Premier League: Phil Taylor escapes against Raymond van Barneveld with a draw
Last Updated: 19/04/13 6:55am
Raymond van Barneveld: Fluffed his lines just when it mattered agains Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld spurned the chance to register a first Premier League win over Phil Taylor as the two long-time rivals played out a 6-6 draw in Dublin.
'Barney' had no less than five opportunities to break his duck in the competition against the 16-time world champion before eventually seeing Taylor take out 111 to rescue a point in the final leg.
In truth neither man found their best form when on stage for a second time on the night; 'The Power' was looking to secure a much-needed double having earlier beaten Andy Hamilton 7-3 to end a six-match run without a win.
However, Taylor simply never found the same form against the Dutchman, constantly having to play catch-up once his throw had been broken in the fourth leg.
He pegged back his opponent with double 16 but then duly failed to level matters at three apiece when missing no less than half-a-dozen darts when needing only 32. Barney made him pay in that leg and moved 5-3 ahead thanks to a 120 finish on double tops.
Even though he had an aberration in the next, busting 11 by hitting 19, double four in the next guaranteed at least a point for van Barneveld.
That, though, is all he ended up with after fluffing his lines when it mattered most. In the 11th leg four chances went begging and when he missed double 16 in the 12th, Taylor duly stepped up to complete a 111 checkout.
It meant the 52-year-old took three points on the night having earlier comfortably won the battle of two Stoke throwers in the opening match.
A 107 finish set the tone from Taylor as he charged into a 4-0 lead against Hamilton and although he was pegged back to 5-3, a 12-dart leg pushed him to the brink before double 14 completed the job.
Barney, meanwhile, departed The O2 without a win from either of his matches having been beaten 7-4 by compatriot Michael van Gerwen, who also saw off Adrian Lewis in the final match to move four points clear at the top.