Monday, April 16, 2012

Van Barneveld gets Back to Winning Ways

Raymond van Barneveld hit a nine-dart finish on his way to beating Michael Barnard in the Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Five at the Barnsley Metrodome.

The Dutchman secured his first ProTour victory for more than six months, claiming the £6,000 first prize, beating Jack Hill and Mareno Michels, and then stunning Barnard with a heroic performance.

He also saw off Simon Whitlock and Brendan Dolan 6-5 to reach the semi-finals, where he beat Terry Jenkins 6-4.

Van Barneveld then dispatched Andy Smith 6-3 in the decider, but only after the Englishman scored a maximum 180 on his way to securing the opening leg.

Five-time world champion, van Barneveld, won four of the next five legs to take control of proceedings, hitting top form with three 180s, a 12-darter and a trio of 14-dart finishes.

Smith hit back to reduce the gap to 4-3, but van Barneveld was in no mood to let his opponent level matters, eventually winning what proved to be the last two legs in style.

"I'm very happy with the win", van Barneveld said afterwards. "It was a tough day, and it was a good final against Andy.

"I had some tough games but I believed in myself, and I'm really pleased. I was 3-0 down against Simon Whitlock, and came back to win, I had a marvellous game with Brendan Dolan, and I was 4-3 down against Terry Jenkins, and won.

"In January, I said I was going to play more tournaments on the floor, and these tournaments are really hard to win, so I'm happy." Fans who splurged on the darts betting will be equally contented with the Dutchman’s win.

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