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Day 13 darts evening session review: Brilliant Barney to meet Lewis

| 02.01.2016

Holly Thackeray | January 1, 2016

Day 13 evening session quarter-finals reaction

  • Raymond van Barneveld completed an astounding comeback from 3-0 down to beat Michael Smith in a 5-4 blinder
  • Adrian Lewis dominated Peter Wright in a 5-2 win
  • Jackpot now meets Barney in final four
  • All semi-finalists are former world champions

Van Barneveld brings belief, Lewis sinks Wright

Following on from an incredible afternoon oche extravaganza, which saw Jelle Klaasen and title holder Gary Anderson book their semi-final places, the Ally Pally put more magnificent matches on a plate for 2016 PDC World Darts Championship viewers.

Dutch hero and tungsten tease Raymond van Barneveld surpassed his toppling of world number one Michael van Gerwen by battling back from 3-0 down to dispatch Michael Smith 5-4 in an absolutely enthralling opening encounter. Who would want to face the former postman now?

Fellow semi-finalist Adrian Lewis (9/2 to win the World Championship) may actually fancy his chances, after seeing off Peter Wright in an excellent, if more one-sided, display of his own to make a date with the Dutchman. Read below to catch up on an unbelievable evening…

Raymond van Barneveld 5-4 Michael Smith (2-3, 1-3, 0-3, 3-0, 3-1, 3-0, 3-1, 1-3, 6-4)

What a spectacle and perfect evening session curtain-raiser! Young pretender Smith burst out of the blocks with an excellent 180, a regular feature of his heroic high scoring in this fixture, and romped on to take the first leg unopposed and unfazed by the occasion which, as pundits pointed out, was the biggest of his short career thus far.

Still, old master Barney bounced back to draw level on the Ally Pally stage he knows so well in a hint of what was to come, before surging ahead with a brilliant 121 checkout on the bull, temporarily tempering Bully Boy’s burgeoning talent.

Van Barneveld vitally missed his second shot at bullseye, however, delivering first set spoils to swashbuckling Smith, who duly took out double tops to nick it.

The Englishman picked his arrows back up with the same aplomb after the break, getting his nose ahead in legs again and eventually sprinting two sets clear. While, initially below-par Barney scuffed three chances to equalise, before needing four further shots just to get a leg on the board; far from the fine finishing he showcased to set up this battle.

Smith replicated his opponent’s earlier 121 checkout and surged to a 3-0 whitewashing in the third set, as decorated Dutchman Barney look defeated. There was a vital flicker of fight from the veteran, though, as he scrapped back to claim a crucial first set, before a suddenly wobbly Bully Boy missed four darts to concede a fifth leg in a row.

The tiger on Barney’s back really began to roar as the older oche hero illustrated his own 180 prowess, then targeting another incredible 121, his third in the fray, to jubilant celebration in front of Smith’s face. It wasn’t too long before he made it four of those tremendous checkouts, thrilling both the Barney Army and his travelling celebrity support and going on to spectacularly level sets.

With momentum now resting with the five-time world champ, composed Van Barneveld took a 4-3 lead while barely blinking, as Smith seemed to crumble in the face of a fascinating comeback. Though, it was testament to the 25-year-old’s character he managed to rally for a deciding set.

It looked to be incredibly well-timed for Smith, who recaptured his earlier fierce form to go within one leg of victory, bringing the power scoring out when it counted. Though Barney hit back, finally taking out 96 to halt his then impending demise, followed by a damaging double six to haul back those two legs for a tense tie-break.

After breaking throw, Van Barneveld missed double six for the match but delivered the deadly blow at the second time of asking, much to the delight of a partisan crowd (including Netherlands football striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar) to complete a scintillating sporting revival. But Smith should surely be pleased by his own output, and will surely come back for another confident crack as a genuine contender in 2017. We can’t wait.

Peter Wright 5-2 Adrian Lewis (1-3, 1-3, 0-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-1, 2-3)

Struggling Wright threw away the first two legs and eventually opening set to a more lethal Lewis, despite dazzling with his own 121 finish, as Jackpot lucked out on a nifty 90.

The Stoke-born star continued to blast past Scottish opponent Snakebite, who showed little venom with his dashed doubles in the second, which Lewis also snatched far too easily. In fact, it was almost an exhibition show as Jackpot hit 81 on the bull, with the match craving a little more competition after its dramatic predecessor.

Decked out in pink attire and hair style, visibly unsettled Wright’s darts did not match his flamboyant style, as the traffic became increasingly one way with Jackpot trotting to three sets to nil after little, if any, resistance.

On the surface there was little difference between the pair’s averages, and finally Snakebite pulled a set back with improved scoring, amazingly becoming the first to pinch one from Jackpot in this tournament so far.

It appeared as though a Wright resurgence was on the cards, as the Scot struck a further two legs, though fatefully failed to take out tops for what would have been a tide-turning second set. When called upon, Jackpot made no mistake with his double and made the scoreline a more dominant 4-1.

Snakebite was not ready to be shaken off, however, and magnificently managed to carve out a second set, but Jackpot could not be shaken in the same way as Smith, so put paid to thoughts of a Barney-style comeback with an electric 11-dart leg to level one within the semi-finals. Lewis uncharacteristically needed two attempts to seal it, but will now meet Van Barneveld in the final four. So, one thing is for sure, as all the semi-finalists have been either BDO or PDC world champions before, we won’t exactly have a first-time champ!


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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.