Title glory for Van Barneveld

  • By: Paul Higham
  • Last Updated: May 22 2014, 23:30 BST

Raymond van Barneveld won the Premier League Darts title for the first time with a brilliant 10-6 victory over fellow Dutchman Michael van Gerwen at The O2.

Raymond van Barneveld held his nerve as he clinched the Premier League title.
Raymond van Barneveld held his nerve as he clinched the Premier League title.

Barney has been a six-time semi-finalist in the Premier League, but has never been able to take that final step, but achieved a couple of firsts on the night as he also secured a first win over old foe Phil Taylor in the semis.

The Power had not lost to Barney on a Premier League stage, but the big Dutchman produced a brilliant comeback to recover from 4-1 down to beat his nemesis 8-5.

From there, Barney, who was given a wildcard into the Premier League having failed to qualify, came flying out of the traps against the world No 1 in the final despite van Gerwen hitting seven perfect darts to start the match.

Barney broke in the third leg and maintained his lead to go into the interval 5-3 ahead, but he returned to the stage a lot more sluggish and van Gerwen was able to pinch the darts back and get the contest back on level terms.

Despite his recent struggles, Barney has been a consistent performer in the Premier League, and he used all his experience to slow MVG down near the end of the 11th leg to win it against the throw.

A brilliant two-dart 94 gave Barney a hold, before a 86 take out handed him another break, before he took a fourth leg on the spin to move to the brink of victory at 9-5.

Still, van Gerwen stuck at his task and he managed to dig out a 110 finish just to hold his own throw and make it 9-6, but a 180 in the next leg helped Barney get to the double first and he made no mistake on double 10 to claim the title.

Five-time world champion Barney takes home a bumper £150,000 first prize and a much-needed boost of confidence heading into some more big summer tournaments, while van Gerwen can at least take back £75,000 for his troubles.

"This is incredible," said Van Barneveld after his win. "After the World Championships when I was beaten there I didn't think you'd be seeing me again."

"But thanks to the PDC and thanks to Sky Sports I got a wildcard and at last I've managed to get further than the semi-finals and able to claim my first Premier League."

Van Gerwen was denied a second successive Premier League title after again finishing top of the league after 15 weeks of action, but admitted his rival was the better man in the final.

"I've had a good Premier League but not quite good enough," said van Gerwen. "Raymond was the better player tonight and he deserved to win.

"So for me I just have to go away and practice harder because there's still a lot more titles to play for this year."