Wade denies Barney in thriller

James Wade claimed the final place in the McCoy’s Premier League Darts Play-Offs as he snatched a draw with Raymond van Barneveld at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena – denying the Dutchman a semi-final spot.

Van Barneveld had to win the contest to finish in the top four ahead of the 2009 champion, and led 4-2 at one stage before Wade took a 6-4 lead.

The Dutchman moved 7-6 up to move to the brink of a famous victory, but Wade produced a superb deciding leg, hitting a 180 in a 13-darter as he secured a fourth-placed finish to set up a semi-final with Phil Taylor at The O2 in London.

Van Barneveld hit a 180 and double 16 to win the opening leg before Wade levelled with a 95 checkout – but misses in the next two legs cost the left-hander as his opponent hit double ten and double 16 to move 3-1 up.

Tops in the fifth saw Wade hit back, but he missed two darts to level in the next as van Barneveld posted a 97 checkout in two darts for a 4-2 lead.

Wade hit a 180 in a 14-darter to break in leg seven, before hitting double eight to level, double 12 to lead and taking out 80 on double ten to move 6-4 up with a fourth successive leg and move to the brink of a semi-final spot.

He would be made to wait, as van Barneveld replied strongly, hitting a 180 and a 161 checkout to take the 11th leg, an 80 finish on the bull to evel and double 16 to move 7-6 up after Wade missed three darts to take a point.

Van Barneveld knew that he must win the decider to take victory and a semi-final place, but Wade – with the advantage of throw – powered in a 180 and a 140 to leave 121 after nine darts, and set up the double top which he landed to secure a Play-Off berth.

“It was a hard game and Raymond played well, so there’s a massive sense of satisfaction to be in the Play-Offs again,” said Wade.

“I’ve scraped through with the right results and the wrong times for other people, and Simon Whitlock helped me out tonight by beating Adrian.

“I know what I’ve got to do next week in the Play-Offs – to win two games! I’ve done it before and I’m just glad to be there, because a couple of weeks ago it was looking bad for me and seven weeks ago it was looking even worse!

“I’m looking forward to playing Phil in the semi-finals. He seems to do something special against me every time we play so I know the size of the task, but I’m being positive about it.”


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