Taylor v Barney – Four great games between two legends
It’s the biggest fixture in darts, and no wonder. Between them, they’ve amassed 20 World Championships and countless other trophies over the past two decades.
Phil Taylor, bidding to win world title number 16, faces arguably his greatest rival in the form of Raymond van Barneveld, who seeks his sixth, in the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Darts World Championship on Sunday
They’ve met 56 times in the past, with Taylor winning 44 of their previous encounters.
When they play each other, the world watches, but what are their best ever games? Here are our four favourites:
Ladbrokes World Darts Championship final, 2007
Taylor, having won at a canter the previous year was favourite for the crown, but a newcomer to the PDC ranks from the rival BDO had other ideas. Barney was making his debut and having reached the final, he was expected to lose heavily.
Taylor had a commanding lead, but the Dutchman clicked into life, clawing it back until he was level. Eventually, they went to a sudden death leg in the 13th and final set, which Barney won to his delight. It’s labelled the greatest game of all time by many experts.
Premier League week three, 2012
The score was 8-4 in Taylor’s favour, but the result doesn’t tell the whole story. Barney came into the tournament feeling down, but had posted some huge averages.
Here, Taylor won with a 112 compared to around 105 for Barney, but it was one of the greatest games in the tournament’s history, with 180s and big checkouts flying in.
World Matchplay final, 2012
Another major final meeting between the two resulted in a Taylor victory. It finished 18-12, but at a time when Barney wasn’t at his best, he produced a performance that suggested that The Power had a tough task on his hands.
Until the last few legs where Taylor raced ahead, it was one of the tightest finals in Matchplay history. Barney kept pace with Taylor’s scoring, and he could have gone on to win it at one stage.
UK Open quarter-final, 2006
Making his debut in a PDC ranking major, Barney won a classic 11-10 at a time when the thought of Taylor losing any game was unfathomable.
The game went back and forth constantly, but some superior scoring and bottle from Barney helped him to win the game. He then went on to lift the title at the Reebok Stadium and defended it the following year by beating Taylor again at the same stage 11-4!
Please Note: All Odds and Markets are correct at the time of publishing