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RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 5-4 Tony O’Shea

Defending champion Raymond van Barneveld made it two wins out of two on his return to the Grand Slam of Darts when he defeated Tony O’Shea in a last leg shoot-out on Sunday afternoon.

‘Barney’ came out on top in an exciting encounter, which saw the Dutchman put himself in pole position to qualify for the knockout stages following Saturday’s win over Ricky Evans.

“I like the group format of this competition and the two wins have helped build my confidence,” said van Barneveld, the five-time World Champion.

“I hope it will set me up well for the rest of the week. I don’t ever make it easy for myself, but I managed to produce good finishes towards the end and get the win.”

‘Barney’ won the first two legs but O’Shea hit back, winning three on the spin to take the lead but he was punished for four missed double attempts in the sixth leg, as van Barneveld restored parity.

The Dutch star then edged in front by taking out 96 with his opponent waiting on double top.

O’Shea responded with a 180 before bedding double ten to force a deciding leg, which van Barneveld won by taking out 72 in two darts to take control of Group E.

‘Barney’ faces Mervyn King in his final round robin match on Monday evening.

By Chris Murphy