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Raymond van Barneveld loses to Daryl Gurney to drop out of Premier League
Last Updated: 28/03/19 9:18am
Raymond van Barneveld's hopes of taking his Premier League survival bid to Elimination Night faltered in front of his countrymen as he was beaten 7-1 by Daryl Gurney to crash out of the Premier League in Rotterdam.
Despite an emotional welcome to the stage, in front of a sea of orange, Barney saw his hopes of a great escape falter at the hands of Superchin, who showed no mercy despite sharing a 'Sweet Caroline' sing-a-long with the five-time world champion.
Van Barneveld, who has already admitted this year's World Championship will be his last and who faces an uphill battle to make it into some of the year's major TV tournaments, faces Michael van Gerwen on Thursday night in what promises to be a celebration, despite his early exit.
Van Gerwen was among the winners on Wednesday night, making amends for a defeat to Peter Wright in Rotterdam last year with a 7-1 victory that took him top of the table.
Rob Cross threw away a 5-1 lead to remarkably lose 7-5 to Mensur Suljovic, Michael Smith was also victorious against Gerwyn Price, and James Wade denied Dimitri Van den Bergh the first victory by a contender in this year's tournament.
Night Eight Results
|Gerwyn Price||5-7||Michael Smith|
|James Wade||6-6||Dimitri Van den Bergh|
|Rob Cross||5-7||Mensur Suljovic|
|Peter Wright||1-7||Michael van Gerwen|
|Raymond van Barneveld||1-7||Daryl Gurney|
Raymond van Barneveld 1-7 Daryl Gurney
It wasn't to be for Barney, who saw his three-year unbeaten Premier League record in Rotterdam come to a crashing halt as he failed to get going despite a memorable walk-on at the Ahoy.
Once the formalities were out of the way, Gurney, who beat Van Gerwen last week, took the opener with a break of throw and with Barney out-of-sorts, Superchin eased into a 2-0 lead and missed a dart at bullseye for a 170 check-out and a 3-0 lead.
Barney pinned tops to raise the roof with his first leg of the match and give the crowd hope of another comeback, but that was as good as it got as Gurney had other ideas, taking out tops for a two-leg lead again.
And he never looked back, reeling off the next three to secure a point with a brilliant double 18, double-top finish and then sealing the win that keeps alive his own hopes of the play-offs - and ending Barney's dream.
Peter Wright 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
Van Gerwen needed at least a 7-4 win to return to top spot, and while disappointed not to claim his fourth Premier League whitewash, a 7-1 triumph over Snakebite was enough to overtake Cross.
In front of an adoring crowd, warming up nicely for the Van Barneveld main course, Van Gerwen was roared to the stage and blasted his way into a 5-0 lead with the minimum amount of fuss, building on his victory at the European Dart Open in Leverkusen at the weekend.
The Dutchman, who has topped the regular season standings for each of the last six years, moved to the brink of an 11th whitewash by pinning double 18 to secure a point.
A fired-up Van Gerwen was desperate to find a seventh leg on the bounce and while Wright avoided the humiliation, Van Gerwen made no mistake in the eighth leg to seal a dominant return to form.
Rob Cross 5-7 Mensur Suljovic
Having been eliminated after the first phase last year, Suljovic produced a remarkable turnaround to win six successive legs from 5-1 down to beat Cross.
Suljovic has a habit of running into players in form, and it was no different in Rotterdam as Cross cruised into a four-leg lead with his now customary 100+ average.
Suljovic stopped the rot and got on the board by mopping up 25 but it only delayed the inevitable as Voltage maintained his 100% finished record by pinning double 16 for a 5-1 advantage.
However, Cross went on to miss his next 11 darts at a double and was punished at every opportunity by the Austrian, who pinned double 10 to level the match.
He then delighted the crowd with a superb 136 to secure a point and then sealed the win with a showstopping 120.
Night Nine Fixtures - Thursday
|Daryl Gurney||v||Mensur Suljovic|
|Peter Wright||v||Gerwyn Price|
|Rob Cross||v||Jeffrey de Zwaan|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|James Wade||v||Michael Smith|
James Wade 6-6 Dimitri Van den Bergh
It was honours even as an apparent draft on the stage couldn't upstage one of the best matches of the Premier League so far, with both men average more than 100.
Van den Bergh looked predictably at home on the big stage and took the opening two legs after delighting the crowd with a trademark dance onto the oche.
Wade then led the players off for a short time, a breeze believed to be to blame. The Machine returned from the enforced break to take his first leg of the night and then levelled with a brilliant 106.
Van den Bergh was undaunted and pinned the bullseye for a classy 85 before a brilliant 140 re-established a two-leg lead that Wade was quick to again wipe out.
The Belgian took out 121 on the bullseye for the lead, but after Wade levelled at 5-5, the pair split the last two legs to draw the contest, with Van den Bergh having missed a dart at double 10 that would have made him the first contender to record a win.
Gerwyn Price 5-7 Michael Smith
In the opening match of the evening, Smith had piled the pressure on Barney in a thrilling contest with the Iceman that featured 10 maximums and a winning bullseye finish from Bully Boy.
Smith, last year's runner-up, led by two legs on three occasions but needed the Welshman to miss two darts at double for a draw to secure a priceless three points.
Missed darts were to prove Price's downfall, but after Barney's defeat, the Welshman will play in the second phase for the first time despite defeat.
Price missed five darts for the opening leg and Smith moved into a 2-0 lead only to be pegged back and that was the theme until Price drew within one after pinning double top before Bully Boy's bullseye denouement.
The Dutch darting double continues on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7pm, as Rotterdam bids farewell to Barney.