary Anderson fell to the bottom of the league table after losing 8-4 to Kevin Painter in Bournemouth. The Eyemouth man’s hopes of defending his title at The O2 next month are now all but over.
Painter had dropped to the foot of the ladder with five straight losses, but jumped above Anderson to keep alive his own hopes of reaching the play-offs at The O2 next month.
Anderson, who hails from Eyemouth, never recovered from a slow start as Painter took leads of 3-0 and 5-1 before holding off the Scot’s fightback to claim a Premier League double over the current champion.
Painter took an immediate break of throw in the opening leg following two missed doubles from Anderson and doubled his lead before winning the third with a superb 11-darter, which included a 180 and double 16.
Anderson took out 61 on double 18 to get off the mark in the fourth, but Painter finished a key 101 to win the next before landing double eight for a 5-1 cushion.
Painter also returned from the break with a 180 as he left 81 after nine darts in the seventh leg, but Anderson took out a brilliant 140 finish for a 12-darter to win his second leg of the game.
The pair traded double top finishes in the next two legs before double 16 from Painter ensured that he would take at least a point from the game.
Anderson pulled back to 7-4 by landing double eight, but his hopes of a comeback were dashed as Painter landed a 180 in the next to pull clear before sealing victory on double one.
“A first win in six games probably sounds quite bad but I feel that I’ve been playing well recently but I’ve had players like Barney, Phil and Simon put big averages into me,” said Painter.
“I’m on eight points and the Play-Offs are still a possibility for me. I might still finish bottom but I’ll keep fighting and it’s great to be involved in the Premier League and I’ve enjoyed every week.
“I thought I played alright tonight. My finishing was in and out at times and I thought I was going to lose my way a little bit halfway through but I nicked a 101 finish when Gary was coming back into it and it changed the game.”
The tournament continues at the Echo Arena, Liverpool on Thursday with the 12th of 14 league nights, with the four games including a rematch of last year’s Premier League final between Adrian Lewis and Anderson.