Darts: Raymond van Barneveld scoops Premier League Darts success at The O2


The pumping sounds of the Eye of the Tiger are his walk-on song and, in front of a colourful crowd at the Betway Premier League Darts final, Raymond van Barneveld proved after nine years he could earn his stripes.

With an emotional lingering glance from the stage before defeating 16 times world champion Phil Taylor in the semi-final - his first over The Power in nearly a decade - The O2 started to see a very different Barney.

As a wildcard, given his chance to shine by the PDC and Sky in February, he went on to pin down his doubles and take his trebles in a 6-10 demolition of fellow Dutchman and 2013 champion Michael van Gerwen.

Throwing his arms to the sky, an emotion-filled Barney took deserved time to soak up his success after never before winning past the semi-finals of the tournament.

"This means the world to me - I can't describe how happy I am," said the bookie's fourth favourite out of as many players, after picking up the glass trophy and £150,000 prize.


He modestly said "luck" might have played its part in the 8-5 success against Stoke-born Taylor.

But he revealed it was confidence and enjoyment of the game re-gained after a battle with his demons thorough therapy - coupled with hard work - which was behind his success last Thursday night.

"I've worked hard this season and every week was tough, but I enjoyed it," he said.

"The first aim was not to be relegated after nine weeks, then the second was to make the top four.

The third target was then to get into the final and the fourth was winning the while thing.

"It's all about faith and it's about belief.

"If you never believe, you can't achieve anything - even when I lost the last two games in the last two weeks I still believed I could win this and I was right."

Barney had given the fancy-dress-clad crowd a glimpse of his switch in stance following his opening victory of the night, revealing the death of Sjon Heynen, a close friend of his sponsor Ben De Kok, hammered home the value of life.

"At the end maybe I lifted the trophy for myself and my family and maybe Sjon as well," he added.

Despite opening the final with consecutive 180-dart throws, reigning champion van Gerwen couldn't find the winning formula for the second year, instead picking up the £75,000 runners-up reward.

He said: "I had a very good Premier League but it wasn't good enough tonight.

"Raymond was the best player tonight and he deserved to win because he produced his best performance in the final."

>Darts on the night

- Play Off Semi Finals

Michael van Gerwen 8-7 Gary Anderson

Raymond van Barneveld 8-5 Phil Taylor

Best of 15 Legs

PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final

Keegan Brown 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Best of 11 Legs

Betway Premier League Darts Final

Michael van Gerwen 6-10 Raymond van Barneveld

Best of 19 Legs