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Barneveld Takes Place in Premier League Playoffs

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RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD secured a place in the 888.com Premier League Darts Play-Offs with an 8-4 win over Gary Anderson at the BIC in Bournemouth, as Adrian Lewis put one foot into the top four.

Dutch ace van Barneveld had missed out on a top-four finish in last year’s Premier League for the first time since he joined the PDC in 2006, but a seventh win of this season means he will compete for the £125,000 title at the Wembley Arena.

The result means that he will face Anderson again in the semi-finals on May 19, after van Barneveld completed a Premier League Darts double over the Scot.

“I’m really happy to be in the Play-Offs at Wembley and I’ll be excited about playing Gary again,” said van Barneveld. “We all know what Gary can do and this was a bit of revenge for him winning 5-1 in the World Championship to beat him twice in the league.

“I’ll play him in two weeks time but I remember beating Roland Scholten twice in the league and he beat me in 2006 so I can’t take it for granted. It’s a new game at Wembley.”

The battle for fourth place will go to the final league night at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena next week, with Adrian Lewis needing to avoid defeat when he meets Anderson to secure fourth spot ahead of Simon Whitlock.

Lewis moved onto 13 points in the table – two ahead of both Whitlock and James Wade – with a superb second-half showing to come from 3-2 down and defeat Terry Jenkins 8-3.

Lewis hit finishes of 100, 112 and 144 in successive legs as he reeled off six in a row to take the win, and said: “There was a lot of pressure on us both early on and that showed.

“I gave myself a talking-to at the break and played like a World Champion after that.”

Whitlock would need Lewis to lose in Newcastle and to then defeat Taylor by enough legs to overhaul his negative leg difference with the World Champion if he is to sneak fourth place.

The Australian was denied a win in Bournemouth by the league’s bottom player Mark Webster, who picked up his first point since week four by ending an eight-match losing run with a draw against Whitlock.

Taylor, meanwhile, ended Wade’s Play-Off hopes with a brilliant 8-4 win over the 2009 champion, hitting the second-highest average of the season at 109.36 and landing a 157 finish against the left-hander.

“James played really well and it was a brilliant game,” said Taylor. “I’m delighted to have won because he pushed me hard and I had to produce some good finishes there to beat him.

“I’m building up to the Play-Offs now and I’m looking forward to it, but I want to win against Simon Whitlock next week and keep winning.”

Wade has reached the final in his previous three Premier League Darts seasons, winning the event in 2009, but will miss out on the Play-Offs this time after jumping from bottom at the half-way stage to fifth going into the clash with Taylor.

“I shouldn’t have left it so late in the season to play so well and it’s my fault I’ve missed out on the top four,” said Wade.

“I played pretty well against Phil but you can’t miss as many doubles against someone as good as Phil. I honestly believe he plays his best darts against me and I hope I’ve earned that with how I play against him.”

The order of play for next week’s final league night has been amended to see Lewis face Anderson in the third game of the evening, before Whitlock meets Taylor in the other potentially decisive clash.

888.com Premier League Darts
Week 13 – B.I.C., Bournemouth
Simon Whitlock 7-7 Mark Webster
Gary Anderson 4-8 Raymond van Barneveld
Terry Jenkins 3-8 Adrian Lewis
James Wade 4-8 Phil Taylor

Week 14 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Revised order of play
James Wade v Terry Jenkins
Raymond van Barneveld v Mark Webster
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 0844 493 6666 or www.metroradioarena.co.uk

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