Barney and Brown Shine in Amsterdam

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Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years to defeat World Champion Michael Smith at the Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals on Saturday, as Keegan Brown dumped out Gerwyn Price on a thrilling night in Amsterdam.

Day Two of the £350,000 event saw the eight seeds enter the fray at AFAS Live, and world number one Smith and reigning champion Price were among the high-profile casualties in the Dutch capital.

However, it was Van Barneveld who stole the headlines on home soil, producing a vintage display to move through to the quarter-finals on his first televised appearance in the Netherlands since 2019.

Van Barneveld outscored Smith in the early stages – including an 11-dart break in leg three – although 130 and 100 checkouts from the St Helens star kept him in contention at 2-2.

The world number one began to find his range as he moved into a 4-3 lead, only for Van Barneveld to raise the roof with a trademark 156 finish to level the contest at four apiece.

The 56-year-old then punished two missed darts from Smith to move to the cusp of victory with a nerveless 105 outshot, before pinning double ten to seal a memorable win in front of a packed AFAS Live crowd.

“To beat the World Champion in front of the Orange Army, this is really special,” reflected the five-time World Champion, who now plays Peter Wright in an intriguing last eight tussle.

“I knew I would have to play my A-game. We all know what Michael is capable of. He’s a fantastic player, one of the best in the world.

“It was a quality game. There were fantastic finishes from both of us, and Michael was a real gentleman tonight. This means a lot to me.”

Van Barneveld was joined in the last eight by compatriot Michael van Gerwen, who survived a scare in his comeback win over William O’Connor, winning six of the last seven legs to triumph.

O’Connor capitalised on an edgy start from the Dutch superstar to race into a 3-0 lead, although a magical 161 checkout from Van Gerwen in leg nine turned the tide, as he ran out a 6-4 winner.

“I had to work really hard for that,” admitted Van Gerwen, who averaged 93 and crashed in three 180s to kick off his bid for a record-extending fifth World Series Finals crown.

“I made too many mistakes early on, and I think William played really well in the beginning of the game. Fair play to him, but I had a lovely 161 finish at the right moment.

“I made it difficult for myself, but the most important thing is that I won, and now I need to focus on tomorrow, because I still have a lot of work to do.”

Danny Noppert was unable to make it three wins from three for the Dutch contingent, succumbing 6-3 to World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall in an entertaining affair.

Noppert averaged almost 106 to topple his compatriot Dirk van Duijvenbode on Friday, but was sent packing by an impressive Aspinall, who fired in a magnificent 170 finish en route to victory.

Elsewhere, Brown produced the upset of the night to stun two-time champion Price, landing three ton-plus finishes to move through to his first televised quarter-final since 2014.

2023 Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals
Saturday September 16
Second Round
Rob Cross 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Luke Humphries 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Keegan Brown 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 William O’Connor
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Michael Smith
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Danny Noppert
Peter Wright 6-4 Haupai Puha
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 Ricky Evans

Sunday September 17
Afternoon Session (1300 local time)


Quarter-Finals
Rob Cross v Luke Humphries
Michael van Gerwen v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Keegan Brown v Nathan Aspinall
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright


Best of 19 legs

Evening Session (1900 local time)
Semi-Finals
Cross/Humphries v Van Gerwen/Van den Bergh
Brown/Aspinall v Van Barneveld/Wright
Best of 21 legs

Final
v
Best of 21 legs

—–ENDS—–

Images: Kelly Deckers/PDC

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