RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 8 – 6 Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld produced his highest ever televised average to see off a late fight-back from Kevin Painter, as he clinched victory at Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena.
The popular Dutchman averaged over 112 and hit an incredible 15 140’s in the triumph, which puts him on ten points after nine weeks of action.
“I played well, but I was still made to work for the win,” said van Barneveld, who faces Phil Taylor next week. “I had to hit that double ten at the end. That was more important than the average. The average is nice but was just a bonus.
“Everyone has a chance to qualify for the playoffs. It’s the closest Premier League we’ve ever had but I want to make sure that I’m one of the other three players that make it, along with Phil.”
‘Barney’ got the upper hand immediately, hitting double eight to take the first leg against the throw before doubling his advantage with a neat 84 checkout. Painter pulled a leg back before the Dutchman took out 81 in clinical fashion, to hold his throw and go 3-1 ahead.
Painter hit back again by winning the fifth leg, but van Barneveld responded with his first 180 before hitting double eighteen, as he headed into the break with a two leg lead.
The five-time world champion picked up where he left off after the interval, opening leg seven with his second maximum before taking out 100 in two darts to break his opponent’s throw.
Painter began to ask questions of ‘Barney’, breaking the throw for the first time to reduce the deficit to 5-3. Van Barneveld had the perfect reply though. He threw six perfect darts at treble twenty and broke straight back.
Van Barneveld just missed the double for a 149 checkout in the ninth leg, but won it nevertheless, tidying up double eight at the first attempt.
Painter kept the match alive by winning the next two legs despite ‘Barney’ upping his maximum count to five. ‘The Artist’ then took out 120 to move within a leg of clinching a draw but van Barneveld crushed his opponents hopes, hitting double ten to wrap up the victory and take his points tally into double figures.
By Chris Murphy