Inconsistent throwing cost Dave Chisnall dear in the opening round of the Betway Premier League last night (Thursday).
Despite outscoring rival Phil Taylor when it came to landing maximums, the St Helens ace found leg-clinching doubles hard to secure and Taylor - winner of the competition six times - stormed to a 7-3 success without reaching anywhere near his full potential.
Chizzy, too, was off the pace for much of the game and never fully recovered after the former world champion moved 4-1 ahead.
Taylor said after his victory in Newcastle: “The game was a bit scrappy but it’s good to get the win and the two points on the board,
“It’s massive for me because every point will be crucial this year. It’s my last Premier League and I’m determined to enjoy it.”
The Betway Premier League features a record £825,000 prize fund in 2017, including £250,000 to the eventual champion and a £25,000 bonus to the player who finishes the 15-week league season at the top of the table.
The opening nine weeks see the 10 players face each other once before the bottom two competitors in the league table are eliminated on ‘Judgement Night’ in Cardiff.
The remaining eight players then meet each other once more over the remaining league nights before the top four players progress to the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on May 18 to compete for the title.