Comment & Analysis @RazMirza
Raymond van Barneveld's Premier League swansong ended in miserable fashion by Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld says he felt "ashamed" after suffering 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Michael van Gerwen and announces retirement with immediate effect. His manager later Tweets Dutchman will "think" about decision.
Last Updated: 28/03/19 11:58pm
Michael van Gerwen thrashed Raymond van Barneveld as the legendary Dutchman bid an emotional farewell to the Premier League and his career on Thursday night in Rotterdam.
Rob Cross hammered eight maximums on his way to seeing off Jeffrey de Zwaan. Daryl Gurney continued his impressive form with a comprehensive win over Mensur Suljovic, while in a see-saw battle, Gerwyn Price got the better of Peter Wright to jump ahead of his opponent in the table.
In the final match of the night, Michael Smith came agonisingly close to a nine-dart finish, and was ultimately punished by the relentless James Wade.
Raymond van Barneveld 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
There was a tear in Barney's eye as he made his walk-on in his 212th and final Premier League appearance against the world No 1.
Van Gerwen was showing little sentiment on the big stage as he raced through the opening four legs before the five-time former World Champion avoided the dreaded whitewash by hitting tops to the delight of the home faithful.
But Van Barneveld's 14-season Premier League career soon came to an end as a ruthless Van Gerwen rattled off 63 and tops to win in style.
There's no light. I'm still a proud man, but I'm done - this is it.
Raymond van Barneveld retires from professional Darts
"I don't know what to say, I feel ashamed," Van Barneveld told host Dave Clark. "What can I say?"
He later told Rod Studd: "I'm done now. I don't want the pain anymore. There's no light. I'm still a proud man, but I'm done - this is it."
Raymond had had a very tough 2 nights and in all his emotions he said he was gonne retire right away. I just spoke with him and we agreed it is better to take a couple of days to clear the mind and think about the future. I hope everyone understand. Kind Regards Jaco van Bodegom pic.twitter.com/jLYgUdAPD3— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) March 28, 2019
Rob Cross 7-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Former World Champion Cross was determined to bounce back from his disappointing defeat to Mensur Suljovic the night before when he took on the final contender in the shape of young Dutchman De Zwaan.
The 23-year-old World Matchplay semi-finalist, who beat Van Gerwen twice last year, opened with an immediate break of throw and then backed it up with an incredible 151 finish. He was averaging close to 112 on his Premier League debut as he opened up a 3-1 advantage in a top-quality contest.
But Voltage silenced the boo-boys by winning six out of the next seven legs, including finishes of 89, 124 on the bullseye, and 77, to close out the contest.
Daryl Gurney 7-3 Mensur Suljovic
Gurney, who condemned Van Barneveld to elimination for the first time in his 14-season Premier League career on Wednesday night, continued his impressive form with a nerveless display against Suljovic.
The Players Championship Finals winner struck four maximums as he marched on to a homecoming in Belfast next Thursday with his third win in his last four matches to move into the top four.
James Wade 7-4 Michael Smith
Smith came flying out of the blocks with eight perfect darts before narrowly missing D12 for what would have been a spectacular nine-dart finish. The St Helens' thrower maintained his composure to lead, but Wade struck with a clever tops, tops finish for 100 to level and he then won a third leg on the spin to lead 4-3.
Bully Boy's grasp on the contest slipped away when Wade struck out 80 to move 6-4 up and it was job done in the next leg as The Machine pinned D20 to move into third position.
Peter Wright 5-7 Gerwyn Price
With both players struggling to find their best form Price kicked things off with a big 147 checkout before Snakebite responded with a 118 and a magical 160 to reignite the tungsten touchpaper.
Price looked to be on for a nine-darter when he struck six perfect darts in the sixth leg, but he dragged his seventh dart below D19. He eventually levelled matters at 3-3 thanks to a 12-darter.
The Welshman then produced a blistering burst of scoring to pummel Wright. He sunk D10 for a superb 11-dart leg against the throw in the 11th leg before sealing victory by nailing tops after Wright missed two at double for a draw.
What comes next? Night 10 - April 4 SSE Arena, Belfast
|Mensur Suljovic||vs||James Wade|
|Michael Smith||vs||Peter Wright|
|Rob Cross||vs||Daryl Gurney|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Gerwyn Price|
What comes next? The Premier League continues as we head to the SSE Arena in Belfast on Thursday, April 4. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/darts