Dave Chisnall’s hopes of reaching the Betway Premier League Darts play-offs were dealt a serious blow with a 7-4 defeat to Michael van Gerwen in Manchester on Thursday night.
It was nip and tuck for large periods of the match before the world number one and defending world champion won the final four legs to take victory.
Morecambe ace Chisnall opened the match with just 21 but a 180 and a 100 checkout after van Gerwen had missed 120 saw him break in the opening leg.
The Dutchman then took out 91 on the bull to break back for 1-1 before holding with a 13-darter to go 2-1 in front.
Chisnall then levelled things up at 2-2 before van Gerwen missed three darts at a double allowing the Morecambe man to break with an 80 checkout for 3-2.
Van Gerwen then broke straight back once again for 3-3 before a 180 and a 118 checkout saw the legs against the throw continue with Chisnall going 4-3 in front.
The world number one hit another 180 to break for 4-4 as the game began to swing the Dutchman’s way.
Both players missed darts at doubles in the ninth, with Chisnall seeing two go astray on double 10, as van Gerwen held for 5-4 before the Morecambe ace came within a double 16 of a 108 checkout in the next only to see the Dutchman break for 6-4.
Van Gerwen then held his nerve on double two to take the match 7-4 to go back to the top of the table and leave Chisnall’s play-off hopes in the balance.
The resort ace now moves onto Birmingham next week where he doubles up against Robert Thornton and Phil Taylor.