Raymond van Barneveld set up another showdown with Gerwyn Price at the Grand Slam of Darts as they both made it through to the quarter-finals following a drama-filled night of tungsten action in Wolverhampton.
Van Barneveld secured a place in his first Grand Slam quarter-final since 2016, after producing a superb fightback to deny Simon Whitlock in a sensational battle of the veterans, while Price preserved his remarkable record of never being beaten at the Aldersley Leisure Village as the world No 1 won four legs on the spin to deny Danny Noppert.
Wednesday, November 17 – Results
|Last 16 (Best of 19 legs)||Raymond van Barneveld||10-8||Simon Whitlock|
|Michael Smith||10-8||Rob Cross|
|Danny Noppert||8-10||Gerwyn Price|
|Dirk van Duijvenbode||4-10||Joe Cullen|
Live Grand Slam of Darts
November 17, 2022, 7:00pm
The 55-year-old Dutchman rolled back the years to reach his first televised quarter-final since returning to the sport last year, defying a 101 average from Whitlock to prevail 10-8.
Whitlock started magnificently to lead 5-2 with a 109 average, but Van Barneveld rallied to restore parity at five apiece – punishing crucial missed doubles from the Australian in legs eight and ten.
The five-time World Champion continued his charge with a 12-darter to lead 6-5, but Whitlock responded superbly, converting a brace of 112 finishes to draw level at eight apiece and then Van Barneveld regained the lead in an edgy penultimate leg which saw both players squander opportunities, before converting a classy 81 finish on the bull to spark jubilant celebrations.
“How good was Simon tonight? All credit to him, he was fantastic, but I’m so happy with this win,” said 2012 champion Van Barneveld, who averaged 97, landed six 180s and converted 55 per cent of his attempts at double.
“I played really well. I am sure everyone watching at home would have loved it to go to a last leg, but fortunately for me that bullseye went in at the end.”
Meanwhile, three-time champion Price overcame Noppert after winning six of the last seven legs following an inspired display of doubling, which saw him convert ten of his 13 attempts to triumph with a 100 average.
Noppert reeled off three consecutive legs during the first mini-session to establish a slender 3-2 lead, despite a spectacular 150 checkout from the Welshman in the opening leg while Price was unable to make any inroads on the Dutchman’s throw until leg 12, when he followed up a timely 13-dart break with a crucial 74 checkout to reduce the arrears to 7-6.
However, ‘The Iceman’ produced a sensational four-leg spell to complete the comeback, restoring parity with a majestic 164 finish in leg 16, before sealing the deal with legs of 13 and 15 darts.
“Raymond has been playing at the top level for the last 30 years, he knows how to win, so I need to improve on Friday night or Raymond is going to give me another lesson,” said Price, who is targeting a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title at this venue.
Elsewhere, Michael Smith and Joe Cullen will also battle it out for a place at Finals Day on Sunday, dumping out Rob Cross and Dirk van Duijvenbode respectively on a high-quality night of action.
Smith survived a late onslaught from Cross to complete a hard-fought 10-8 victory and progress to a fourth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, while Masters Champion Cullen stormed through to his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final with a resounding 10-4 success against Van Duijvenbode, as he continued his bid for a second televised crown of 2022.
“I’m looking forward to playing Michael again on Friday. It’s almost a new tournament now, and I think I’ve got as good a chance as anyone. I’m here to win,” said ‘The Rockstar’.
Thursday, November 17 – Fixtures (7pm)
|Last 16 (Best of 19 legs)||Nathan Aspinall||vs||Jermaine Wattimena|
|Jonny Clayton||vs||Alan Soutar|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Josh Rock|
|Luke Humphries||vs||Ross Smith|
The second round action concludes on Thursday night, as three-time champion Michael van Gerwen takes on Northern Irish star Josh Rock in the evening’s headline act.
Luke Humphries meets European Champion Ross Smith, Jonny Clayton plays Scottish debutant Alan Soutar, while World Grand Prix runner-up Nathan Aspinall faces Jermaine Wattimena.
Watch the Grand Slam of Darts at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton all the way through until the final on November 20 – with every session live on Sky Sports & don’t forget the World Championship is also coming to Sky Sports from December 15 until January 3.