JAMES WADE 7 – 7 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
James Wade booked his place in the semi-finals of the McCoy’s Premier League, after a dramatic last leg shoot-out with Raymond van Barneveld in Newcastle.
‘Barney’, who needed to win to take the final Play-Off spot, led 7-6 against ‘The Machine’, who was in need of a draw to qualify.
Wade produced a great leg under pressure to ensure it would be him who made it through, hitting 60, 180, 140 and 81, before hitting double top to set up a semi-final clash with Phil Taylor at London’s O2 next Thursday.
“It was such a hard game, with the crowd against me,” said Wade, who won the tournament in 2009.
“The eight players this year have been brilliant. I have been lucky at times over the last 14 weeks, but you have to be. I’m delighted to be in the semi-finals.”
Barney hit his first 180 in the opening leg, which he won on double 16. ‘The Machine’ responded with a clinical 95 checkout, before van Barneveld hit double ten to go back in front.
The Dutchman applied the pressure with his second 180, before grabbing a break of throw in a tense fourth leg, in which both players missed doubles.
Wade broke back immediately to reduce the deficit but van Barneveld did the same, to take a 4-2 lead into the break.
‘The Machine’ grabbed the fourth consecutive leg against the throw, hitting his first maximum in the process.
The world number three then hit double eight to hold his throw and level the match at four legs apiece.
Wade took the lead for the first time, hitting double twelve for another break of throw, before taking out 80 to go 6-4 ahead and in need of one more leg for a Play-Off place.
‘Barney’ produced a sensational 161 checkout to keep the match alive, and he finished on the bull again to restore parity.
Both players missed shots at the bull in the 13th leg, before van Barneveld hit double sixteen, but Wade held his nerve and his throw in the final leg, to book his place in the semi-finals.
By Chris Murphy