Grand Slam of Darts: Raymond van Barneveld stuns Gerwyn Price to set up semi-final showdown with Michael Smith
Raymond van Barneveld makes it through to his first ranking semi-final since the 2017 World Championship Watch every dart through to Finals Day on Sunday, November 20, while the World Championship at Ally Pally is coming to Sky Sports from December 15 until January 3
Last Updated: 19/11/22 7:02am
Raymond van Barneveld produced one of the most remarkable comebacks in Grand Slam of Darts history to stun reigning champion Gerwyn Price and set up a semi-final showdown against Michael Smith in Wolverhampton.
The 55-year-old - featuring in his first televised quarter-final since November 2019 - recovered from 8-3 down to send Price packing on an exhilarating Friday night in Wolverhampton.
The five-time World Champion - who only came out of retirement last February - rolled back the years to inflict Price's first defeat in a knockout tie at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
A fairy-tale week for RVB
First major ranking semi-final since 2017
First player to beat Gerwyn Price in a knock-out match in Aldersley
Provisionally seeded for the World Championship
Barney will take on Michael Smith for a place in Sunday night's showpiece, after Smith recovered from 15-13 down to edge out Joe Cullen in a gripping last-leg decider.
Friday, November 17 - Results
|Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)||Michael Smith||16-15||Joe Cullen|
|Raymond van Barneveld||16-13||Gerwyn Price|
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Van Barneveld defeated Price in a thrilling group-stage tussle earlier in the event, and he repeated the feat to secure his place in a first Grand Slam semi-final since 2015.
The 2012 champion missed darts to win each of the first two legs, and despite landing a 10-darter to open his account, he trailed Price 3-2 at the first interval with a 107 average.
The doyen of Dutch darts followed up his third 180 with a 98 finish to level inside 12 darts, but he paid the price for squandering two darts in leg eight, as a trio of 13-darters catapulted Price into a 7-3 lead before Welshman extended his winning run to five legs as he threatened to run away with the tie.
But Van Barneveld launched a stunning revival, punishing seven missed doubles across three legs from Price to make it six legs without reply, before raising the roof with a spectacular 157 finish to move 10-8 ahead.
Van Barneveld was riding the crest of a wave, wiring the bull for a show-stopping 170 finish as Price finally stopped the rot, but the former Premier League champion responded with a two-dart 78 combination to restore his two-leg buffer.
He continued his astonishing run with legs of 13 and 12 darts to stretch his advantage to 13-10, and with Price faltering on the outer ring, Van Barneveld pinned double four to move to within two legs of a famous victory but Price reeled off three straight legs to make it 13-14, featuring a 12-dart break in leg 26.
However, with the world No 1 poised to make it 14-14, Van Barneveld sank a nerveless 71 finish on tops to move one leg away, before firing in a stunning 13-darter to cap off an inspired display.
"I was struggling for many years, but I'm so happy right now. What a feeling," reflected Van Barneveld, through to his first ranking semi-final since the 2017 World Championship.
"I'm probably in the top five players of all-time along with Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Eric Bristow and John Lowe, and everyone knows I can do this. It is all about belief."
"I love to play darts, I love to play in front of this amazing crowd, and I believe I can win this."
In the opening quarter-final clash, Smith, the two-time world finalist, raced out of the blocks before suffering a mid-game slump, but he fought back magnificently to prevail in a rollercoaster clash, denying Cullen a single match dart in the closing stages.
Smith enjoyed a profitable opening session, hitting four 180s in as many legs to seize the initiative, although Cullen stayed in contention after the St Helens star spurned three darts for a 4-1 lead.
'The Rockstar' then followed up a clinical 116 in leg six with a sublime 170 checkout to restore parity at four apiece, but Smith soon regained control, maintaining his sensational scoring to move 6-4 ahead with a 110 average.
Following a sequence of four straight holds, Cullen punished a sluggish leg from Smith to reduce the deficit to 8-7, and he continued his charge with a 13-dart break in leg 19 to lead for the first time before making it seven legs from eight with a superb 12-darter to lead 12-9.
Smith delivered a spirited riposte, converting 110 and 78 finishes before halting a run of four straight breaks to cut the gap to 13-12.
The Masters champion responded with dominant holds of throw to move to the brink of victory at 15-13, before landing two maximums in leg 29 to pile the pressure on Smith.
However, the two-time World Championship runner-up was up to the task, following up a skin-saving 70 checkout with a majestic 11-dart break to force a dramatic deciding leg.
'Bully Boy' had the advantage of throw in the last-leg shoot-out, and despite Cullen firing in a timely 11th maximum to set up a potential two-darter, Smith sealed his progression with a 76 finish on tops to book his place in Sunday's semi-finals.
"When I was 15-13 down it was now or never," admitted Smith, who averaged 100 and landed 14 maximums to prevail in a Wolverhampton classic.
"I feel sorry for Joe because I love him like a brother, but someone had to lose, and I'm so glad I was able to get over the line."
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Saturday, November 18 - Fixtures (7pm)
|Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)||Nathan Aspinall||vs||Alan Soutar|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Luke Humphries|
The quarter-final line-up will be completed on Saturday night, as three-time champion Michael van Gerwen takes on Luke Humphries, while World Grand Prix runner-up Nathan Aspinall faces debutant Alan Soutar.
Watch the Grand Slam of Darts at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton all the way through until the final on November 20 - with every session live on Sky Sports & don't forget the World Championship is also coming to Sky Sports from December 15 until January 3.