PDC Darts: Raymond van Barneveld beaten in first round of World Darts Championship
Coverage continues on Sunday with another bumper double session starting at 12.30pm on Sky Sports Darts and again at 7pm
By Paul Prenderville at Alexandra Palace
Last Updated: 15/12/19 3:53pm
Raymond van Barneveld’s hopes of a fairy-tale end to his professional darts career are over after he was beaten 3-1 by Darin Young in the first round of the World Darts Championship.
Almost 30 years ago, a 25-year-old Barney began his Worlds adventure, losing 3-0 to Australia's Keith Sullivan at the legendary Lakeside Country Club.
And almost three decades and five world titles on it was the same first round hurdle that brought the curtain down on an illustrious career for Barney as Young failed to read the script and left the Ally Pally crowd in stunned silence with no dream finale to the great Dutchman's career.
An emotional Barney spoke to Sky Sports' Rod Studd afterwards and, with the feelings still raw, was almost lost for words on how the evening played out, insisting that he would not forgive himself for his final year playing out so disappointingly.
I couldn’t handle the pressure of my final tournament. Maybe I wanted it too bad. Thanks @OfficialPDC @SkySportsDarts @rtl7darts @WilliamHill for all the honours and nice words. My fans inspired me to do great things but I let them down. My love for you will never end. pic.twitter.com/PkZSSZlmlc— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) December 15, 2019
In a packed media room afterwards, Barney was in no mood to look back on his career as a five-time world champion, second only to Phil Taylor's haul of 16.
PDC World Championship: Saturday night's results
|First Round||Mark McGeeney 3-1 Matt Campbell|
|Jamie Hughes 2-3 Zoran Lerchbacher|
|Raymond van Barneveld 1-3 Darin Young|
|Second Round||Rob Cross (2) 0-3 Kim Huybrechts|
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No dream finish for legendary Barney
After a spine-tingling entrance, that continued with the crowd bellowing 'Barney Army' long after after 'Eye of the Tiger had subsided, Barney started slowly despite an opening leg 180 and it wasn't to get much better as Young booked a second-round showdown with Jeffrey de Zwaan.
The pair traded the opening legs before Young took advantage of a host of missed doubles from the Dutchman to claim the opening stanza 3-1.
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A more comfortable Barney upped the ante in the second set and while the doubles continued to cause him concern, his scoring was enough to ensure he took full advantage, averaging 100 and sweeping all three legs to level the contest.
But Barney's final year has been anything but straightforward and having blazed through the second set, his level dropped again while Young remained consistent and did enough to hold his through and edge into a 2-1 lead, leaving Van Barneveld on the brink.
'Big Daddy' Young was undaunted, moving into a 2-0 lead in the fourth set, having got the ball rolling in the opening leg with a brilliant 160 but the Dutchman battled back, a couple of legs took the set the distance.
Still there was time for Van Barneveld to stir, he took out the next two legs, firing a couple of maximums along the way to rekindle the crowd's home.
But it was not to be as a forlorn Van Barneveld frittered away four darts to take the match to a deciding fifth set and Young pounced taking out tops for a memorable win.
The action continues on Sunday with a double session live on Sky Sports Darts from 12.30pm and 7pm and the action continues through to the final on New Year's Day. If you are out and about you can follow with regular updates, clips, features & reports at skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and @SkySportsDarts