Archive for the ‘Darts’ Category

Flying Scotsman proud of Barney’s Tartan Army

The Premier League of Darts is well into the second half of the season with the ninth leg of the tour held at the Exhibition Centre in Aberdeen.

The return to Scotland was not without controversy after the sixth round of the tour, Glasgow, was highlighted by an aggressive reaction from the audience towards reigning World champion Adrian Lewis.

In the fourth and last match of that night, ‘Jackpot’ played against Scotsman and crowd favourite Gary Anderson. Before Lewis reached the oche, he received the expected booing but also the odd drink and coins were thrown at the Englishman.

Anderson took a 3-0 lead but eventually lost 8-3 after a mentally very strong Adrian Lewis fought back to win eight straight legs in an attempt to silence the crowd. Anderson later stated he was ashamed of his home crowd.

However, for the Aberdeen event the PDC took measures by making Anderson’s match against Terry Jenkins the first course of the menu of what became a textbook night of darts.

Stef Meens reports on a night which brought out the best in both the players as well as the crowd, including exclusive interviews with 15-time World Champion Phil Taylor, ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Gary Anderson and Dutch darts legend Raymond van Barneveld.

Premier League of Darts round 9 – Aberdeen

Gary Anderson 8-3 Terry Jenkins
Adrian Lewis 3-8 James Wade
Mark Webster 1-8 Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld 5-8 Simon Whitlock

Standings after round 9

Phil Taylor 8 7 0 1 +25 14
Gary Anderson 8 5 0 3 +11 10
Raymond v Barneveld 8 5 0 3 +8 10
Adrian Lewis 8 4 1 3 +14 9
Simon Whitlock 8 4 0 4 +4 8
Terry Jenkins 8 2 1 5 -18 5
Mark Webster 8 2 0 6 -20 4
James Wade 8 2 0 6 -24 4


Tartan Army shame the Flying Scotsman

Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis will not forget the sixth leg of the Premier League of Darts 2011 soon. A packed SECC in Glasgow came to see only one man winning which resulted in a fantastic atmosphere when the Flying Scotsman set foot into the arena.

However, from the moment Lewis reached the okey, a hostile attitude towards the reigning world champion took over the venue.

Ultimately, Gary Anderson suffered the most by the actions of the crowd. After being 3-0 up, the behaviour of ‘his’ crowd broke the Scot’s concentration while Lewis regained his focus and composure to win eight consecutive legs resulting in his third victory of the league.

Although the last game of night somewhat overshadowed the sixth leg of the tour, the SECC was host to a splendid night of darts with a highly anticipated fixtures list.

Darts legend Phil Taylor faced Simon Whitlock, a replay of 2010’s world championship’s final. Raymond van Barneveld took on Premier League rookie Mark Webster. The Dutchman lost the three previous matches against ‘Webby’ and was eager to (proof) prove that he regained his (mental) form.

However, the night’s overture was the match between James ‘The Machine’ Wade and Terry ‘The Bull’ Jenkins.

James Wade – Terry Jenkings (8-6)
Wade scored his second victory of the Premier League by beating Terry Jenkins after a hard fought 8-6 victory. The Machine, and 2009 Premier League champion, lost four of his opening five matches, but strong finishing kept his hopes for a place in the top four alive.

Wade was off to a flying start resulting in a 6-2 lead. However, the Bull fought back to 7-6 but eventually paid the price for one missed dart in the last leg.

After the match, Wade said: “I’ve practised hard since last week and my game will improve because I’m working hard at the game again,”

“Everyone knows I am the laziest player in the league and if I can get away with doing as little as possible, I probably will. But when I’m motivated I’m a real contender as I’ve showed in the past.”

Like his fellow countrymen Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis, Wade felt the aversion of the crowd against the English players.

“There were small glimpses of what I can do in this performance but if the crowd would have been a bit nicer I could have played so much better, because it always affects you a little bit.”

Raymond van Barneveld – Mark Webster (8-4)
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the night was Raymond van Barneveld’s blistering performance against Mark Webster.

The 6,500-strong Glasgow crowd hailed Barney as if he was one of their own. The Dutchman failed to disappoint and was off to a good start with two 180s but Webster hung on till the fifth leg.

From that moment on he never recovered from a treble body-blow as van Barneveld took out 121, 161 and 116 in successive legs in mid-game.

The Dutchman produced back-to-back 12 darters resulting in a 4-2 lead, firstly finishing 121 on double eight before landing a 161 finish, the latter “being crucial” according to Barney

After the break Webster kept the game alive with a superb 11-dart leg to 6-5.However, Van Barneveld remained focussed. He kept his own leg before breaking Wester with a superb 14-dart leg thus resulting in Barney’s fourth win of the campaign.

After the final double, Van Barneveld took his time to thank the crowd: “The support here is amazing and it makes me pretty emotional – playing in front of crowds like this is why you want to be a darts player,” said van Barneveld.

The Dutchman was baffled by his popularity among the Tartan Army
“It’s crazy, every time I come to Scotland it’s fantastic and I feel at home, these are the best crowds in darts. I didn’t want to let them down because of the support they gave me and I’m delighted to have won for them.”

When asked if he prefers to play to a Dutch crowd or a packed Premier League venue he said: “It’s always special to play for your home fans, but back home the sport’s popularity has to be build back up again so 6500 people cheering you on is very special.”

The Dutchman also explained his recent excellent form:
“I’m not afraid anymore,” he said. “For the last two years I was afraid to lose, but let the best players in the world come to me because I’m not afraid any more.

Phil Taylor – Simon Whitlock
With Van Barneveld climbing to third in the rankings and putting the pressure on Taylor and Anderson, ‘The Power’ knew what he had to do against Simon Withlock.

Taylor, who had defeated Van Barneveld and Anderson in the previous two weeks, maintained his run of form with a 103 average in an 8-5 win over the Wizzard.

Taylor managed to get a 5-2 lead outscoring the Australian in the first half of the match. However, (the Whitlock fought back to 6-5, but eventually paid for missing the crucial doubles as Taylor maintained his push for title by claiming top spot in the Premier League.

Post-match Taylor said: “The main objective is to qualify for the play-offs but I’m loving this year’s Premier League and I think this is the best Premier League ever. Every week’s a tough battle and it will be the same against James Wade next week.”

“If I can come through such a tough field and win this tournament again it would be one of the pinnacles of my career.”

Adrian Lewis – Gary Anderson (8-3)
The most anticipated match of the night was World Champion Adrian Lewis taking on crowd favourite Gary ‘The flying Scotsman’ Anderson.

The pair met for the first time since Lewis hit a nine-dart finish in claiming the World Championship title in January.

Despite the anticipation, the match was overshadowed by the behaviour of crowd who showed a different side of themselves contradictory to the support they gave Anderson and Van Barneveld.

After Taylor and Wade experienced the expected booing, Lewis’s arrival on stage was greeted with drinks thrown at him.

The Scot won the game’s opening leg on double ten. He then broke Lewis’s throw with a superb 11-dart leg, which featured a 180 and two 140 scores. He kept his own leg and secured a 3-0 lead.

From that moment on ‘Jackpot’ got himself off the mark and (he) never looked back. The more noise the crowd made, the more tenacious Lewis became to silence them.

Meanwhile, Anderson lost all his concentration which lead to Lewis winning an impressive eight legs in a row,( thus) securing him a victory in a match that was overshadowed by the audience’s behaviour.

After the match, Lewis said: “It is very disappointing because I wanted to come to Scotland and enjoy a great game with Gary, and the crowd seemed to put us both off during the match,”

“This is not how I wanted this game to be and hopefully the next time we play we can both be given the best of order and both be given a better chance of playing at the top of our game.”

The Scottish crowd have a chance to redeem themselves when the Premier League of Darts circus travels to Aberdeen on April 7.

First up, however, is the seventh round of the Premier League of Darts March 24. Phil Taylor will enter the Brighton Centre as the League leader.

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