April 2012

JAMES WADE 7 – 7 Andy Hamilton

James Wade claimed another point in the McCoy’s Premier League after earning a hard fought draw with Andy Hamilton in Bournemouth.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

Wade, who hit two ton-plus finishes and four 180’s in the match, remains in a strong position to qualify for the playoffs with eleven points from eleven games.

‘The Machine’ threw his first 180 in the opening leg, but it didn’t stop Hamilton from grabbing an early break of throw. Wade broke back immediately though, adding his second maximum in the process.

The 2009 winner held his own throw to take the lead, before Hamilton levelled up at two legs apiece. Wade held again to edge back in front, but ‘The Hammer’ did the same to leave the match finely poised at three all going into the break.

Wade took out 86 in clinical fashion to win the seventh leg, before his opponent hit double four to win the eighth.

The world number three moved a leg ahead again, hitting a fantastic 116 checkout to hold his throw. Hamilton responded with a ton-plus finish of his own, taking out 123 to peg back his opponent once more.

The run of fabulous finishing continued, as Wade capped off a terrific twelve-darter with a 124 checkout. ‘The Machine’ missed two darts at double ten for a vital break of throw, allowing Hamilton to draw level again.

Wade then closed in on sealing a draw at the least, hitting his third maximum on the way to an eleven dart leg. Hamilton hit double top to clinch a share of the spoils but not before Wade hammered home a fourth 180.

By Chris Murphy

SIMON WHITLOCK 8 – 4 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

Simon Whitlock took a giant step towards securing a spot in the McCoy’s Premier League play-offs with a comprehensive victory over Raymond van Barneveld at Bournemouth’s BIC.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

‘The Wizard’ claimed his third successive victory to move onto the magic fourteen point mark, the amount thought to be enough to grab one of the four places on finals night in May.

Whitlock, who took out two ton-plus finishes, said: “I got two points and that’s the main thing, as it’s pushing me towards the final. There was a lot of pressure tonight because we were both fighting for a spot in the semis.

“I’ve got a tough run-in but I’m looking to get at least another win. I’m happy with how I’m playing, I’m smiling and I’m showing what I can do.”

‘Barney’ had almost brought the house down instantly, when he just missed double twelve for a 144 checkout. The Dutchman held his throw anyway, finding the bed with his second attempt.

Whitlock levelled up by hitting his first 180 before hitting double ten. ‘The Wizard’ hit double top to grab the first break of throw of the match, and he moved into a 3 – 1 lead with a brilliant 116 checkout.

The game-changing moment came when the Australian ace produced a moment of sheer class; taking out 155 to snatch another leg against the throw. Whitlock went into the break with a 5 -1 lead after van Barneveld just missed his double for a 117 finish.

‘Barney’ pulled a leg back by hitting double top to hold his throw, but missed the chance of a break when he failed to hit double eighteen twice, before ‘The Wizard’ stepped in to increase his lead to 6-2.

Van Barneveld hit his first maximum in the ninth leg, which he won with a neat 72 checkout. The five-time World Champion hit another 180 and punished his opponent for three missed darts at a double, hitting double two to break his opponents throw.

Whitlock responded by breaking back immediately, hitting his second maximum in the process. ‘The Wizard’ wasted no time in securing the victory, hitting double top to tighten his grip on second place.

By Chris Murphy

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

Raymond van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock go to head to head in Bournemouth on Thursday, as the pair bid to move a step closer to sealing a play-off spot, while James Wade aims to do the same when he faces Andy Hamilton on week eleven of the McCoy’s Premier League.

‘Barney’ and ‘The Wizard’ kick off proceedings at the sold-out BIC , with the Dutchman trailing his Australian opponent by two points in the league table.

Van Barneveld heads into the clash in strong form, after winning both Speedy Services UK Open qualifiers in Barnsley last weekend.

“Simon is a great player,” said van Barneveld, who hit a nine darter on the way to the first of his two victories.

“I played him on Saturday and was 3-0 down and won 6-5, even though he started with a 180 in the last leg.

“We always have close games, he’s a fantastic player and he averaged 103 last week so I’ve been warned.

“I’ve got to prepare myself right because I’ve still got four games left and my target is to get four or six points to make sure I qualify.”

Whitlock also has every reason to be confident, after winning his last two McCoy’s Premier League matches, both with ton-plus averages.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

The quality and form of both players, paired with the significance of the clash in terms of the race for a semi-final spot, indicates that all the ingredients are there for the pair to serve up a classic.

Whitlock said: “Every time we play it’s a ding-dong battle. We’ve put on some good shows in the last couple of years and I think this will be another.

“We all love Raymond and it makes darts interesting again with him playing well. Barney had a bad couple of years, but it is good to see him play well again.”

Wade, who is sandwiched between the two and sits in third, takes on Hamilton in the third game of the evening.

A win for ‘The Machine’ would take his points tally up to twelve, and closer to ensuring that he is involved on finals night.

He said: “A win against Andy could stretch the table out but the way I’ve been playing, anything can happen. I’ve got a tournament average of 95 and against everyone else it’s not good enough.

“Andy’s doing well, as is Kevin Painter. It’s their first year in the Premier League and it’s hard, and they’re both there or thereabouts on points, and in the first four or five weeks Andy played really well.”

In between those two matches, Gary Anderson and Painter do battle to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The curtain will be brought down on a another exciting evening when Phil Taylor meets Adrian Lewis in what is set to be a thrilling encounter.

By Chris Murphy

Raymond van Barneveld completed a delightful double at Barnsley Metrodome by winning Sunday’s Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Six.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

The resurgent Dutchman beat Ian White 6-2 in the final, to claim his second title in as many days, having won the fifth qualifying event on Saturday.

‘Barney’ enjoyed victories over Bernd Roith, Kevin Dowling, Tony West and Darren Johnson before seeing off world number six Wes Newton in a close last 16 clash.

The five-time world champion then beat two fellow World Championship winners, defeating Dennis Priestley 6-1 and Richie Burnett 6-2, before victory over White sealed his brilliant double success.

Van Barneveld had trailed his opponent 2-1 before taking five consecutive legs to clinch the £6000 prize money. That, combined with the £6400 he collected for Saturday’s triumph and nine-dart finish, moves ‘Barney’ back into the top eight in the PDC Order of Merit.

“Not many players win both tournaments in a weekend so I’m really proud,” said van Barneveld, who has been enjoying something of a revival in 2012.

“That says a lot about the kind of player you are; I’m working out now in the gym, I feel fit, I feel awake and I feel confident.

“The first couple of games I wasn’t pleased with but after that I gained confidence and the rest of the day was awesome. I’m really pleased to have won both finals.”

‘Barney’ will be hoping to take this kind of form to Bournemouth on Thursday, where he faces Simon Whitlock in the McCoy’s Premier League.

By Chris Murphy

Raymond van Barneveld claimed victory in Saturday’s Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Five at the Barnsley Metrodome, hitting a sensational nine-dart finish along the way.

Photo: PDC

The popular Dutchman beat Andy Smith 6-3 in the final to clinch his first Pro-Tour triumph since last September, earning himself £6000 in prize money for the win, plus a £400 bonus for his perfect leg.

That nine-darter, his ninth since joining the PDC, came in a third round success over Michael Barnard, after he had already seen off Sam Hill and Mareno Michels.

The five-time world champion then overcame the challenges of Simon Whitlock and Brendan Dolan in close encounters, winning both games 6-5 to progress to the semi-finals.

‘Barney’ beat Terry Jenkins 6-4 to reach the final, where he sealed victory over Smith with an impressive average of 102.74. The Dutchman ended a successful day in style by hitting a 117 checkout in the winning leg.

“I’m very happy with the win,” said van Barneveld. “It was a tough day and it was a good final against Andy.

“I had some tough games but I believed in myself today and I’m really pleased. I was 3-0 down against Simon Whitlock and came back to win, I had a marvellous game with Brendan Dolan and I was 4-3 down against Terry Jenkins and won.

“In January I said I was going to play more tournaments on the floor and these tournaments are really hard to win so I’m happy today. I’m really pleased with the nine-darter. I’m working hard and it’s paying off.”

By Chris Murphy

Current PDC Under-21 world champion Arron Monk will face Raymond van Barneveld in Austria later this month, after qualifying for the inaugural European Tour event.

Monk will travel to Wiener Neustadt to compete in the Austrian Darts Open, which starts on April 27th, thanks to a successful evening at Barnsley Metrodome in the UK qualifier.

The 21 year old whitewashed Paul Barham 6-0 before beating Daniel Day 6-3 to book his place at the Arena Nova.

The £81,200 tournament will be played across three days in Austria and features 64 players, with the world’s top 32 joined by 32 players who have won through the UK, European and Home Nation Qualifiers.

As one of the qualifiers, Monk knew he would have to face one of seeded players from the top 32 in the order of merit. After sealing his place he was drawn against popular Dutchman van Barneveld, who he will face in the opening round on Friday 27th April.

The schedule of play is likely to be announced on Monday.

By Chris Murphy

James Wade and Simon Whitlock both moved closer to sealing spots in the semi-finals of the McCoy’s Premier League with impressive victories in Sheffield.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

Wade saw off reigning championing Gary Anderson 8-3 to move up to third in the table, while Whitlock remains in second place after an 8-5 triumph against Kevin Painter at the Motorpoint Arena.

Raymond van Barneveld occupies the final top four place, despite suffering a defeat at the hands of runaway leader Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, meaning that all three MODUS stars are currently in line for semi-final appearances.

Wade’s sharp finishing proved too much for Anderson, as the ‘The Machine’ hit eight out of 15 attempts at doubles and averaged over 100 to claim the win.

“I enjoyed that game and I’m happy that the result went my way,” said the 2009 winner. “I’m not the greatest scorer in the world so my finishing needs to be good for me to win games, and it was tonight.”

Wade’s win takes him to ten points after as many weeks of action, two behind Simon Whitlock, who posted a ton-plus average for the second week running.

‘The Wizard’ produced a strong display against Painter, who had beaten him on week three, to put daylight between himself and the chasing pack.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

“I don’t think I’m in the Play-Offs after that win – I think I need 15 points at least – but it’s another step towards it,” said Whitlock who is currently second with 12 points.

“I had one really bad week when I had that horrific 8-0 loss to James Wade but I’ve bounced back well, and I’m showing how good I am at the moment.”

Anderson, who was playing twice in the absence of Adrian Lewis, drew the final match of the night with Andy Hamilton, after ‘Barney’ had been beaten by Taylor.

The tournament continues in Bournemouth next week, where van Barneveld and Whitlock will meet before Wade takes on Hamilton.

Exclusive audio interviews with James Wade and Simon Whitlock (recorded immediately after their victories) are available to MODUS Elite customers only. Click here for details of how to become a MODUS Elite member.

By Chris Murphy

Latest League Table

P W D L +/- Pts
Phil Taylor 10 9 1 0 +42 19
Simon Whitlock 10 5 2 3 +2 12
James Wade 10 5 0 5 +1 10
Raymond van Barneveld 10 4 2 4 -7 10
Adrian Lewis 10 3 3 4 -4 9
Gary Anderson 10 3 1 6 -9 7
Andy Hamilton 10 2 3 5 -11 7
Kevin Painter 10 3 0 7 -14 6

 

SIMON WHITLOCK 8 – 5 Kevin Painter

Simon Whitlock moved a step closer to sealing a semi-final spot with victory over Kevin Painter on night ten of the McCoy’s Premier League in Sheffield.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

The Australian posted an average of over 100 for the second week running, as he exacted revenge for the defeat he suffered against Painter in Belfast on week three.

Despite moving onto twelve points with four weeks of the league stage to play, Whitlock doesn’t believe he has booked his place in the last four just yet.

“I’m definitely not there yet. I need 15 points at least in my head but there’s no reason why I won’t go on and get that,” said Whitlock, who is up against Raymond van Barneveld next week.

“I’m happy, I’m playing good darts and I’m looking forward to playing ‘Barney’. We have put on some good shows in the last few years and hopefully it will be another good one. I still think I need another couple of wins to qualify, hopefully I can get the first of those in Bournemouth.”

Painter won the first two legs before ‘The Wizard’ hit tops to pull a leg back. The Australian then broke his opponent’s throw to restore parity, hitting his first 180 in the process.

‘The Artist’ broke straight back to edge ahead again before ‘The Beard to be feared’ did the same, hitting another maximum before hitting double six, to go into the break with three legs apiece.

Whitlock hit his third 180 in the seventh leg, which he won by hitting double ten. ‘The Wizard’ then grabbed a break of throw with a neat 66 checkout, before holding to take a 6-3 lead.

Painter pulled a leg back but Whitlock responded in style with a brilliant eleven darter. ‘The Artist’ hit double top to keep the match alive but Whitlock got the job done, hitting double ten to move himself clear  of the chasing pack in second place.

By Chris Murphy

JAMES WADE 8 – 3 Gary Anderson

James Wade produced a solid performance to see off reigning McCoy’s Premier League champion Gary Anderson at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

‘The Machine’ combined some heavy scoring with razor-sharp finishing to send down ‘The Flying Scotsman’ and move to ten points after ten weeks of action.

“It’s nice to win. I enjoyed myself out there although I did feel bad for Gary,” said Wade. “He had the crowd on his back, which was unfair, but after last week it was important to get a win.

“Everyone is so close this year, and we have all got a chance of qualifying so I need to keep finishing well and winning because anything could happen.”

Wade hit double top to take the opening leg, but just missed the bull for a stunning 170 checkout before Anderson stepped in to level up.

‘The Machine’ edged back in front, hitting double top again, before hitting his first maximum in leg four, which he won against the throw with a tidy 82 finish.

Anderson took out 64 to break back immediately but Wade ensured he would take a two leg lead into the break, hitting double top once more for another break of throw.

The world number three moved four legs clear of his opponent by winning the next two legs, hitting his second maximum in the process.

‘The Machine’ continued his sharp finishing, as he hit double top again to take a fourth consecutive leg and move into a 7-2 lead.

Anderson hit double twenty to stop the rot but Wade soon finished the job, punishing his opponent for missing four darts at a double, before once again hitting tops.

By Chris Murphy

Raymond van Barneveld is aiming to beat great rival Phil Taylor on TV for the first time since 2008 when the stars of the McCoy’s Premier League visit Sheffield on Thursday, with MODUS stars James Wade and Simon Whitlock also in action at the Motorpoint Arena.

Photo: Michael Cooper/PDC

‘Barney’ heads into his clash with ‘The Power’ fresh from a stunning display in Nottingham last week, where he recorded his highest ever televised average in his triumph over Kevin Painter.

“It’s a big achievement for me and I know now, with these darts, that in the future I can hit averages like this in every game,” said van Barneveld.

“I’m hoping to play well against Phil. Everything has to be right when you play him and you do always get chances, but you always have to hit them because he never seems to miss.

“He’s already qualified and I want to be one of the three players alongside him in the Play-Offs.

“It’s so close in the league season and that’s what we want. I think that even in week 14 there will be players needing to win to get into the Play-Offs.”

The popular Dutchman sits in joint second in the McCoy’s Premier League table with Whitlock, who faces Painter in the steel city.

‘The Wizard’ also heads to Yorkshire on the back of a brilliant performance, after demolishing Gary Anderson last week.

“You have to hit a 100 average to win these days – if you don’t you’re in trouble,” said the Australian. “Anything over 95 is good, but if you throw over 100 you’ll win a lot of games.

“The way the McCoy’s Premier League season is going at the moment it’s going to be a very tight finish. The for and against is important and as long as I’m in the top four I’ll be very happy.

“My goal is to make the top four and then see where I can go from there, and I’m on course for that at the moment.”

Wade faces reigning champion Anderson in the opening match of the evening. ‘The Machine’ will be hoping to bounce back from his controversial defeat at the hands of Adrian Lewis last week.

That match is one of two for Anderson as fixtures are rebalanced after his absence a fortnight ago. The Scotsman faces Andy Hamilton in the final match of the night, while Lewis has a week off, having already played ten matches.

Audio interviews with the victorious players will be available exclusively to MODUS elite members. Click here for details of how to subscribe.

By Chris Murphy