World Grand Prix - Mighty Mike KO's Barney
SENSATIONAL Michael van Gerwen remains on course to retain his World Grand Prix title following a straight sets romp against Raymond van Barneveld on Thursday night, as Dave Chisnall, Justin Pipe and Andy Hamilton joined him in the quarter-finals.
Van Gerwen took only 21 minutes to claim victory in the all-Dutch second round clash at Dublin's Citywest Hotel, producing some stunning finishing to knock out his national rival.
The reigning champion opened the game with a 160 score and won the opening leg with a 142 finish, and though van Barneveld replied with a 136 checkout, it was the world number two who took the first set 3-1.
The second set was finely poised at one leg apiece when van Gerwen produced a killer 148 checkout, with van Barneveld waiting on 40, to move ahead before capitalising on nine missed starting doubles from his opponent in the next to win the set on tops.
Van Barneveld was then punished for missed doubles in the opening two legs of the third set as van Gerwen moved 2-0 up before posting double eight to complete a brilliant display.
"That's a great win for me," said van Gerwen. "To beat Raymond in this tournament is not easy and this will give me a lot of confidence because I played well.
"I hit the right scores at the right moments and some big finishes - I think the 148 was very important and it hurt his confidence.
"I was a bit nervous before this game but it wasn't about beating Raymond, it's also about winning the game, surviving in this tournament and hopefully winning the tournament again.
"I need to start with my doubles a bit better on Friday night but I was scoring well and hitting my finishes well."
Van Gerwen now plays world number seven Dave Chisnall in Friday's quarter-finals, after the St Helens ace - who won two ranking titles last month - continued his recent run of form with a 3-1 defeat of Wayne Jones.
Chisnall was punished for a slow start as Jones won the game's opening set without reply, but levelled by taking the second 3-1 and then turned the game in his favour by taking set three by the same scoreline with a key 112 bullseye finish.
Resurgent Jones fought hard to hit back in set four, but Chisnall hit a pair of double 18 finishes and took out double eight to seal his place in a first World Grand Prix quarter-final.
"I'm very happy with how I came back after that first set because it took me a while to get into the game," admitted Chisnall. "I knew that I had to improve and I did that.
"The 112 finish to win the third set was important, and for me it was the shot of the match. If I'd missed it, it would have been two-all in the third set but the bullseye was great and it was an important set to win.
"I played well in the last two sets and I was hitting my starting doubles well. I'm looking forward to playing Michael and we've had a lot of great matches before."
Earlier in the night, world number three Adrian Lewis was dumped out of the tournament with a straight sets loss to Justin Pipe, who dropped only three legs in a memorable performance.
Pipe took out 142 to win the game's opening leg, and though Lewis levelled it was the world number ten who took command by winning the next two to claim the set 3-1.
He then won the second set in stunning fashion by claiming three successive legs - finishing 70 with Lewis waiting on 36 following a 180 in the opener, a 150 finish in the second and 90 on double 15, again after his opponent landed a maximum, to double his advantage.
Lewis hit back to lead 2-1 in the third set, but Pipe hit two 180s in the fourth leg as he levelled, before posting double eight in the deciding leg to seal victory by hitting 50 percent of his finishing doubles.
"I'm absolutely delighted to be in the quarter-finals again," said Pipe. "It's a fantastic result and I'm really pleased with my performance.
"Adrian didn't get going and I'm disappointed for him, but I think the big checkouts made a massive difference, and I fed off the confidence that they gave me.
"I've got to take the positives from my performance and I'm over the moon. Hopefully I can do the same in the quarter-finals on Friday night."
Pipe will face ever-consistent Andy Hamilton in the last eight, after the Stoke ace was a 3-1 winner against Kevin Painter.
Hamilton won the game's first seven legs as he took a two-set lead before Painter took three legs of his own to take the third set.
The UK Open finalist, though, finished 90, double eight and 89 for an 11-darter as he took set four 3-1 to continue his brilliant record of reaching every major ranking quarter-final for the past 18 months.
"I felt really comfortable on stage tonight - possibly as comfortable as I ever have - and it's really pleasing to get such a good win," said Hamilton.
"I had a great start but I lost a bit of concentration in the third set and let Kevin in, and he took his chances, but I composed myself and finished him off well. I think it was a more professional performance than in the first round, I was on top of my game and I took my chances.
"I'm confident, I'm playing well and my form's good, so there's no reason why I can't go on and win this title now - that's what I'm here to do."
Friday's quarter-finals also feature ten-time World Grand Prix champion Phil Taylor taking on Gary Anderson, while two-time winner James Wade is up against world number four Simon Whitlock.
Tickets are available from the Citywest Hotel by calling 01 401 0500 or in person from 6pm on each night of the event.
World Grand Prix
Thursday October 10
Adrian Lewis 0-3 Justin Pipe
Dave Chisnall 3-1 Wayne Jones
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton 3-1 Kevin Painter
Friday October 11
Andy Hamilton v Justin Pipe
James Wade v Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
Best of five sets, best of five legs per set, double-start.
Adrian Lewis 0-3 Justin Pipe
First Set - 1-3 Pipe
Pipe made a brilliant start, finishing 142 on double 11 to break throw in the opening leg, before Lewis took out 70 on tops to level. Pipe then missed the final double for two other big finishes, of 140 and 150 in the next two legs, but capitalised on a slow start from Lewis to return and finish double ten and double three to take the set.
Second Set - 0-3 Pipe
Lewis hits a 177 to leave 36, but Pipe wins the opening leg by taking out 70 on double 16. The Taunton ace then hits a 180 and a 150 checkout, ending this time on double 15, for a 12-darter, before the pair trade maximums in leg three, with Pipe taking out 90 on double 15 to win the set without reply.
Third Set - 2-3 Pipe
Lewis took the opening leg on double ten, with Pipe hitting double eight to level before tops saw the world number three move 2-1 up. However, Pipe hit two 180s and double six to win the fourth leg to leve, and then hit double eight in the game's deciding leg to secure a brilliant victory - booking his place in the last eight for a second successive year.
Dave Chisnall 3-1 Wayne Jones
First Set - 0-3 Jones
Both players hit 180s in the opening leg, but Chisnall misses two darts at tops as Jones finishes double 16 to break and move ahead, before the Wolverhampton man holds throw to take the second leg and then takes out 93 on double 16 to claim the set without reply.
Second Set - 3-1 Chisnall
Chisnall got off the mark by landing tops in the opening leg and then posted double ten to move 2-0 up - but pays for missed doubles to clean up the set as Jones finishes double 12 to hit back. Chisnall posted a 180 in leg four, and double 16 sees him claim the set to level the game.
Third Set - 3-1 Chisnall
Jones capitalises on missed doubles from Chisnall to win the third set's opener, but Chisnall hit double ten and double 16 to move 2-1 up before hitting a 180 in leg four, with a miss at double 16 from Jones, for a 104 finish, to take out 112 on the bullseye for the set.
Fourth Set - 3-1 Chisnall
Chisnall punishes Jones for missing 11 starting doubles as he takes out double 18 to win the opening leg, and he hits the same bed to complete an 87 combination in the second to move to the brink of victory. Jones finished 67 on double 16 to stay in the hunt, but Chisnall is first to a finish in the next and takes out 64 on double eight to seal a superb comeback.
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Raymond van Barneveld
First Set - 3-1 van Gerwen
The game enjoys a sensational opening, with van Gerwen kicking off with a 160, van Barneveld landing a 180 in the first leg only to see the reigning champion take out 142 on double 11 to win the opening leg. Van Gerwen landed a maximum in leg two, but van Barneveld took out a sensational 136 finish, only for the youngster to land another 180 and double ten to win the third leg and then capitalise on four misses at double top and ten in the fourth as van Gerwen follows a 171 by landing double eight to take the set.
Second Set - 3-1 van Gerwen
Van Barneveld hits a 180 to leave 16 in the second set's opener, but the reigning champion hits tops for the opening leg, only to miss the same bed in the second as double eight sees the five-time World Champion level. Van Gerwen, though, produces a killer blow with a 148 checkout to move ahead, and when van Barneveld misses nine opening doubles in the next, he posts a 180 and tops to seal the set and double his advantage.
Third Set - 3-0 van Gerwen
Van Barneveld misses double eight to finish a second 136 checkout of the game, and van Gerwen takes out 74 on double 16 before punishing more misses from his opponent to land tops in the second leg, and despite a 180 from the two-time finalist in leg three, the world number two completes a brilliant victory by landing double eight.
Andy Hamilton v Kevin Painter
First Set - 3-0 Hamilton
Hamilton hits a nerve-settling 180 and takes out 78 to finish the opening leg, before doubling his lead in the second and then taking out 52 to win the third to take the set without Painter having a dart at a finishing double.
Second Set - 3-0 Hamilton
Painter misses four darts at doubles to get off the mark as Hamilton posts double 16 to win the opening leg, before landing the same double to win the next and then punishing a miss from his opponent at double four by landing tops for the second set.
Third Set - 1-3 Painter
Hamilton picks up a seventh successive leg by winning the opener, before Painter finally gets off the mark in the second and takes out tops to punish eight misses from the Stoke ace to move 2-1 up, before hitting the same bed to win the set and hit back.
Fourth Set - 3-1 Hamilton
Hamilton takes the opening leg with a 90 finish on double 15, and lands double 16 for the second leg. The pair trade 180s in the third as Painter posts double eight to stay in the game, but his respite is short-lived as Hamilton hits a fourth 180 of the game and finishes 89 for an 11-darter to seal the win.