Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years to defeat fellow countryman Jermaine Wattimena in his final competitive event on home soil, whilst Michael van Gerwen fought back to edge out Gerwyn Price in a last-leg thriller on an eventful night at the World Series of Darts Finals in Amsterdam.
On an evening which saw six seeds crash out, the Dutch duo of Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld were the only seeded representatives to progress to the quarter-finals, with Rob Cross, Peter Wright, Daryl Gurney, Gary Anderson and defending champion James Wade all falling to surprise defeats.
Much of the focus heading into the event surrounded Van Barneveld’s farewell and the five-time world champion rose to the occasion in some style, averaging 101.70, crashing in two maximums and boasting an impressive 60% checkout success rate to complete a 6-4 success over Wattimena.
The match contained the solitary break of throw which came in leg three and Van Barneveld was imperious on his throw throughout, sealing his progression with a sumptuous 11-darter to book a last eight clash against World Grand Prix finalist Dave Chisnall.
The St Helen’s star has been in a rich vein of form since joining new manufacturer Harrows in the summer and the five-time major finalist defeated newly crowned European Champion Cross to set up a mouthwatering meeting against home hero Van Barneveld.
Cross and Chisnall traded convincing holds in the opening four legs, before Chisnall capitalised on some poor scoring from ‘Voltage’ to lead 4-2. The world No 2 recovered to restore parity at four apiece but Chisnall rallied, completing the win with a majestic 11-dart hold in leg ten.
Elsewhere, Van Gerwen maintained his remarkable record against Price after recovering from 4-2 down to defeat the Grand Slam champion in a dramatic decider. ‘The Green Machine’ defeated Price 11-10 in the Champions League a fortnight ago and MvG again came out on top in another thriller.
Price had not won any of his previous 18 clashes against the world No 1 but he appeared on the cusp of history after moving 4-2 ahead. Nevertheless, having reduced the arrears to 4-3, MvG fired in back-to-back 12 darters to lead and although Price landed a 129 kill to force a decider, Van Gerwen kept his cool to prevail with a 101.11 average.
In the evening’s curtain-raiser, Jonny Clayton fought back from 5-3 down to defeat James Wade for the second tournament in succession. The Welshman ended Wade’s European Championship reign last week in Gottingen, whitewashing ‘The Machine’ 6-0 with a 111 average.
The performance wasn’t as spectacular on this occasion, although Clayton displayed impressive character to recover from 3-1 and 5-3 down to end Wade’s World Series defence; averaging 93.81 and converting 50% of his attempts at double to set up a tie against top seed Van Gerwen.
Ian White’s bid to reach a first major PDC semi-final continues on Sunday afternoon, after he brushed aside second seed Peter Wright 6-2 to set up a last eight tussle against Danny Noppert. Wright had won the pair’s four previous televised clashes, yet ‘The Diamond’ dominated on Dutch soil.
White started strongly to establish a 3-0 cushion, only for Wright to reel off consecutive legs in 14 and 13 darts to stem the tide. However, the interval appeared to hamper Snakebite’s momentum and White won the next three to triumph with a 96.26 average, two maximums and 50% on the doubles.
White will now face home favourite Noppert for a place in the last four, after the Dutchman cruised past Gary Anderson 6-1 in a bizarre affair. Anderson endured a nightmare evening, averaging just 71.05 and throwing a multitude of loose darts, as Noppert prevailed with a 92.36 average.
Krzysztof Ratajski secured a place in his first major PDC quarter-final with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over fourth seed Daryl Gurney. ‘The Polish Eagle’ had won his three previous meetings against the Northern Irishman and he maintained his 100% record courtesy of a landmark win in Amsterdam.
The former World Master broke throw in the opening leg with a clinical 107 checkout and although Gurney responded with finishes of 116 and 121 on the bull, Ratajski eventually sealed the deal with his sixth match dart at double four to set up a quarter-final showdown against Mensur Suljovic.
Suljovic secured his spot in the last eight with a 6-3 win over Brisbane Darts Masters champion Damon Heta. Heta defeated James Wade, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock and Rob Cross en route to glory on home soil back in August, but he was punished for a profligate display against ‘The Gentle’.
Neither man was anywhere near their best, but Heta squandered 11 of his 14 opportunities at a double and a 12-darter in leg three was a rare highlight for the Australian. Suljovic struggled for large periods, but closed out victory with an 89.64 average and a 46% checkout success rate.
Saturday November 2 (2000 local time, 1900 GMT)
Second Round x8
Jonny Clayton 6-5 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Damon Heta
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Ian White 6-2 Peter Wright
Danny Noppert 6-1 Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Rob Cross
Sunday November 3
Afternoon Session (1345 local time, 1245 GMT)
Mensur Suljovic v Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton
Ian White v Danny Noppert
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall