Raymond van Barneveld gained revenge for his defeat in Melbourne by edging out Corey Cadby in a thrilling first-round tussle, as Phil Taylor produced a valiant fightback to dump out Kyle Anderson on a dramatic opening night in Perth.
Van Barneveld had lost 6-4 to World-Youth champion Corey Cadby in Melbourne, but he was determined to exact revenge in front of a boisterous crowd and kicked off proceedings superbly. He moved 2-0 ahead with a 103 average, before dispatching an effortless 100 checkout to secure a double-break of throw.
Cadby reduced the deficit to 3-2 after registering legs of 11 and 13 darts respectively, but Van Barneveld regained his cushion on D10, before converting a nerveless 86 finish to move to within a leg of victory. However, he spurned one match dart in the eighth leg, which allowed the young Australian to pin tops and keep his hopes alive.
‘The King’ continued his fightback by pegging D9 to again reduce the arrears to a solitary leg, before an incredible 10th leg ensued. Barney left himself on 56 after 12 darts with Cadby languishing on 341. However, the 22-year-old followed up a timely maximum with a sensational 161 finish after the Dutchman had squandered two more match darts.
This gave Cadby the opportunity to throw for the match and secure an unlikely victory, but Van Barneveld’s experience paid dividends in the decider. The five-time world champion posted his first maximum at the perfect time, holding his nerve to seal his progression with a 14-darter via D4.
It was a high-quality contest, with Van Barneveld averaging 95.35, converting 50% of his attempts at double and posting 30 ton-plus scores. Cadby enjoyed a fine resurgence in the latter stages of the contest, but ultimately fell just short despite averaging 96.40, landing three 180’s and hitting 56% of his attempts at double.
Van Barneveld will renew his classic rivalry with Phil Taylor in Saturday’s quarter-finals, after ‘The Power’ reeled off four successive legs to dump out Kyle Anderson. ‘The Original’ averaged 95.64 and fired in four maximums, but he failed to take his opportunities as Taylor triumphed in a topsy-turvy affair with a 95.90 average.
Top seed Gary Anderson breezed through to the last eight with a comprehensive 6-1 win against former World Championship participant Rob Szabo. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ averaged 96.47 and piled in three maximums, and Szabo’s solitary leg came after Anderson squandered eight darts at double to round-off a whitewash victory.
The two-time world champion will face Melbourne semi-finalist Simon Whitlock on Saturday, after ‘The Wizard’ eased past his compatriot Justin Thompson in a scrappy affair. Whitlock averaged a miserly 83.74, but Thompson converted just two of his eighteen darts at double in a profligate display.
Daryl Gurney produced the performance of the opening day to whitewash New Zealand’s Koha Kokiri. The Northern-Irishman averaged 106.09-his highest ever on TV- and Kokiri simply had no answer. ‘Super-Chin’ also registered four maximums and boasted a 100% checkout success ratio to round-off a flawless display.
Gurney will face world number three Peter Wright in the last eight, after the UK Open champion also impressed in defeating Rhys Mathewson. Snakebite averaged 100.24 and converted 46% of his attempts at double to prevail 6-2, as Mathewson was comfortably beaten despite averaging a very creditable 98.76.
Elsewhere, James Wade coasted into the quarter-finals with an emphatic whitewash win over TV debutant Darren Hayes. Wade was clinical; averaging 95.94, posting two maximums and boasting a 67% conversion rate. However, Hayes could only muster a 63.20 average; posting just six ton-plus scores on his first big stage outing.
Wade will now take on former World-Youth champion Michael Smith in Saturday’s first-quarter clash, after the St Helen’s star battled past local lad Adam Rowe 6-2. ‘Bully-Boy’ wasn’t at his explosive best, but still ran out a convincing winner despite averaging a modest 88.29.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Friday August 25 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
First Round x8
Michael Smith 6-2 Adam Rowe
Peter Wright 6-2 Rhys Mathewson
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Koha Kokiri
James Wade 6-0 Darren Hayes
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Justin Thompson
Phil Taylor 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson 6-1 Rob Szabo
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Corey Cadby
Best of 11 legs
Saturday August 26 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
James Wade (4) v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson (1) v Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor (2) v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright (3) v Daryl Gurney