Anderson marks return with a hard-earned point

DARTS: Gary Anderson made a punishing return to Premier League darts last night, taking one point from two matches in one night despite having chances at match-winning doubles

The Eyemouth dartsman faced James Wade and Andy ‘The Hammer’ Hamilton in back-to-back games after missing the Cardiff leg of the tour due to the funeral of his father, Gordon, last month. Wade saw the Scot off 8-3, before Anderson faced Hamilton in a see-saw encounter.

Anderson broke the Stoke man’s opening throw and hitting a 101 to race into a 2-0 lead. Some excellent play by Hamilton, including a 12 darter, saw him claw back the advantage.

Anderson responded by running up a 7-4 lead after the break, guaranteeing him at least a point, but several missed attempts at doubles allowed Hamilton to snatch a draw.

The Scot conceded he had let the match slip: “I had my shots in the last two legs to win the match and I’ve nobody to blame but myself. I’ve got four weeks left to try get into the Play-Offs and I know what I’ve got to do - start winning!”

Anderson now sits sixth in the table, but he can draw some comforts from this most difficult of experiences. Despite now having lost five times in a row, his average score has often been higher than in his earlier run of three victories.

Last year’s Premier League champion also remains fourth on the 2012 Order of Merit, with £317,800 in winnings.