Raymond van Barneveld ended Phil Taylor’s hopes of victory in his final World Series event in Australia as he edged through to the semi-finals of the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters with a 10-9 win earlier today.
The battle of the multiple time world champions went the way of the Dutchman, but only after seeing his leads of 8-4 and 9-7 wiped away by Taylor to send the quarter-final tie into a 19th and final leg.
Taylor was aiming to extend his impressive record in World Series events held in Australia to eight wins from nine tournaments this weekend, but van Barneveld won the decider to progress to the final day in Perth.
The five-time world champion started the brighter of the two by taking a 2-0 lead, but then missed three darts to move further ahead of his great rival.
An 11-dart hold followed for van Barneveld as he restored his two-leg cushion at 3-1, before Taylor won the next two legs to level after “Barney” missed another three darts to stay ahead.
Van Barneveld then took out 71 on tops to break the throw yet again, with Taylor repaying the favour with a 96 checkout on double nine to make it 4-4.
“Barney” then put together a sequence of four straight legs to open up a strong 8-4 lead on the 16-time world champion, but Taylor stopped the rot by holding throw on double 18 in the 13th leg.
The recent Melbourne winner then recovered one of the breaks of throw with a 41 checkout, and then closed the gap to just one after hitting a maximum and double eight.
Van Barneveld held throw in the 16th leg to move to within one leg of victory, but in the next leg the Dutchman spurned four match darts as Taylor stayed alive to cut the gap again to one.
Taylor then broke his opponent’s throw in leg 18 to send the match into a decider, but the 57-year-old was punished for scores of 60, 60 and 45 in the final leg as “Barney” claimed his spot in the semi-finals.
Van Barneveld will face Daryl Gurney for a place in the final after the Northern Irishman produced another impressive display on the doubles to beat third seed Peter Wright 10-4 in the quarter-finals.
Gurney finished 10/14 on the doubles and had checkouts of 97, 96, 97, 93, 104 and 87 as he avenged his defeat to Wright in the semi-finals in Melbourne last week.
The other semi-final in Perth tomorrow will see Gary Anderson take on James Wade after the seeded pair recorded 10-5 wins over Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith respectively.
Anderson averaged 102 and rattled off six straight legs as he fought back from 5-4 down to defeat the Australian number one, with a match-winning 144 checkout booking his place in the final day of action in Perth.
Wade was the first man through to the semi-finals Down Under after getting the better of Smith in the opening game of the day, with “The Machine” averaging 101, hitting five 180s and taking out 140 on his way to victory.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Saturday August 26 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
James Wade (4) 10-5 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson (1) 10-5 Simon Whitlock
Raymond van Barneveld 10-9 Phil Taylor (2)
Daryl Gurney 10-4 Peter Wright (3)
Best of 19 legs
Picture: Emma Morley DPA/PDC