Taylor stunned by Hamilton
Phil Taylor suffered his second straight defeat in this year's McCoy's Premier League Darts as Andy Hamilton claimed a shock 7-3 win in Manchester.
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The 16-time world champion, who looked out of sorts and at times distracted by the raucous crowd, was well beaten by his fellow Stoke thrower.
The early stages were evenly matched until Hamilton made his move on Taylor's throw in the fourth leg, and the former world championship finalist then took out 98 to break for a second time and increase his lead 5-2 in the seventh leg.
'The Hammer' was pegged back as Taylor took out double seven in the next leg, but Hamilton then took out 68 in two darts to move to the brink of victory.
He completed the job in the next leg, checking out on 90 after Taylor had narrowly missed a 126 finish.
"From the outset, Taylor just didn't seem at the races. He wasn't concentrating," Sky Sports expert Wayne Mardle said.
"You could clearly see Andy Hamilton was focused on the board but Phil was turning his back. He was too busy being interested in what was going on in the crowd. It's unlike him, it's normally the other way around."
Raymond van Barneveld remains top of the league standings but could only manage a 6-6 draw with Robert Thornton on Thursday night.
A sequence of five consecutive breaks saw van Barneveld go 6-4 up but Thornton hit back with a 100 checkout to keep his hopes alive then held his nerve and his throw in the final leg, taking out 78 to secure the draw
Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock registered a second straight victory as he defeated James Wade 7-4 in a match which included a total of six ton-plus finishes.
The first two legs went with throw before Wade broke in the third with a maximum 170 checkout, although he was pegged back straight away as Whitlock took out 100 by hitting tops twice.
Wade took out 103 to break again but Whitlock then reeled off four legs in a row before Wade stopped the rot with a superb 144 checkout. It was too late, however, as Whitlock finished things off with a 120 finish.
Adrian Lewis remains rooted to the foot of the table after he played out a 6-6 draw with Gary Anderson.
Lewis recorded only his second positive result of the campaign but stayed bottom of the league standings, while Anderson is now two points clear of the drop zone, which is currently occupied by Lewis and Wes Newton.
Anderson started well, winning the first leg against the throw and consolidating the break in the second. Lewis then managed to get a leg on the board before two maximums helped him level things up.
Both players began missing doubles but the scrappy contest stayed on throw until the end, with Anderson hitting a 10-darter in the final leg to secure the point.
"I had chances to break Adie in a few legs but didn't hit the doubles - Adrian did the same. But I'll take the draw, it's a point," Anderson told Sky Sports.
Lewis added: "He had chances to break me and I had chances to break him, but it just didn't happen."
Meanwhile, Newton's hopes of avoiding elimination took a blow as he slipped to a 7-4 defeat to world championship runner-up Michael van Gerwen.
Dutchman van Gerwen held throw in the first leg before the next six were taken against the arrows, with Newton hitting a 110 checkout and a 10-darter during the run.
Newton threw a second 10-darter to finally hold throw to level things up in the eight leg, but his opponent pulled away to win the contest, completing the victory in an 11th leg which Newton started with six perfect darts.
"Wes played a really good game. I think it was a fantastic game for the crowd and everyone at home," van Gerwen said.
"After Adrian Lewis beat me last week I played a great tournament in Minehead, (where I was) three times over the 100 average, and I continued that tonight. I think I've proved to everyone that I can play every game with a 100 average or more."