DOUBLE DUTCH IN WOLVERHAMPTON AS BARNEY & VAN GERWEN REACH SEMI-FINALS
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD and Michael van Gerwen completed the semi-final line-up at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with brilliant victories over Christian Kist and Scott Waites on Saturday night.
Five-time World Champion van Barneveld took a superb 16-10 win over Lakeside Champion Christian Kist in their all-Dutch quarter-final clash at the Wolves Civic.
Van Barneveld hit 12 180s and averaged more than 110 during much of the game as he took an initial 7-2 lead and then moved 13-7 up as he pushed towards the semis.
Kist took his tally of 180s to ten as he fought back, but van Barneveld sealed victory with a 12-dart finish to win through to the semi-finals for the second time in Wolverhampton, where he now plays Andy Hamilton.
“I’m really played well and it was an amazing game,” said van Barneveld, who ended with a 100.57 average. “The first ten legs were awesome for me and I was in the mood tonight – I’m playing at my level again.
“My doubles were great and I felt really comfortable. I’m really happy with the darts after changing to use 23 gram darts, and I believe in myself again.
“Christian played some awesome darts and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s got a lot of bottle and he’s done really well to reach the quarter-finals this week, and I think he’s a fantastic player.”
He added: “Andy and me have had many great battles in the past and I’ve got a good record against him but that doesn’t mean anything.
“He’s really consistent at the moment and it’s anybody’s game tomorrow, but hopefully I will get into the final, and it would be very emotional for me if I can win this tournament now.”
Van Gerwen, meanwhile, continued his bid for a second successive major title as he ended 2010 champion Scott Waites’ hopes of a second Grand Slam triumph with a 16-12 victory in their clash.
The Dutch star followed up Thursday’s sensational defeat of Phil Taylor with another superb performance, although Waites played his part in a high-paced thriller.
Van Gerwen hit a 170 checkout as he led 4-1 initially before Waites took six out of the next seven legs to move 7-5 up.
An incredible run from van Gerwen, though, saw him take eight successive legs to take control of the game, hitting a second 170 finish of the match and averaging 119 in an amazing spell to move 13-7 up.
Waites hit back to 13-10 but could never pull back closer than within three legs as van Gerwen eventually closed out another great victory on double eight.
“Scott’s been in great form this week and it was a very difficult game for me,” said van Gerwen. “I made it hard for myself by missing some doubles, but my scoring was there and I hit some great finishes when I had to.
“Scott played very well but when I was 7-5 down I was positive and I produced my best spell of the game – but that was only eight legs and I hope I can play that well all the way through the game in future.
“I’m very happy with this win and I hope I can carry this on in the next game because Dean Winstanley will be a tough opponent in the semi-finals.”
Waites, the 2010 Grand Slam champion, had defeated Phil Taylor as he topped Group A and admitted: “It was a great game to play in and I enjoyed it, despite the defeat.
“Michael came out much fast than I did and he’s playing incredibly well. I missed a few doubles and Michael took advantage. He played better than me and deserved to be the winner but I’ve got a lot of positives to take from the tournament.
“I topped the group and bagged a win on the big stage against Phil Taylor, so it’s been great for me.”
Earlier on Saturday, Winstanley had won through to his maiden Grand Slam of Darts semi-final with a 16-12 win over Kevin Painter, while 2007 runner-up Hamilton overcame John Part by the same scoreline.
The semi-finals will be played at 1pm on Sunday before the final is held from 7pm at the Wolves Civic, with a £100,000 first prize on offer for the eventual champion.
William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Saturday November 17
Dean Winstanley 16-12 Kevin Painter
John Part 12-16 Andy Hamilton
Christian Kist 10-16 Raymond van Barneveld
Scott Waites 12-16 Michael van Gerwen
Best of 31 legs
Sunday November 18
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Andy Hamilton v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Dean Winstanley
Best of 31 legs
Evening Session (7pm)
van Gerwen/Winstanley v Hamilton/van Barneveld
Best of 31 legs
Christian Kist v Raymond van Barneveld
0-1 – van Barneveld starts confidently by hitting a 180 and wins the leg with a 91 finish to break throw.
1-1 – Kist claims the second against the darts by taking out 85 in two darts.
1-2 – van Barneveld breaks throw for a second time with an accomplished 13-darter.
1-3 – The five-time World Champion continues his fine start to the match by hitting a third 180 before taking out 80 in two darts.
2-3 – van Barneveld registers a fourth maximum but Kist wins the leg with a clinical two-dart 62 finish.
2-4 – van Barneveld kicks off with a brace of 140 scores and wins the leg in 14-darts.
2-5 – van Barneveld hits an effortless 177 and converts an 88 finish to move three legs clear.
2-6 – An accurate attempt at double eight pushes van Barneveld further ahead.
2-7 – Both players hits 180s but the winning double proves to be a problem. Van Barneveld misses four chances but Kist misses three of his own allowing van Barneveld to hit double eight.
3-7 – Kist hits double six to complete a 13-dart finish and stop van Barneveld’s momentum.
4-7 – Kist hits tops to complete a 78 finish and reduce the gap to three legs.
4-8 – van Barneveld kicks off with a maximum and wins the leg with another 13-dart finish.
5-8 – One missed dart at double 18 from van Barneveld allows Kist a shot at a 75 finish, which he duly converts.
5-9 – van Barneveld kicks off the leg with a 180 and wins it in style with a 111 checkout.
5-10 – Kist leaves 40 after 12 darts, but three missed darts at doubles prove costly as van Barneveld hits double 16 at the first time of asking.
5-11 – van Barneveld hits a superb 145 to leave 65 which he takes out in two darts to move six legs ahead.
6-11 – Kist hits double 20 at the first attempt.
6-12 – Both players hit maximums before van Barneveld lands double 16 to complete a 15-dart finish.
7-12 – Two missed darts at double 18 from van Barneveld allows Kist to step in and steal the leg by taking out 74 in two darts.
7-13 – Both fire 180s but van Barneveld hits double 20 to edge closer to the winning line.
8-13 – Kist begins the leg by registering his eighth 180 and goes on to win the leg in 14 darts.
8-14 – van Barneveld is off-target with two darts at double 16 but Kist is unable to capitalise as he misses an attempt at bulleye and van Barneveld returns to hit double 16.
9-14 – Kist continues to fight and hits double 12 to complete a 13-dart finish.
9-15 – Kist misses one dart at double ten and van Barneveld makes no mistake by hitting the same double.
10-15 – van Barneveld hits a tenth 180 but Kist wins the leg with a 76 finish.
10-16 – van Barneveld registers two more 180s and a 12-dart finish seals the match in style.
Raymond van Barneveld: “I played awesome in the first ten legs and built a good lead. I’m happy with my performance and to average over 100 shows that I’m playing well right now. I believe in myself again and I’m in with a real chance to win my first major title in five years.”
Scott Waites v Michael van Gerwen
0-1 – van Gerwen fires a 180 in the opening leg and takes the lead with an 84 finish.
1-1 – The Dutch superstar misses three chances to hold throw and Waites hits double nine with an accurate third dart.
1-2 – van Gerwen converts a fantastic 170 checkout to continue the high standard to the game.
1-3 – van Gerwen kicks off with scores of 140 and 180 before winning the leg in 12 darts.
1-4 – Waites hits a maximum before van Gerwen hits scores of 174 and 168 to leave 16. Waites succumbs to the pressure from his opponent and misses two darts at doubles to allow van Gerwen to step in and hit double eight.
2-4 – van Gerwen hits a rare blank as three attempts at tops go high of the target and Waites hits double 16 with a pressure third dart to secure a break of throw.
3-4 – Waites hits double 12 despite van Gerwen recording a 177 score.
4-4 – The Yorkshireman hits a clinical 14-dart finish to level the match at four apiece.
4-5 – van Gerwen is off-target with three chances at double 12 but Waites misses his attempt at double 16 and van Gerwen returns to hit the bed with his second visit.
5-5 – The tenth leg sees three 180s hit, with two of them coming from Waites before he hits double 16 to level a highly entertaining contest.
6-5 – Waites hits scores of 140, 137 and 174 and wins the leg in 11 darts to hit the front for the first time.
7-5 – Three more missed darts at double top prove expensive for van Gerwen as Waites hits the same double at the first attempt.
7-6 – Van Gerwen hits back-to-back 180s to encourage hopes of a nine-darter. The seventh attempt at a treble 20 falls short, but the Dutchman wins the leg in 11 darts.
7-7 – van Gerwen levels the match with the aid of his sixth maximum of the game.
7-8 – Waites is unable to land two darts at double eight and van Gerwen hits double ten to win his third leg in a row.
7-9 – van Gerwen hits a clinical 12-dart finish completed with a 116 checkout.
7-10 – The World Grand Prix champion hits an incredible 170 checkout for the second time in the match.
7-11 – van Gerwen wins a fifth leg in a row by taking out 97.
7-12 – van Gerwen hits double 18 to move five legs clear of his opponent.
7-13 – Waites hits consecutive 180s to leave the opportunity of a nine-dart finish. It’s not be, and van Gerwen, who left 87 after nine darts, hits double nine to edge closer to a place in the last four with a 12-dart finish.
8-13 – This time van Gerwen hits two 180s to raise hopes once again of a nine-darter, and after his misses a seventh treble 20 Waites hits double 19 to convert a 98 finish to win his first leg in nine.
9-13 – Both players miss two darts at doubles to win the leg before Waites hits double two with a pressure third dart.
10-13 – Waites just misses double 18 for a 153 checkout but three missed darts at tops from van Gerwen allows Waites to return to hit the bed.
10-14 – van Gerwen hits double eight to move two legs away from victory.
11-14 – The Dutchman is just-off target with his attempt at bullseye for a 126 finish and Waites hits a vital double ten with his third dart.
11-15 – Waites misses double eight for a 136 checkout and van Gerwen manages to hit the same bed.
12-15 – Waites hits a ninth 180 and wins the leg on double eight to complete a 14-darter.
12-16 – The Yorkshireman hits a 177 but a missed dart at double 11 allows van Gerwen to hit double 18 to end a superb contest.
Michael van Gerwen: “Despite my 106 average I still feel my performance was a bit mixed tonight. I hit two 170 checkouts but I also missed quite a lot of doubles. When I was 7-5 down I kept a good attitude and produced my best spell of the game when I won eight legs in a row. Dean Winstanley will be a tough opponent in the semi-finals tomorrow and I have to focus on this now.”
Scott Waites: “It was a great game to play in and I enjoyed it despite the defeat. Michael came out much faster than I did. He’s playing incredibly well and was hitting the treble 20 with such regularity. I have a lot of positives to take away from the tournament as I topped the group and bagged a win on the big stage against Phil Taylor.”