February 2012

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 7 – 7 Adrian Lewis

Raymond van Barneveld secured a draw with world champion Adrian Lewis in sensational style in Aberdeen. The Dutchman took out a stunning 126 finish to seal a point for the second consecutive week.

‘Barney’ hit four 180’s in another thrilling match before hitting 19, treble 19 and bull to grab the draw when under immense pressure from the world number two. Van Barneveld, who drew with Simon Whitlock last week, was pleased to share the spoils once again.

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

He said: “I’m happy with the point again. Adrian played well and he played a brilliant leg at the end. I had to take the 126 out. I told him it was payback for Dusseldorf, when he beat me with a 121. I started off well again before Adrian started playing brilliant darts, it was really similar to last week and I’m delighted to have got the draw.”

Van Barneveld won the first leg against the throw and soon doubled his lead, hitting his first 180 in the process. Lewis came back strongly though, winning four legs in a row to lead at the break.

‘Jackpot’ then held his throw to open up a three leg lead before ‘Barney’ reduced the deficit with a tidy 76 finish. The Dutchman then took out 77 to grab a crucial break of throw before hitting another maximum on his way to restoring parity at five legs apiece.

Van Barneveld hit a third 180 but was unable to prevent Lewis from edging back in front. The five-time world champion hit maximum number four before hitting double four to level the match once again. Lewis took out 140 to go back into the lead in the penultimate leg of the match before ‘Barney’ pulled of his sublime 126 checkout with Lewis waiting to pounce on 51.

By Chris Murphy

SIMON WHITLOCK 7 – 7 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

Raymond van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock served up a real treat on the opening night of the McCoy’s Premier League, hitting eight 180’s between them in a fantastic 7-7 draw in Manchester.

‘Barney’ won the last two legs to seal a point after Whitlock had won five of the previous six. The Dutchman averaged 102 in a real classic.

Van Barneveld said: “I went into the break 4-2 up and felt really confident that I was going to win the match. After the break Simon played top class darts and suddenly I was 7-5 down. I was thinking here we go again, playing well and losing, but I thought no, no negativity and it seemed to work.”

‘The Wizard’ took the first leg before van Barneveld took out 80 to level. ‘Barney’ hit his first 180 in the third leg, which he won against the throw. The Dutchman hit double 15 to move further in front before Whitlock levelled with a neat 96 checkout. ‘Barney’ won the next leg to double his advantage, hitting his second maximum in the process.

Photo - Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Whitlock hit double four to reduce the deficit to a single leg, before hitting two 180’s against the throw to restore parity with a fantastic twelve dart leg. The Australian made it three in a row by hitting double top to take the lead for the first time since leg one.

Van Barneveld hit double twelve to make it five legs apiece. ‘The Wizard’ replied with his third 180 before hitting double four to put himself back in front. He then grabbed a break of throw at the perfect time, hitting double 16 to take a 7-5 lead.

‘Barney’ hit his fourth maximum before taking out 61 to leave himself throwing to salvage a draw. The five-time world champion made it five 180’s before hitting double eight for a share of the spoils, which both players admitted they were happy with.

Whitlock said: “When I was 4-2 down I would have been happy with a draw and after the way Raymond played I was definitely satisfied with the result. He said that he was happy with a draw too. He came up with some massive darts at the end and I thought we both deserved something out of the match.”

By Chris Murphy

Netherlands 4 – 0 Northern Ireland

The Netherlands moved a step closer to retaining their World Cup title after beating Northern Ireland in the quarter-final.

Vincent van der Voort and Raymond van Barneveld both won their singles matches before joining forces to win the pairs to set up a semi-final clash with Australia.

VINCENT VAN DER VOORT 4 – 3 Brendan Dolan

Vincent van der Voort produced a brilliant fight-back against Brendan Dolan to claim Holland’s first point of the quarter-final.

The fastest player in the world had to win three consecutive legs, two of which were against the throw, to claim victory from the jaws of defeat.

‘The Dutch Destroyer’ took out a neat 76 checkout to level after Dolan had won the first leg. The Irishman won the next two legs to open up a 3-1 lead in the race to four.

Van der Voort hit double sixteen in consecutive legs to force a decider. The Dutchman hit a 180 in the final leg before hitting double three to win the match, giving the Netherlands a one point lead overall.

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 4 – 2 Michael Mansell

Raymond van Barneveld produced another strong display to overcome Northern Ireland’s Micky Mansell. The defending champion trailed twice in the quarter-final tie but hit back to make it two wins out of two for Holland in the singles.

Mansell won the first leg before ‘Barney’ hit tops to draw level. The Irishman then hit the same double to go back in front. Van Barneveld restored parity with a tidy 97 finish. He followed it up with a maximum and then hit double eight to take the lead for the first time.

The five time world champion hit double sixteen to seal the win and double his nation’s overall lead, meaning the best Northern Ireland could hope for from the doubles was to force a sudden death leg.

VAN DER VOORT & VAN BARNEVELD 4 – 3 Dolan & Mansell

Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent van der Voort made it four points out of four in the quarter-final with victory in the pairs.

The Dutch team won a final leg decider against Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan and Michael Mansell to secure their place in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

Van Barneveld opened with a 180 and his teammate hit double ten to put Holland in front. Their opponents drew level with a 14 dart leg before van der Voort took out 76 restore his team’s lead.

Northern Ireland won the fourth leg to level up once more. ‘Barney’ hit another maximum in response, and then hit double six to edge back in front.

Dolan hit double three to force a deciding leg, which Holland won when van der Voort produced a clinical 90 finish.

The Netherlands will play Australia in tomorrow’s semi-final.

By Chris Murphy

World Cup of Darts: Round 2: The Netherlands 3 – 1 Austria

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD & VINCENT VAN DER VOORT 5 – 2 Dietmar Burger & Mensur Suljovic

Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent van der Voort joined forces to produce a solid display as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The Dutch pair, defending their nation’s title, saw off the challenge of Austria with apparent ease.

Van der Voort got the ball rolling by hitting double one to win a tense opening leg. ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ then hit double top to move Holland into a 2-0 lead. He then took out 44 to complete an eleven dart leg for the Dutch team.

Mensur Suljovic pulled a leg back for Austria with a 121 checkout before van Barneveld hit double ten to move within a leg of victory. Austria grabbed a lifeline by winning the next leg but ‘Barney’ wrapped up the match with a smooth 76 checkout.

The Netherlands will take on Northern Ireland tonight as they bid to move a step closer to claiming their second consecutive World Cup title.

By Chris Murphy

World Cup of Darts: Round 2: The Netherlands vs Austria

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 4 – 3 Dietmar Burger

Raymond van Barneveld fought back to see off a spirited challenge from Dietmar Burger in the 2nd round of the World Cup in Hamburg.

The five-time world champion had to wait until the early hours of the morning to get on stage and begin the defence of the title he won in 2010. His opponent played well but van Barneveld found an extra gear and claimed the win.

‘Barney’ hit double 16 to edge in front but Burger won the next two legs to turn the game around. The Austrian hit a 180 in the next leg and van Barneveld responded with a 174 before levelling the match.

Berger took a 3-2 lead before the defending champion took out a neat 64 checkout to set up a deciding leg. The Dutchman then sealed victory and the first point of the match for his country.

VINCENT VAN DER VOORT 3 – 4 Mensur Suljovic

Vincent van der Voort suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Mensur Suljovic in the early hours of Saturday morning in Hamburg.

The Dutchman had to wait until nearly 2am to get started and was denied victory despite showing glimpses of his brilliant best.

Suljovic took the lead before van der Voort took out 64 to level. The quick-fire Dutchman then produced a stunning 140 finish, much to the delight of the German crowd who constantly sang his name throughout the match.

The Dutch Destroyer was pegged back by his Austrian opponent, who won the next two legs to take a 3-2 lead. Van der Voort responded with a tidy 48 finish to set up a decider, which Suljovic won with a 14 dart leg.

Van der Voort and van Barneveld will be last on stage again today, when they take on their opponents in a doubles decider.

By Chris Murphy

Raymond van Barneveld hopes to bounce back from a disappointing World Championship by retaining the World Cup of Darts for The Netherlands.

‘Barney’ won the inaugural tournament in 2010 with Co Stompe, and believes that he can repeat the feat this weekend with Vincent van der Voort.

He said: “I think it will be harder this year because it is a straight knockout now. If you lose a game you’re out so we will have to be very focused and keep our concentration, but I’m sure we can do well. There are a lot of great teams but I think we are one of the pairs that are in with a great chance.”

The five-time World Champion wants to recover from his first round exit at the Ally Pally in style by claiming the first major title of 2012.

He said: “I probably didn’t practise enough in the last month or so before the World Championship. I played in a lot of exhibitions but not enough floor tournaments. I’m now practising every day again because it’s important for me to come back with a bang. It’s unfortunate that you can’t get ranking points for the World Cup but it’s still a televised tournament and I would love to win it again. I’m so proud to play for my country and to win a title for Holland is a fantastic achievement so I hope we can do it again.”

The Dutchman doesn’t feel that a change in partner will have any bearing on his chances of winning the tournament and he believes that teamwork is the key to success.

He said: “I’ve played with Vincent many times and we get along well, which is important. We will go there together and practise together. We are a team and that is how we will approach the competition. Our preparation is good, I know which doubles he likes to be left on and he knows which ones I like. We are not going as individuals, we will do everything together, talk a lot and hopefully that will show in our performances. Vincent is an ideal teammate.”

Van Barneveld is confident that he will return to his brilliant best, and hopes he can prove his critics wrong in the World Cup and the upcoming Premier League.

He added: “I feel fantastic at the moment. To retain the World Cup would be a fantastic start to the year and I am over the moon to be given a wildcard for the Premier League. I’m working hard to get in top shape. I played quite well in Benidorm last weekend, my scoring was fantastic.

“With a good performance at the World Cup I can get my confidence back, and then within a couple of weeks of the Premier League the old ‘Barney’ will be back. Some people may have written me off after the World Championship, but I believe in my own ability. Trust me, it’s still there, it hasn’t gone and I will make the ‘Barney Army’ proud of me again.”

By Chris Murphy