Raymond van Barneveld thrilled the vociferous ‘Barney Army’ in Rotterdam after storming to an emphatic win over world number two Gary Anderson. Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen also delighted the Dutch crowd with victory over Phil Taylor, on a thrilling night of action at the Ahoy Arena in Holland on Thursday evening.
However, the story of the night saw Raymond van Barneveld produce a vintage display to dismantle Gary Anderson and delight the rapturous Rotterdam crowd. The five-time world champion received a hero’s welcome from the sea of orange at the Ahoy Arena and performed sublimely.
Anderson had won his last eleven meetings against Van Barneveld in a record dating back to 2015, but the Den Haag ace rolled back the years to triumph comprehensively on home soil. Barney averaged 103.71, landed five maximums and converted 70% of his attempts at double to put himself firmly in play-off contention.
Van Barneveld posted a maximum in the opening leg en route to a 13-dart hold, before doubling his lead after following up his second maximum with a classy 12-darter. The Dutchman was running riot and landed his third 180 in as many legs, to establish a 3-0 advantage via D10.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ appeared shell-shocked by Barney’s rampant start, but he responded strongly and opened his account with an assured 13-dart hold. Nevertheless, this only provided temporary relief for Anderson.
The five-time world champion restored his three-leg cushion with a nerveless 62 outshot, before crashing in his trademark 156 finish to secure a 5-1 lead and send the 10,000 Dutch fans into delirium.
Anderson responded with a fine 108 checkout to reduce the arrears, but Van Barneveld remained completely undeterred. The legendary Dutchman guaranteed himself a point with a spectacular 10-dart break of throw via D18, before closing out a magnificent triumph by completing a regulation 52 checkout on his trusted D16.
Michael van Gerwen recovered from 3-0 behind to defeat Phil Taylor and remain hot on the heels of Peter Wright. ‘The Green Machine’ endured a nightmare start to the contest, but won seven of the remaining eight legs to triumph; hitting seven of his nine attempts at double and averaging 100.50.
‘The Power’ drew first blood with a scrappy hold on tops, before he doubled his tally with a 96 finish for a 12-dart break of throw. Van Gerwen’s average was languishing in the low 70’s and Taylor capitalised; converting a clinical 73 kill on tops for a commanding 3-0 advantage.
However, Van Gerwen finally arrested his slumber to begin the comeback charge. He pinned tops for a 14-dart hold, before sinking D16 to break back inside 13 darts. Taylor’s scoring power was beginning to dwindle and ‘The Green Machine’ won his third leg on the spin, to level proceedings at three apiece with an accomplished 68 outshot.
The 16-time world champion was struggling and Van Gerwen continued to exert his dominance. The world number one rounded-off consecutive 14-dart legs with ruthless 82 and 78 checkouts to extend his winning sequence of legs to five.
Taylor finally stopped the rot by virtue of hitting D10, but it didn’t signal the start of a fightback. ‘The Power’ spurned darts at D16 and D8 to level at five apiece, as Van Gerwen confirmed himself at least a share of the spoils via D8. ‘Mighty Mike’ sensed blood and duly sealed the win with an impressive 14-darter culminating on D16.
Peter Wright remains top of the table after recording a hard-fought triumph over Dave Chisnall, who is still yet to secure his Premier League survival. It was a largely scrappy affair, but Snakebite produced the goods at the necessary moments to prevail 7-4 with a 93.79 average and a 37% checkout success rate.
Wright kicked off proceedings with successive 15-dart legs after registering impressive finishes of 71 and 120. However, Chisnall responded by posting his first maximum and taking out 88 for a 12-dart break back, before he pegged tops to level inside 13 darts.
Nevertheless, the Scot regained the lead with a clinical two-dart 86 kill to complete an 11-darter, before he pinned D5 with his last dart in hand to restore his two-leg cushion. Wright then found tops to secure his third straight leg, before ‘Chizzy’ reduced the deficit to 5-3 after firing in a classy 123 outshot on the bullseye.
Both players were struggling for fluency, but Snakebite guaranteed himself a point by hitting D5 for the second time in the contest. Chisnall stayed alive via D4 after Wright spurned match darts in the tenth leg, but the world number three regained his composure to round-off victory on D8.
James Wade returned to winning ways with an emphatic victory over home favourite Jelle Klaasen. ‘The Cobra’ is suffering with tendonitis in his wrist and ‘The Machine’ produced a clinical display to capitalise; averaging 94.32 and converting 64% of his attempts at double to record a 7-3 victory.
Klaasen struggled for rhythm throughout and averaged a miserly 86.21, whilst Wade overcame the double-trouble that had blighted him in his last two fixtures. The eight-time major winner took out finishes of 64, 71, 76 and 82 to secure his third victory of the campaign, which leaves Klaasen perilously close to elimination.
Adrian Lewis eased his relegation fears after reeling off six consecutive legs to defeat Kim Huybrechts in a bad-tempered encounter. ‘The Hurricane’ stormed into a 3-1 advantage, but an angry exchange galvanised the two-time world champion, who averaged 96.18 and posted five maximums to secure a crucial comeback victory.
The opening two legs of the contest were shared, before Huybrechts registered finishes of 80 and 89 to establish a 3-1 cushion. Lewis hit back on D5, before converting a brilliant 126 checkout to restore parity at three apiece.
The Stoke-on-Trent star then furiously accused Huybrechts of stamping on the oche and referee George Noble was forced to intervene, but it inspired Lewis as the Belgian disintegrated. Lewis dispatched an effortless 81 finish for his third straight leg, before following up his fourth maximum by hitting D5 to move further ahead.
The two-time world champion was scoring imperiously and fired in his fifth maximum moments later, before converting an 87 kill to complete another 12-dart break of throw. Huybrechts simply had no answer and ‘Jackpot’ clinched the two points with a clinical 70 checkout, to leave ‘The Hurricane’ staring elimination in the face.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night Seven – Thursday March 9
James Wade 7-3 Jelle Klaasen
Peter Wright 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Raymond van Barneveld 7-2 Gary Anderson
Kim Huybrechts 3-7 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
|After Night Seven||P||W||D||L||+/-||LWAT||Pts|
|Michael van Gerwen||6||4||2||0||+12||14||10|
|Raymond van Barneveld||7||3||2||2||+1||12||8|