REPORTS from night one of the 2009 Whyte and Mackay Premier League Darts.

The Echo Arena Liverpool hosted the first of 14 league nights in this year's tournament, with almost 8,000 fans enjoying the action.

Watch highlights in PDCtv from Friday evening.

2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts
Week One - Echo Arena, Liverpool

James Wade 7-7 John Part
Jelle Klaasen 7-7 Terry Jenkins
Mervyn King 8-1 Wayne Mardle
Raymond van Barneveld 4-8 Phil Taylor

JAMES WADE 7-7 JOHN PART

JOHN PART shared the spoils with 2008 runner-up James Wade in the opening game of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts.

The Canadian snatched a point in the deciding leg of the game, punished missed doubles from Wade to earn himself the draw.

Part had led 2-0 after taking the first leg against the darts and hitting a 180 and a bullseye finish in the second.

Wade hit back to win the third on the bull, before Part hit a second maximum and double eight to lead 3-1.

Wade took the next three legs on his favoured double top to hit the front, and after Part levelled the left-hander took the next two for a 6-4 cushion.

But missed doubles continued to dog the youngster as Part drew level once more - only for the Canadian to suffer from three wasted chances in the next as Wade earned a point on double ten.

Wade, though, gave himself two darts for victory on a 98 finish in the 14th leg, but missed two darts at double 19 and Part took out double 16 for the draw.

"I got lucky with a point but I didn't play how I can," said Wade. "I haven't played how I can for six months, and six months ago I'd have easily walked away with a win there.

"But I didn't and I'm grateful to have got a point. John let me off a bit to be honest.

"It felt a bit foreign to be back on the Premier League stage! I've got to learn again and hopefully there will be plenty of wins to come."

Match Stats

James Wade

7-7

John Part

20

100+

10

13

140+

8

2

180

2

31.04

Ave1

29.41

93.12

Ave3

88.23

101

High Finish

78

2

Legs Against Throw

2


JELLE KLAASEN 7-7 TERRY JENKINS

JELLE KLAASEN was denied a winning debut in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts as Terry Jenkins grabbed a draw in a thrilling finale to their clash.

The Dutch youngster made an impressive start to the Premier League in front of almost 8,000 fans at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

He hit a nerve-settling 180 in the game's opening leg, and took the lead on double top before Jenkins hit back to level on double 12.

The 2007 Premier League runner-up began the third leg with a maximum, but double nine edged Klaasen back in front before further 180s in the next two legs helped Jenkins into a 3-2 lead.

Klaasen took the next three to assume a 5-3 advantage, only for Jenkins to match that thanks in part to two breaks of throw with a 14-darter and a 12-dart leg which featured a 124 finish.

Back-to-back 14-darters, including a 100 checkout, earned Klaasen a point, but Jenkins took out a 120 'Shanghai' finish in the final leg gave the Englishman a draw.

"It was a great experience and I'm pleased with a draw for it being my first match," said Klaasen. "The important thing was that I didn't lose and I didn't.

"It's new for me and next time I'll feel better on stage, but it was a great feeling."

Jenkins added: "I think it was a fair draw.

"I got control of the game halfway through but then let it slip again and a draw was a fair result.

"I thought Jelle would come up and play well and I knew what I was up against. It's difficult playing against him."

Match Stats

Jelle Klaasen

7-7

Terry Jenkins

15

100+

20

14

140+

8

3

180

6

32.50

Ave1

32.32

97.50

Ave3

96.95

100

High Finish

124,120

3

Legs Against Throw

3


MERVYN KING 8-1 WAYNE MARDLE

MERVYN KING made a superb Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts debut with an 8-1 destruction of Wayne Mardle in Liverpool.

The world number six announced his title credentials in his first Premier League campaign with a superb performance to see off Mardle.

He took the first three legs without reply, including a break of throw in the second and an 11-darter in the third to put himself in command.

Double ten got Mardle off the mark, but King responded with another 11-darter in lifting his average to well over 100.

A 72 finish put him 5-1 up, and missed doubles from Mardle allowed King back on double five to take leg seven.

Mardle missed three darts at doubles in each of the next two legs as King created a 7-1 cushion, and the lesson in finishing continued as the newcomer landed double top for the win.

"Sometimes you have to grind a result out but it felt good on stage, I was comfortable and it wasn't hard work," said King.

"I expected more from Wayne. He rallied in the fourth and fifth legs but I kept with him and it's nice to be at the top of the pile."

He added: "I wasn't nervous, I was just focused on what I had to do. I didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of 8,000 fans and I'm delighted with how I started."

Match Stats

Mervyn King

8-1

Wayne Mardle

8

100+

13

7

140+

6

3

180

0

32.54

Ave1

28.59

97.63

Ave3

85.76

72

High Finish

20

3

Legs Against Throw

0


PHIL TAYLOR 8-4 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

PHIL TAYLOR began the defence of his Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts title with an 8-4 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Thursday.

Taylor has won all four previous years of the Premier League, and kicked off the £400,000 event in style in a repeat of his World Championship final victory over the Dutchman.

While his 7-2 Alexandra Palace victory in January was over sets, he came from 2-1 down in legs to take six in a row before defying a 161 finish from the Dutchman to close out the win.

"It was a tough match for both of us to start with but I'm delighted to get a winning start," said Taylor.

"I'm feeling great, am satisfied with my game and everything's going really well for me at the moment."

Taylor landed a 180 in the opening leg, only for van Barneveld to reply in kind to level and then hit double 12 for a 2-1 cushion.

Taylor comfortably enjoyed the better of the mid-game exchanges to win six successive legs, with legs of 14, 13 and 14 darts followed up a brilliant 125 bull-25-bull finish for a 12-darter.

Double 16 gave him a 6-2 lead and a 14-darter edged him to the brink of victory.

Van Barneveld took out a 161 finish, ensuring a £1,000 bonus as the night's highest checkout, and landed a 180 in cutting the gap to 7-4.

But Taylor ruthlessly completed the win, taking out 101 for another 12-darter and both points.

"It was good fun," he said. "During the game Raymond gave in a little bit but the 161 was superb."

Match Stats

Raymond van Barneveld

4-8

Phil Taylor

15

100+

18

8

140+

9

3

180

5

32.18

Ave1

35.83

96.55

Ave3

107.50

161

High Finish

125,101

2

Legs Against Throw

4