DARTS: Daryl Gurney beats Raymond van Barneveld to keep Premier League hopes alive

Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney.
Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney.

Daryl Gurney produced his best Premier League performance of the season to beat five times world champion Raymond van Barneveld 7-3 at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield to keep his play-off hopes alive.

Superchin averaged 102.76, hit five won 180s and converted seven double attempts out of 11 as he stretched his unbeaten run to six games in the tournament.

“The first thing I wanted to do in the Premier League was avoid relegation, I’m really happy to still be in contention for the top four,” said Gurney.

“I love playing in the Premier League and if you can’t play darts in front of this crowd you shouldn’t play darts. I love every second of it win, lose or draw, I’ll take every positive and this is where I want to be every week.”

Gurney landed his first maximum with his second visit to the oche in the first leg, he rattled in a 134 to leave 103 but missed D16.

However Superchin returned and after a single 16 he hit D8 to break van Barneveld’s throw.

Gurney piled in another maximum in the next leg but while he was poised on 78 Barney produced a 158 finish on D19 to break back.

Gurney missed the bull for a 123 finish in the third leg and Barney took out tops to take the lead.

It was Gurney’s turn to win a leg on tops in the fourth as he levelled the game at 2-2.

Barney kicked off the following leg with a 29 and Gurney punished with a 140. He then piled in another maximum and a 149 to leave 32 before hitting D8 for an 11 dart leg and another break.

Three ton-plus scores in leg six got Gurney to the double first and he found tops with his first attempt to open up a two-leg gap.

Superchin piled on the pressure in the next leg with a 180 and 140 before a 121 checkout on the bull.

The World Grand Prix champion made it five legs on the spin as three 140s paved the way for another 11 darter.

Barney temporarily stemmed the tide to win his third leg on tops but another 180 helped Gurney wrap the match up as he hit D16 to claim the two points.

Gurney’s five maximums took his tally for the competition to 47, which is the most of any player.

The Premier league rolls into Rotterdam next week for a double header on Wednesday and Thursday to make up for the cancelled night due to snow in Exeter.

Gurney will face world champion Rob Cross on Wednesday, who he beat in Belfast two weeks ago, and will face Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock the following night.