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Article: Barney Hits Gym to Out-Muscle Iceman

Barney Hits Gym to Out-Muscle Iceman

Raymond van Barneveld broke Gerwyn Price’s heart by taking the last three legs to grab an unlikely Unibet Premier League win. The Dutch master produced a spirited comeback to snatch a 7-5 win in Leeds after a lack lustre start to the game. Barney has been struggling to deal with Diabetes which affected him badly in the UK Open last weekend and it apparently has also been affecting his sight. But the five-times world champ has hit the gym and that cleared helped him grab a vital win over the Welsh No 1. RVB said: “Sometimes you practice so well and then you come on stage, different atmosphere and attitude. Everyone is there to support me but you still have to play well. “There were three or four legs that were a bit dodgy. Gerwyn didn’t play well and then he found his rhythm and he was 4-2 up and I was thinking ‘come on Ray battle, fight, fight, fight’. “The last couple of weeks have not been that great for me. I went back to the gym on Monday and worked all week and I feel a bit of confidence coming back. “I feel my belief is coming back and that final bullseye to grab the win showed that. “I feel for Gerwyn, he’s an amazing player. We were at an exhibition last week and he admitted that the Premier League is so tough, the travelling with other tournaments like the UK Open and Pro Tours, it’s tough. “We all give our best but we go from city to city, week-to-week and it’s hard. I’ve been here for 12 years but for me I’m 50, I’m not that young again. “It’s so important I win every week, next week Gary Anderson, then Peter Wright, then Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith. It’s a very tough schedule.”
Daryl Gurney suffered more darting deja vu as his Unibet Premier League curse came back to haunt him. The Derry ace once again threw away a lead to end up drawing 6-6 with recently crowned UK Open champion Gary Anderson. Gurney has previously failed to wrap up two wins after getting to six legs first and the hat-trick was completed by Ando. Gurney said: “It’s very frustrating. I thought the double 12 was in to win it. But all credit to Gary, he’s a great professional and stuck in there and if I didn’t take a chance, he did. I still a fan of his. “I missed too many opportunities and this keeps happening to me in the Premier League. But I’ll keep learning. I am playing well, I’m just not playing my best.” Anderson, who won the UK Open on Sunday, said: “At my age it’s hard with the schedule. It was great at Minehead but very quiet. It’s different coming here to a loud Leeds. “I’m just kept dropping the first dart below the treble 20 which affected me. I think I might have to wear high heels next week! “The Premier League so far I’m scraping it. I’m up there not playing the way I should be and it’s killing me, never mind anyone else. I’ll keep plodding on, I’ll not give in and keep fighting. Anderson started well by going into a 3-1 lead but then The Flying Scotsman completely ran out of steam. Gurney comfortably took the next four legs and control of their encounter. But Superchin has thrown away two previous league clashes when in a commanding position and it happened again as Ando swooped to snatch a draw by taking the last two legs.
Rob Cross came from 5-3 down to inflict the first Premier League defeat of the campaign on Michael Smith. Voltage said: “I’ll be honest I practised lovely but when I got on stage I just couldn’t find it at all. Maybe I was pushing a bit too much. “To end off the last two legs with 11 and 12-darters when I needed it, it was good. Life’s easier when you start to win a few games. “I didn’t play that bad in the games I lost earlier in the league, my timing was just terrible. But it’s nice to be winning. Not being funny but tonight wasn’t pretty but I’ll take that. “I thought Michael was going to do more and bury me, but sometimes you have to take chances and win ugly and I did. “I’m a bit fortunate but it was a nice way to do it with a 121 and bull finish. It was weird I expected to hit the treble 11 and when it didn’t go in and I just thought don’t pull this one but lucky for me it went in, it was my night.”
A sluggish Michael van Gerwen beat Simon Whitlock 7-4 and needed to recover from going 2-0 in the early stages. He eventually broke clear of the Wizard with three successive legs but his poor checkouts almost cost him dear. MVG admitted: “I had to work, it wasn’t my best performance. I’m playing OK but I’m not in the best form of my life at the moment. “You could see last week that a little bit of power has to come back. I have to work really hard for that but it doesn’t matter, even my B game won tonight against Simon. “I missed too many chances and my scoring at some points wasn’t great. You need some character sometimes and that’s exactly what I did in this one. I won this game with character. “I’m not my best but I’m still averaging 100. I want to go to the 105, 107 averages, I’m not happy until I do. “Of course I’m really glad with the two points but I know I can do better than this. There’s a lot of work to do. “It was important to win after the disappointment of the UK Open. I always like to play the third, fourth or fifth game and I don’t like to play first.”
Mensur Suljovic wiped out Peter Wright 7-1 with a very classy performance, including a 103 average and 50 per cent checkout rate. Suljovic said: “Premier League is brilliant tournament, I’m ready now. I focus on my game and I win against my friend and I’m happy.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)

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