James Wade moved a step closer to reaching the McCoy’s Premier League play-offs with a brilliant victory against Adrian Lewis in Sheffield.

However, ‘The Machine’ was denied the chance to move clear at the top of the table when he was edged out in his second match of the evening by Michael van Gerwen.

Wade swept past Lewis with a 104 average in a 7-2 win, which included five 180s from ‘The Machine’, who moved onto 14 points with the win.

His defeat against van Gerwen left him in second place, two points behind the Dutchman but the 2009 champion is happy with his season so far.

Wade said: “The win against Adrian was more a reflection of the way I have played this year.

“That’s all down to practise and hard work and, although I’ll never be happy with a defeat, on the whole I’m in a great position.

“I’m feeling good and it is all about making the play-offs. I should do that from here and I’m really enjoying this tournament.”

Wade pegged double top to hold his throw in the opening leg against Lewis and ‘The Machine’ grabbed the first break of the match on double ten.

A 180 and a 60 finish extended Wade’s lead further before  Lewis pulled a leg back despite another maximum from the world number four.

Wade fired in a third maximum before taking out 56 on double top and increased his lead to 5-1 when ‘The Machine’ bedded tops again after hitting his fourth 180.

Lewis pulled a leg back but Wade took out 83 on double top to restore his four leg lead.

And he hit his fifth maximum as he kicked off what proved to be the final leg with six perfect darts, before going on to take out 87 to seal victory.

He then fought back strongly after van Gerwen 6-2 but it was in vain as the 23-year-old eventually ran out as the 7-5 winner.

Wade faces Robert Thornton in Dublin next Thursday.

By Chris Murphy

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

See James Wade in action at the Benfield Nissan Darts Masters, Sunderland – Tickets available NOW at / call 08450 180 180

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