RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 7 – 7 Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld took the race for the Play-Offs into the final week, after he earned a draw against reigning McCoy’s Premier League champion Gary Anderson in Birmingham.
Van Barneveld hit a stunning maximum checkout of 170 in a high quality encounter against the world number three, as he grabbed a share of the spoils at the NIA.
“Big finishes are great but at the end of the day they are only in one leg,” said van Barneveld, who also took out 120 in the match.
“I had a couple of them but I didn’t play well enough on Gary’s throw. Next week I will give my very best.
“People at the beginning of the Premier League thought I was finished but I feel I have proved them wrong whatever happens.”
‘Barney’ started in style, producing a brilliant 138 checkout against the throw to win the first leg. He just missed the bull for a sensational 161 finish in leg two, allowing Anderson to level up on double top.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ held his throw to edge in front, before breaking despite van Barneveld hitting his first 180.
The Dutchman’s second maximum came in the fifth leg, as he broke back and reduced the deficit to one leg.
‘Barney’ squared up the match before the break, throwing five perfect darts at treble twenty before hitting double 14 to win leg six.
Van Barneveld grabbed a crucial break of throw in the seventh leg, before increasing his lead to 5-3 with a roof-raising 170 checkout.
Anderson took out 60 and 70 in the next two legs to restore parity, before a neat 64 checkout gave the Scotsman a 6-5 lead.
‘Barney’ hit a brilliant 120 finish to level up before Anderson held his throw to deny The Dutchman a victory.
The five-time World Champion secured a draw though, taking out 60 to keep his Play-Off hopes alive.
By Chris Murphy