Wayne Mardle says darts is as popular as ever after impressive showing in Rotterdam
Rotterdam Ahoy went crazy for their heroes...
Last Updated: 17/03/17 12:52am
Wayne Mardle said he was "worried" Rotterdam wouldn't match last year, but admitted the sold-out crowd at the Ahoy Arena made it another special night.
The 10,000-strong crowd packed in to the Arena for the seventh league night of this season and it proved to be another emotional reception for Raymond van Barneveld while Michael van Gerwen ensured it would be a Dutch double.
Barney brilliant in Rotterdam
Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen win in Premier League Darts in Rotterdam
Five-time world champion Van Barneveld was spurred on by the incredible reception as he defeated Gary Anderson 7-2.
World champion Van Gerwen was also given a hero's welcome as he took to the stage in his homeland, and he overcame a slow start to defeat Phil Taylor 7-4.
It was a night to remember in Rotterdam and 'Hawaii 501' reflected on a thrilling night by saying "darts is in a good place".
"It's been absolutely superb," Mardle told Sky Sports. "I was worried it wouldn't match last year, but they've been brilliant again and the world of darts is in a good place because Holland is now back on the map as being one of the places to come and so it should be."
Rod Harrington agreed with Mardle's assessment and was amazed that the venue was sold-out in a record-breaking eight minutes.
"It's been an incredible evening," said 'Hot Rod'. "Everybody has turned up in orange, but it started years ago when Barney won his first World Championship and that's when Holland really started to move on.
"It sold out in minutes and that's not heard of anywhere. I know darts is the hottest ticket in town, but it certainly was the red-hot ticket tonight."
Watch Premier League Darts next Thursday, from The Manchester Arena, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm.
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