Our Blog

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

Comments ( 0 )

    Play the Pro