Raymond van Barnevled finally claims Premier League Darts crown
The five-time world champion had fallen at the semi-final stage of the competition on six occasions, but ended that painful run on Thursday by getting the better of old adversary Phil Taylor, who he had never previously beaten in the Premier League.
Van Barneveld followed up that success by shocking fellow countryman and world number one Michael van Gerwen with a 10-6 victory in the final.
Last year’s Premier League champion roared out of the blocks with seven perfect darts on his way to winning the opening leg.
However, Van Gerwen found himself on the back foot thereafter and was ultimately beaten with a degree of comfort by an opponent 22 years his senior.
After responding to Van Gerwen’s fast start by winning three successive legs, Van Barneveld initially gave up his advantage to leave the match delicately poised at five legs apiece.
Yet it mattered little as Van Barneveld went on to reel off four legs on the spin before holding his throw to seal victory.
Van Barneveld had come from 4-1 down earlier in the evening to end his wait for an elusive Premier League success against 16-time world champion Taylor.
England’s Taylor, seeking his seventh Premier League crown, could not take advantage of his early lead and managed to win just one further leg.
There was never more than a leg between Van Gerwen, who topped the league standings, and Gary Anderson in the first semi-final, and it was the former who held his nerve to triumph 8-7.
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