November 2012

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 16-14 Michael van Gerwen

Raymond van Barneveld clinched his first major title in over five years when he defeated Michael van Gerwen in a thrilling final at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.

The popular Dutchman, saw off his in form compatriot with a 16-14 victory in Wolverhampton to claim the £100,000 first prize.

‘Barney’ broke van Gerwen’s throw in the sixth leg and managed to keep his lead despite the best efforts of his opponent, who sensationally hit a 170 finish for the third consecutive match.

“This feels amazing,” said van Barneveld, who had earlier seen off Andy Hamilton to reach his first final since 2010.

“Michael is a future World Champion and he could be the best player in the World.

“I was really tired after my semi-final but everything has been brilliant since.

“I’m really emotional to be holding this trophy. I’m on top of the world.”

van Barneveld opened the final with a 180 as he took the first leg, despite ‘Mighty Mike’ also hitting his first maximum.

van Gerwen levelled on tops before throwing seven perfect darts in the third leg.

That nine-dart attempt was in vain, however, as ‘Barney’ took out 101 to hold.

van Gerwen drew level again before ‘Barney’ produced another brilliant finish in another leg where his opponent had hit a maximum, this time taking out 134 to take a 3-2 lead.

It was the senior of the two Dutchmen who grabbed the first break of throw, as van Barneveld cleaned up 25 to increase his advantage to two legs.

That became three when ‘Barney’ took out 70 for another break before van Gerwen’s fifth 180 helped him stem the tide, as he broke back immediately.

The 23-year-old pinned double five to reduce the deficit to 6-4 before taking out 122 brilliantly on the bull to move within a leg of his compatriot.

‘Mighty Mike’ missed three darts at double eight to level the match, allowing van Barneveld to restore his two leg cushion.

‘Barney’ slotted in his second 180 on his way to taking an 8-5 lead.

van Gerwen bedded double ten to take the 14th leg but not before van Barneveld hit his third maximum.

The five-time World Champion restored his three leg lead by hitting tops but van Gerwen came back at him, following a 174 by pinning tops.

The next three legs went with the throw, giving ‘Barney’ an 11-8 lead.

van Gerwen hit his seventh maximum in the 20th leg, which he won with a clinical 74 finish under pressure.

van Barneveld’s fourth maximum helped him hold to once again restore his three leg advantage before ‘Mighty Mike’ reduced it in sensational style, hitting his fourth 170 finish in his last three matches.

The in form youngster hammered home his eighth 180 as he followed that magnificent maximum checkout with a break of throw.

‘Barney’ broke straight back though, taking out 95 to lead 13-11 before a fabulous 110 outshot took him within two legs of the title.

van Gerwen took out 74 to hold but a brilliant 13 dart leg put ‘Barney’ on the brink of victory.

‘Mighty Mike’ kept the match alive when he took out 76 before bedding double seven to cut his opponent’s lead to a single leg.

van Barneveld wasn’t to be denied though, as he produced a brilliant eleven dart leg to seal victory and taste major glory once again.

By Chris Murphy

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 16 – 10 Andy Hamilton

Raymond van Barneveld remains on course to win his first PDC major title in five years after moving into the final of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday afternoon.

The Dutch legend defeated Andy Hamilton 16-10 with a commanding performance in Wolverhampton, with van Barneveld producing a sensational spell, in which he took 12 out of 13 legs en route to victory.

“I was really happy to finish the job after winning eight or nine legs in a row,” said van Barneveld, who hit ten 180s in the match.

“We all know that Andy never gives in and is capable of coming back so I was relieved to get the win.

“I’ve struggled for a couple of years but the form is back now and I hope it stays back.

“I’ll be ready for the final and if I can win the trophy it will be a very emotional moment for me.”

Hamilton raced into a three leg lead before van Barneveld got off the mark with a 13 darter.

The Dutchman clawed it back to 3-2 with the aid of his first 180 but ‘The Hammer’ took the next two legs, despite another maximum from ‘Barney’.

The five-time World Champion hit a third 180, followed by a fine 82 checkout, as he completed a twelve dart leg to cut his opponent’s lead to two legs again.

Hamilton hit two 180s to take the next leg before van Barneveld went on the rampage, hitting four more maximums in a purple patch that saw him win seven consecutive legs to take a 10-6 lead.

‘Barney’ further increased his advantage with the first ton-plus finish of the match, taking out 107 on double 16.

He then made it nine legs on the spin with a neat 66 checkout before Hamilton stopped the rot with a 104 checkout.

van Barneveld moved within two legs of a place in the final with a 116 finish to hold his throw, followed by a break on double top.

The next two legs were shared before ‘The Hammer’ won the following two to reduce van Barneveld’s lead to 15-10.

The Dutch ace finished the job though, taking out 100 to seal a spot in his first major final since 2010.

By Chris Murphy

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 16 – 10 Christian Kist

Raymond van Barneveld produced an excellent performance to book his place in the semi-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts with a 16-10 triumph over 2012 Lakeside winner Christian Kist on Saturday evening.

‘Barney’ hammered home an impressive twelve 180s and averaged over 100 as he set up a last four showdown with World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton.

The Dutchman remains on course to win his first major PDC title since 2007 after reaching the last four in Wolverhampton for the second time in his career.

“I’m really pleased to be through,”said van Barneveld, who exacted revenge for his defeat against Kist in the group stage.

“I had to play well because every time that I missed a double, Christian was always there.

“It was important for me to win this game and I’m pleased it was shown live in Holland for people to see it.

“I have to rest now ahead of the semi-final which will be a tough match but if I can keep playing like this I can win it.

“To win a big trophy like this after five years would be an emotional moment for me.”

Checkouts of 91 and 80 helped give van Barneveld a 3-2 lead, with the Dutchman hitting four 180s in the first session.

He then took a further four legs on the spin, with the aid of his fifth maximum, before Kist pulled a leg back.

The reigning BDO World Champion took out 78 to reduce van Barneveld’s lead to 7-4, but ‘Barney’ hit back with another 180 before pinning double sixteen to restore a four leg cushion.

Kist took the next leg before ‘Barney’ hit another 180 as he moved 9-5 ahead with a brilliant 111 checkout, before increasing his lead to five legs with a neat 52 finish.

The Dutch pair shared the next two before exchanging 180s in the 17th leg, which van Barneveld won on double 16.

Kist took the next, before a ninth maximum helped ‘Barney’ move into a 13-7 lead.

Kist won the 21st leg but ‘Barney’ posted double 16 again to move two legs away from victory.

His opponent was granted a stay of execution when he hit double twelve but van Barneveld quashed any plans for a fightback, bedding double ten to make it 15-9.

The pair both hit their tenth 180s in the next leg, which Kist won, before ‘Barney’ finished the job in style, adding two more maximums in the final leg to seal his spot in the semi-finals.

By Chris Murphy

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RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 5 – 2 Wayne Jones

Raymond van Barneveld progressed into the knockout stages of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with victory over Wayne Jones on Wednesday evening.

The five-time World Champion came back from 2-0 down to claim a 5-2 success over the home favourite in Wolverhampton, to take his Group H points tally to four.

“I took the opportunity after going behind and I’m really happy,” said ‘Barney’.

“Winning the third leg was really important. That was the turning point.

“I believe I’m better in the knockout in the format and I’m looking forward to playing again.”

Jones won the opening leg after kicking off with a maximum before doubling his lead on tops.

van Barneveld pulled a leg back with a neat 91 checkout before breaking the throw to level up proceedings.

The Dutchman slotted in a 180 in the fifth leg, which he won on double twelve.

He then pinned double eleven to increase his lead to 4-2.

‘Barney’ took a fifth consecutive leg, bedding double 16 to book his place in the last 16.

By Chris Murphy

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 5 – 0 Mark Walsh

Raymond van Barneveld made the perfect start at the Grand Slam of Darts by whitewashing Mark Walsh 5-0 in his opening group game in Wolverhampton.

The five-time World Champion averaged over 96 in an excellent triumph, which included a brilliant 141 checkout.

“I’m very happy with that start,” said van Barneveld, who is still to meet Christian Kist and Wayne Jones in Group H.

“Mark is tough competitor and I wouldn’t expect to beat him 5-0.

“I have to focus for tomorrow night’s game now.

“My game as been up and down so I want to do well here and get some form ahead of the World Championships.”

‘Barney’ got his campaign underway in style, taking out 141 for a break of throw in the opening leg.

The Dutchman hit double nine to take the second leg before his first 180 helped him on his way to a 3-0 lead.

He made it four by taking out 61 on double four and completed a comfortable victory with a neat 68 out shot.

By Chris Murphy

Book tickets to see some of the world’s top darts players in action at The Carlsberg Masters, Birmingham on Friday December 7.

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC