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DRAWS NO COMFORT IN LIVERPOOL

26th April 2012, 10:58pm

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Barney: Battled back for a draw

Barney: Battled back for a draw

Raymond van Barneveld battled back from 4-1 down to grab a draw with Andy Hamilton as the pair shared the points in a McCoy's Premier League Darts thriller in Liverpool.

Hamilton continued his battle for a play-off place in his first Premier League season by taking a 3-0 lead against the Dutchman, and he also led 4-1 before van Barneveld hit back to share the spoils.

It was one of three draws on the night as defending champion Gary Anderson lost his grip on the trophy as a 7-7 draw with Adrian Lewis in Liverpool ensured he could not make it into the 2012 play-offs.

The fight for play-off places is really hotting up with just two weeks left to play now, and that showed itself in the fact that three matches ended in draws for the first time in the Premier League since 2006.

Phil Taylor is a whopping seven points out in front after his tenth win out of 12, but behind him six players can still mathematically fill the three remaining play-off spots, with only reigning champion Anderson definitely ruled out after his draw with Lewis.

The top two in the table went head-to-head and Simon Whitlock looked in top form when he nailed a 161 outshot to take a 3-1 lead against table-topping Phil Taylor, who lost for the first time this season last week.

However, 'The Power' hit back in style by taking the next seven legs on the spin to condemn the Aussie to an 8-3 defeat, although The Wizard remains second and almost assured of a play-off place.

"I was a little bit worried," said Taylor. "He's a good player is Simon. The practice room is brilliant right now, everyone's giving it the banter as there are plenty of people still in it, it's so wide open - it really is nip and tuck.

Kevin Painter was kicking himself after letting a 4-1 and 7-4 lead over James Wade disappear as the world number three hit back to salvage a 7-7 draw and leave Painter three points behind him in the table.

The Artist missed two darts for an 8-4 victory that would have put him right back in the play-off reckoning but allowed Wade off the hook, and now Painter is up against it in the race to finish in the top four.

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