Results, review and highlights from Judgement Night in Premier League Darts, as Raymond van Barneveld bowed out with a heavy defeat.
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Barney 'retires' after defeat to MVG
Raymond van Barneveld's final Premier League Darts season ended with a heavy 7-1 defeat to Michael van Gerwen in Rotterdam - and afterwards he insisted he would now retire with immediate effect.
In an emotional post-match interview backstage, Barney admitted he's just "not good enough" and doesn't have the energy to pick up the ranking points on the Pro Tour needed to qualify for the big televised events and the World Championship, where he had been intending to bring his glittering career to a close.
He said: "I've made a decision, I'm done now. I've been going through pain every week for the last three to four years; I don't want the pain anymore.
"I'm not good enough and I don't have the energy to start from scratch again. I could say to myself 'okay Ray take some time off' but there is no time.
"There's no light for me. I try, I try, I try but I never get the feeling of 'hey Ray we're back' apart from winning the World Cup with Michael.
"I'm okay with this decision, I'm relieved. I'm still a proud man and I want to thank everyone who has helped me all these years but I'm done. That's it."
Barney's relegation from his final Premier League had been sealed 24 hours earlier when he was thrashed 7-1 by Daryl Gurney in the first part of this week's Ahoy Arena-double header and although he was unable to bow out on a high against the world number one - the Rotterdam crowd gave the legendary Dutchman an emotional send off.
The two scorelines he's suffered in Rotterdam this week - not to mention the other four defeats this season - takes nothing away from his incredible journey in this competition, which began in 2006 in Blackburn and ends 210 matches later having never missed a season.
He lifted the prestigious trophy once back in 2014 thanks to a famous victory over van Gerwen while he hit two nine-dart finishes (vs Peter Manley in 2006 and Terry Jenkins in 2010) and managed to reach the Play-Offs on eight occasions.
The five-time world champion, who won a total of 93 of his matches, drew 38 and lost 79 times, found himself in real danger of a whitewash when the ruthless MVG stormed into a 4-0 lead, with Barney averaging in the 80s.
Much to the relief of the Barney Army, he finally got a leg on the board after the world champion missed tops in the next but that was his only high point as the defending champion reeled off the next three in succession to complete an emphatic victory which keeps him top of the table.
Van Gerwen averaged 101.39 compared to Barney's 84.68, hit four more 180s with five and pinned seven of his 15 attempts at doubles as his opponent missed five of his six.
But the night wasn't really about the result as Rotterdam waved goodbye to one of their greatest sporting icons, while the rest of his fans worldwide may also have seen the last of him too.
"It's good to see that everyone loves you but they don't have the slightest clue what I've been going through," he added.
"I don't know where it came from but I played really badly against Daryl Gurney which meant I was eliminated and I felt ashamed, I'm a five-time World Champion and I was thinking 'do I deserve this?' I don't think so but this is reality.
"The Premier League has been amazing for me, it brought me everything but so many good players have stood up over the last few years.
"Today I gave my grandson my necklace during my walk-on and I felt really proud to do that.
"Once again, I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years."
Van Gerwen said: "What Raymond did for the sport is great, but when I saw him crying at the start of the match I made sure I kept my focus on getting the job done. He has been a phenomenal player, he's put the sport on the map in the Netherlands and I hope I can take it even further.
"To perform in front of this crowd means everything to me, and if it wasn't for Raymond then none of this would be possible."
Scroll down for more results from Judgement Night
Raymond van Barneveld roll of honour
PDC Televised Titles
- 2006, 2007 UK Open
- 2007 World Championship
- 2007 Las Vegas Desert Classic
- 2012 Grand Slam of Darts
- 2014 Premier League
- 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018 World Cup of Darts
- 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 Lakeside Championship
- 2001, 2005 World Masters
- 1995, 2001, 2003, 2004 Zuiderduin Masters
- 2003, 2004 World Darts Trophy
- 2003, 2004, 2006 International Darts League
- 2007 Masters of Darts
Cross silences Rotterdam crowd
Rob Cross overcame an early onslaught from young Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan - and a wall of noise from the 10,000-strong Rotterdam crowd roaring him on - to claim a gutsy 7-4 victory.
Voltage was bidding to bounce back from throwing away a 5-1 lead in a 7-5 defeat to Mensur Suljovic the night earlier but he found himself up against it after the ninth and final 'Contender' opened up with an 84 checkout to complete a 12-darter before a stunning finish from 151 to bring the Ahoy Arena to its feet.
Another 12-darter, which included a pair of 180s, restored de Zwaan's two-leg cushion at 3-1 although the former world champion then held his nerve on double one to begin the fight back.
Cross was being roundly booed by the vociferous Dutch support but he silenced them in the best possible way by winning a further four legs on the spin, including a fabulous checkout from 124 on the bullseye.
De Zwaan pulled one back but Cross got the job done in the next, with help from his eighth 180 of the match.
The Hastings man averaged 94.46 compared to his opponent's 96.93 while he hit five more maximums and hit seven of his 17 attempts at doubles, with de Zwaan only missing two of his.
Gurney makes it three on the spin
Daryl Gurney maintained his hot streak of form as he overpowered Mensur Suljovic 7-3 to make it three Premier League victories in a row.
The 2018 Players Championship Finals winner was struggling near the foot at the table a few weeks ago after suffering back-to-back 7-1 and 7-0 defeats to Rob Cross and James Wade respectively but after stopping the rot with a gutsy draw with Peter Wright, he's now on a four-game unbeaten run that includes last Thursday's shock win over Michael van Gerwen.
Gurney's latest triumph, in which he averaged 98.28 compared to Suljovic's 91.58 and hit three more maximums with six, takes him up to 11 points ahead of his home fixture in Belfast next Thursday night.
The Northern Irishman, who thrashed Raymond van Barneveld 7-1 24 hours earlier to consign the Dutch legend to relegation with a game to spare, also hit the highest checkout of the match with his match-sealing finish of 84 while he pinned seven of his 20 darts at doubles.
Suljovic had initially recovered from a 2-0 deficit to get back on level terms and when he trailed 5-2, a superb 12-darter suggested he could pull off a similar comeback to the one he managed against Rob Cross on Wednesday.
But that was as good as it got for the disappointing Gentle, who missed eight of his 11 attempts at a double, and he falls behind Gurney on 10 points.
Price is right against Snakebite
Gerwyn Price edged an entertaining clash with Peter Wright as he snapped a run of three straight Premier League defeats to breath new life into his play-off challenge.
Although neither player were at their best - with the Welshman averaging 94.47 compared to Snakebite's lowly 87.6 - Price still managed to twice go close to a nine-darter and also hit a 147 checkout while Wright also raised the roof with a finish from 160.
The Grand Slam of Darts champion's first attempt at the perfect leg came in the sixth - straight after his opponent had just nailed the highest checkout of the match to go 3-2 up - but he fell short with his seventh dart before levelling the scores in 11.
Wright, who had earlier managed a 118 finish after falling 2-0 down, struggled for the second night running with his scoring and consistency having been thrashed 7-1 by Michael van Gerwen 24 hours earlier but that didn't stop him edging 4-3 and 5-4 ahead.
Price, who won back-to-back Players Championship events earlier this season as well as reaching the UK Open semi-finals prior to this tricky spell, then restored parity before visits 180 and 177 gave the Ahoy crowd hopes of another nine-dart opportunity but they had to settle for another in 11.
Wright then missed two darts to share the spoils in the final leg and Price made him pay by pinning tops to move up to nine points - one clear of the Scotsman.
The former rugby player hit two more 180s with four while he hit seven of his 21 darts at doubles as Wright missed eight of his 13.
Wade comeback stuns Smith
James Wade moved up to third place in the table after coming from 3-1 down to defeating Michael Smith 7-4 in the final match of the night.
Smith, who will head into the post-Judgement Night part of the season in eighth place on seven points, nearly kicked off the match with a nine-dart finish in the very first leg, only to miss his attempt at double 12.
Wade responded with an 81 checkout to complete a 12-darter but Bully Boy took the next two legs in a combined 27 darts to take control of the contest.
Back came the Machine with a run of three successive legs, with the help of a match high checkout of 100, and although the St Helens man quickly restored parity, he raced away to an impressive victory.
Wade averaged 102.44 compared to Smith's 99.39 and while they both hit two maximums each, his finishing was the key as he pinned seven of his 11 attempts at doubles, with his opponent missing five of his nine.
2019 Premier League Darts Table
- Van Gerwen P 9 W 6 D 1 L 2 LegD +22 Pts 13
- Cross P 9 W 6 D 1 L 2 LegD +16 Pts 13
- Wade P 9 W 4 D 3 L 2 LegD +10 Pts 11
- Gurney P 9 W 5 D 1 L 3 LegD +2 Pts 11
- Suljovic P 9 W 4 D 2 L 3 LegD +2 Pts 10
- Price P 9 W 3 D 3 L 3 LegD +5 Pts 9
- Wright P 9 W 2 D 4 L 3 LegD -5 Pts 8
- Smith P 9 W 3 D 1 L 5 LegD -6 Pts 7
- Relegated: Van Barneveld P 9 W 1 D 2 L 6 LegD -22 Pts 4
Judgement Night results
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- WEEKLY GUEST PLAYERS IN BOLD
Judgement Night - Thursday March 28
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Daryl Gurney 7-3 Mensur Suljovic
- Peter Wright 5-7 Gerwyn Price
- Rob Cross 7-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
- Raymond van Barneveld 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
- James Wade 7-4 Michael Smith