Barney aiming for glory following thrilling win over Dutch rival
BARNEY AIMING FOR GLORY FOLLOWING THRILLING WIN OVER DUTCH RIVAL
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD has set his sights on ending a five-year wait for a major title at the European Championship on Sunday after a brilliant second round win over Michael van Gerwen at the RWE Sporthalle in Muelheim, Germany.
The five-time World Champion's last televised individual win came at the 2007 Las Vegas Desert Classic, but he continued his brilliant form in the European Championship with a 10-9 defeat of his fellow Dutchman van Gerwen.
Van Barneveld had averaged 113 and hit six doubles from as many attempts in the first round against Terry Jenkins, and ended his contest with van Gerwen with a 102 average, seven 180s and checkouts of 156 and 136 in a brilliant game.
Van Gerwen played his part, landing six 180s and hitting back from 9-7 down to force a decider, but van Barneveld hit a maximum in a 14-darter to take victory.
He now plays Kim Huybrechts in the quarter-finals on Sunday, and is aiming to take the £50,000 first prize if he can maintain his form across three matches on the day.
"In this shape, with the darts set-up I have, I really believe I can beat any opponent but I'll have to be perfect and concentrate on my own game on Sunday," said the Dutchman.
"Michael's in great form, and it's not very often anyone will lose a game with a 103 average. I almost gave it away to him when I missed the four darts to win 10-7, but the 180 in the final leg really helped me."
Belgium's emerging star Huybrechts reached the quarter-finals for a second successive year with a 10-5 win over Ian White, hitting checkouts of 164, 121, 108 and 101 in a strong performance.
"Reaching the quarter-final again was my aim but I'd like to go further," said Huybrechts.
"Raymond's a great player and it will be lovely to play him. I believe I can do well for three games on Sunday, but I'll take each game at a time. I feel good and I'm really enjoying the tournament."
Australian Simon Whitlock maintained his challenge for a maiden major title with a 10-5 win over Dave Chisnall, coming from 3-1 down to win six successive legs in taking command.
Whitlock ended the game having hit ten from 13 attempts at doubles in a clinical performance, and said: "I'm delighted with that and my finishing was superb, which is pleasing because I focus on my doubles in practice.
"I want to lift that trophy on Sunday night and I'll take one game at a time until I hopefully do that - bring it on!"
Whitlock now plays Colin Lloyd in the last eight, after the former World Matchplay champion punished Richie Burnett for 25 missed doubles in a 10-8 win, with the Welshman crucially off-target 20 times on tops during the contest.
"Richie kept letting me in, and in the end I punished him," said Lloyd. "There's lots of room for improvement because I gave myself so many opportunities and didn't take them but I got the win and that's all that matters."
"I know I've got to up my game a bit because I'm a little bit erratic at the minute, but it's a new day tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it."
Earlier in the day, reigning champion Phil Taylor avoided a scare against Dutch youngster Jerry Hendriks, coming from 4-2 down to win 10-7 and remain on course for a fifth successive title.
Taylor's win set up a quarter-final against Brendan Dolan, as the Northern Irishman overcame Germany's Andree Welge 10-5 to set up a repeat of last year's World Grand Prix final.
The number four and five seeds, Wes Newton and Andy Hamilton, will clash in the other quarter-final following their respective wins over Kevin Painter and Ronnie Baxter.
Newton came from 2-0 down to defeat Painter 10-5, while Hamilton edged out Ronnie Baxter 10-8.
The quarter-finals will be played in Sunday's afternoon session, before the destiny of the £50,000 first prize is decided with the semi-finals and final in the evening session in Muelheim.
Sunday's final stages will be screened live on ESPN UK across two sessions, with coverage also live through LIVEPDC.TV, Sport1 in Germany, RTL7 in Holland and Fox Sports in Australia.