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Raymond van Barneveld produced a stunning performance to beat defending McCoy’s Premier League champion Gary Anderson in a thrilling match at the O2 in Dublin.

The popular Dutchman hit five 180’s and recorded a brilliant 107.22 average to see off ‘The Flying Scotsman’, much to the delight of the record breaking Irish crowd.

The tremendous turnout of 9,000 was the highest ever in a PDC event and van Barneveld was delighted to have put on a show, and, more importantly, get the victory.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

He said: “It felt good out there. It was fantastic to play so well in front of an amazing crowd. Last week I didn’t play too well and won, so tonight I was pleased to win when I had played well. I’m relaxed at the moment and that has enabled me to play the game I know I can.”

The signs of a special performance were evident from the start, as the five-time world champion took out a tidy 109 finish to hold his throw in the opening leg. The Dutchman hit his first 180 in leg two but was unable to stop Anderson drawing level. Van Barneveld hit double top to go back in front before Anderson hit double ten to hold his throw once more. ‘Barney’ won the fifth leg, hitting his second maximum in the process, before grabbing the first break of throw in the match, to take a 4-2 lead into the break.

He made it three legs in a row with a brilliant 120 checkout, before Anderson pulled a leg back despite another 180 from van Barneveld. The Scotsman won the next leg, against the throw, to put himself back on course for at least a draw, but ‘Barney’ wrestled back control by hitting back to back 180’s in an awesome eleven dart leg.

The pendulum swung back Anderson’s way, when he broke the throw to reduce Barney’s lead to 6-5, but the Dutchman restored his advantage immediately to ensure he would come away from the Emerald Isle with a draw at worst. He sealed the win in the next leg, hitting double sixteen to move up to second in the table.

 By Chris Murphy

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