Gary Anderson clinched his fifth World Series of Darts title with an 11-7 victory over Raymond van Barneveld in a thrilling final at the Perth Darts Masters on Sunday evening.
The two-time world champion edged out James Wade 11-9 in the semi-finals earlier in the day, before producing a high-quality display to defeat the Dutchman in a cracking final at the HBF stadium.
Anderson averaged 103.98, fired in seven maximums and converted 37% of his attempts at double to defeat a battling Van Barneveld, who averaged 101.87, registered three maximums and boasted a 33% checkout success rate.
Van Barneveld is the only player to have competed in all 25 World Series events since its inception back in 2013 and he performed superbly throughout the weekend to reach his third World Series final. However, he was denied his maiden title by the imperious ‘Flying Scotsman’.
Van Barneveld drew first blood in the final after piling in an early maximum and dispatching an assured 61 checkout, but Anderson replied with a sublime 11-darter. The next two legs went with throw, before the Scot clinched the first break of throw by pegging tops, after Barney had spurned three darts to hold.
However, the roles were reversed moments later, as Anderson missed six clear darts at double, allowing Van Barneveld to gratefully level up at three apiece via D16. The Scot regained the initiative moments later with a spectacular 136 finish, but both men continued to struggle on their own throw, which prompted two further breaks of throw.
Anderson completed the game’s first hold of throw for five legs in the tenth, posting tops to establish a 6-4 cushion. The Dutchman reduced the arrears once more with a confident 13-darter, but Anderson fired in his second 11-dart leg of the contest to restore his two-leg cushion.
Nevertheless, Van Barneveld conjured up a moment of magic in leg 13; dispatching an effortless 121 kill on the bullseye to reduce the deficit to 7-6- with Anderson poised on 87 after just nine darts.
The next three legs all went with throw as Anderson moved 9-7 clear, but the decisive moment came in the 17th leg, as the world number two clinically converted a two-dart 72 combination on D12 to move to within a leg of glory.
Van Barneveld continued to battle valiantly but on this occasion he was unable to produce the comeback, as Anderson followed up his seventh maximum with a 14-darter via D8, having wired the bull for a match-winning 164 finish in the preceding visit.
“It’s great to win here, this is my kind of town, nice and relaxed! It’s been a long three weeks and I just can’t wait to get home and see my son. Raymond is a legend of the game and beating him at any time is fantastic, so to do it in a final is even better.
“Anderson’s partner Rachel is expecting the birth of their second child next month and the 46-year-old is relishing the busy period. There’s some big things coming up in my personal life and on the dart board over the next few months so I can’t wait to get going.”
Earlier in the day, Anderson had defeated James Wade 11-9 to seal his spot in the final. The Scot dominated the scoring stakes, but missed opportunities enabled ‘The Machine’ to draw level at 9-9. However, the top seed held his nerve to progress with a 98.41 average and seven maximums.
Van Barneveld’s progress to the final was also anything but serene. Having defeated Corey Cadby and Phil Taylor in deciding-legs to reach the last four, the five-time world champion again triumphed by virtue of a last-leg shootout win over a desolate Daryl Gurney.
The Northern Irishman seemed destined to reach his second World Series final in as many months after moving 10-8 ahead, but Barney recorded two strong legs to force a decider. ‘Super-Chin’ then squandered three clear darts to triumph in the decider, which Barney punished with a nerveless two-dart 87 finish.
The legendary Dutchman was denied a maiden World Series crown by the imperious Anderson, but RvB showed tremendous nerve and tenacity throughout the event, to mark his best showing since joining up with his new sponsor Target in July.
The World Series of Darts returns on October 20-21, as the inaugural German Darts Masters takes place at the Castello Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany. This will be the final event before the World Series of Darts Finals takes place at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, in November.
Photo Credit: Emma Morley/Craig Stevens (DPA)
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Sunday August 27 (5pm local time, 10am BST)
Gary Anderson 11-9 James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld 11-10 Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson 11-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 21 legs