GARY Anderson dropped to fourth in the McCoy’s Premier League Darts table after going down 8-5 to Raymond van Barneveld in Dublin last night.
The reigning champion from Eyemouth paid for missing three darts to level the game at six-all, but was up against an opponent who averaged 107 and later said he had enjoyed “one of the best nights of my career.”
Van Barneveld produced arguably his best performance of the season to defeat Anderson, who averaged 105 in reply but paid for missing three darts to level the game at six-all.
“That 12th leg was crucial but I’m pleased with the way I’ve played,” Anderson said. “It’s probably the best I’ve played in the first seven weeks but those three darts in the 12th leg were the key moment in the end.”
Van Barneveld said: “It’s one of the best nights of my career. It means a lot to play in front of a great crowd like this, it was amazing and it gives you a warm feeling in your body when they sing your name.
“My performance tonight was fantastic. It’s another two points and I’m second so I’m very happy with that.”
The stars delighted a record 9,000 crowd at The O2 in Dublin, with Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis taking thrilling victories.
A sell-out Irish crowd was treated to an enthralling seventh league night of this year’s Premier League Darts season, as the tournament visited the Emerald Isle for the first time.
Taylor’s 8-2 win over 2009 champion James Wade saw him move five points clear at the top of the league table, but the night’s other results saw his rivals remain locked in the battle for top-four places.
Van Barneveld moved second in the table – above Simon Whitlock on leg difference – with his brilliant victory over Anderson. The Dutch star produced arguably his best display of the season, averaging over 107 with a superb performance to delight the capacity Irish crowd.
Anderson played his part in a fine game, averaging 105 in reply but ultimately paying the price for missing three darts to level the game at six-all.
Van Barneveld finished 109 and 94 to win two of the game’s opening three legs, with Anderson replying in the second with a 12-darter to get off the mark.
The Scot also hit double ten to win the fourth before van Barneveld won three in a row as he broke for the first time in the game to lead 5-2, hitting back-to-back 14-darters before taking out 120.
Anderson replied with a superb 11-darter and then broke in 13 darts to pull back to 5-4, only for van Barneveld to open leg ten with back-to-back 180s.
He was unable to complete a nine-darter, missing the seventh dart at treble 20, but returned to finish the leg in 11 darts to move 6-4 up.
Anderson replied in 13 darts on double 18 and gave himself a chance to level in the next, only to miss three darts at doubles as van Barneveld took out 66 in two darts to move 7-5 up and ensure he would at least take a point.
However, he swiftly secured the victory by finishing 62 to move above Simon Whitlock into second place in the McCoy’s Premier League Darts table on leg difference.
“I was a lot more focused for this game than when I won last week, but my performance tonight was fantastic,” said van Barneveld. “It’s another two points and I’m second so I’m very happy with that.
“Gary missed a crucial shot in the 12th leg and punished him, and I had to do that. It’s only half-way through the season but I’m proud to be second because these are such good players.
“It means a lot to play in front of a great crowd like this, it was amazing and it gives you a warm feeling in your body when they sing your name. It’s one of the best nights of my career.”
McCoy’s Premier League Darts
Week Seven - The O2, Dublin
Andy Hamilton 7-7 Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis 8-3 Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld 8-5 Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor 8-2 James Wade