Phil Taylor’s defeat to Ted Hankey may have grabbed all the headlines, but Raymond van Barneveld’s defeat to Colin Lloyd will also have raised a few eyebrows.
It’s been a difficult year for Barney who has had to endure threats of blackmail from his native Holland and pulled out of several tournaments as a result. As a consequence he failed to qualify for the 2010 UK Open having only played in one of the eight qualifying events.
He looked to be back to his best in the summer when he made it to his first ever World Matchplay final, losing 18-12 to Phil Taylor. He also opened his Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts campaign in commanding fashion – beating 2010 PDC Women’s World Championship finalist Tricia Wright in a 5-0 whitewash.
However, things didn’t quite go to plan for the world No.3 last night against Lloyd. Despite having a higher three dart average – 97.3 to Lloyd’s 94.34 – Van Barneveld was unable to hit the doubles when it mattered and succumbed to a 5-3 defeat.
Barney now faces Darryl Fitton in their final group game, with the winner of that clash joining Lloyd in the second round. Fitton lost his opening group game 5-4 to Lloyd, before squeezing through against Wright 5-3 in their game last night.
The Dutchman is favourite for their qualification decider at 4/11, while BDO player Fitton is out at 2/1 to win the clash.
It would be a massive shock if Van Barneveld was to not qualify for the second round, but with problems off the oche affecting his form on it, Fitton may well be in place to upset the darts betting odds and see off the four times BDO world champion and 2007 PDC World Darts Championship winner.
Fitton is at 2/1 to beat Van Barneveld. Click here for all the odds from the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts.