With Premier League Darts drawing crowds of up to 12,000 fans in packed arenas throughout the UK and Ireland, the high-pressured environment can cause many darts players to feel the stress.
Premier League Darts matches are often full of controversial and memorable moments, but some of them are downright bizarre. Check out these five strangest moments.
When Adrian Lewis debuted in the Premier League in 2007, it was clear he intended to make a name for himself. The young Stoke star had drawn attention the previous year at the World Championship for his feat of hitting the target while looking away from the board, in a game against Peter Manley. During the 2007 Premier League, Lewis tried the trick again while taking on World Champion Raymond van Barneveld. The Glasgow crowd was already in a hostile mood. Lewis attempted to silence the onlookers with a series of blind 180s, but it backfired. He went on to lose the game 8-3.
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Ready or Not, Here I Come
In 2009, Mervyn King fast became a controversial player during his debut Premier League season, and a booing crowd often greeted him. King did not respond well to the audible hatred, so emotions were running high when he encountered more jeering at his clash with defending champion Phil Taylor in Newcastle. As Taylor bent over to pick up a dart he had dropped on the oche, King decided not to hang around. He threw his first dart straight over Phil Taylor’s head! The game ended in a 7-7 draw.
Jaws Mouths Off
When commentator Sid Waddell criticised Colin “Jaws” Lloyd during a 2005 Premier League match against Peter Manley in Manchester, Lloyd could not wait to launch into a rant after the game. The legendary commentator Waddell had accused Lloyd of not getting out of the blocks quick enough. After Lloyd won the game, he angrily hit back at Waddell, stating that a player of his calibre should be afforded more respect.
Crouching Down and Showing Off
In 2014, Michael van Gerwen defeated Peter Wright to win his first World Championship title. So, when the pair met again later that year, in Dublin, Wright was undoubtedly out for revenge. Wright decided to show off as much as he could. He stunned the crowd by firstly throwing a dart while he was crouching down, and then whipping the audience into a frenzy while in the middle of a 161 checkout. Van Gerwen soon put Wright in his place, though. By taking out 128, he sealed his victory in style.
The Bouncy Plank
Adrian Lewis and James Wade are two of the greatest rivals in modern darts. They have rarely seen eye-to-eye, so it is always a joy to watch these two battling it out. During a Premier League match in Nottingham in 2012, a bizarre occurrence happened. Wade was leading 4-2 and was only four legs from becoming victorious. It looked like his win was inevitable. Then, Wade complained to the referee that Lewis was bouncing too much. On closer inspection, a loose floorboard was discovered, which meant Lewis’s bounce had been enhanced.
Wade believed Lewis had been intentionally putting him off with his super-bouncy swagger, when in fact a dodgy plank was to blame. Lewis then proved that the floorboard was responsible by way of an over-the-top demonstration of bouncing on said loose board, which caused the audience, the referee, and even Wade to fall into fits of laughter. It was like a scene out of a Charlie Chaplin film. After the incident, Wade’s stride disappeared. Lewis won the match 8-5.
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