An all-Dutch classic at the PDC World Championship had figures from all sports loving the darts
Darts might just be one of the most absorbing sports in the world, and if that doesn’t sound right to you, perhaps athletes and officials from the world of hockey, football, rugby and snooker might change your mind.
This time around it was an all-Dutch quarter-final at the PDC World Championship between reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld that had viewers enthralled.
The match was slow to get going, but quickly hit its stride when, in the best-of-nine-sets game, the score was tied at 3-3. The fans were on the edge of their seats.
The two competitors matched one another stride for stride, with the outcome to be decided by a final set.
Good darts all round, the spectators agreed.
Good arrers.— Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy) December 29, 2017
GREAT DARTS— Oh hello! (@EamoV1) December 29, 2017
Athletes and sporting figures were also enthralled. Samantha Quek, who won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games with the Great Britain women’s hockey team, quickly became a fan.
Meanwhile figures from rugby league, football, and even snooker referee Jan Verhaas were watching closely.
And this is why I wanna go the darts next year! Right match #MVGvRVB— Joe Burgess (@JoeBurgess1) December 29, 2017
Stand up if you love the darts #MVGvRVB 🎯— David Dunn (@David8Dunn) December 29, 2017
Punch for punch now #rvbmvg— Jan Verhaas (@janverhaas) December 29, 2017
What a game off darts !!! #MVGvRVB 🎯🎯— Shane Duffy (@shaneduffy) December 29, 2017
In the end it was van Gerwen who held on for victory, reaching the semi-final of the competition where he will meet Englishman Rob Cross.
WOW!— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 29, 2017
What a tungsten treat that was... Absolutely incredible match between Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld!
The reigning World Champion wins the decider and is into the Semi-Finals.#MVGvRVB #LoveTheDarts #WHDarts pic.twitter.com/NhtW1rHBlg
And while the fans loved watching, it was good to see the two competitors recognising one another’s achievements afterwards.
This will hurt for a while but I gave it all I got. @MvG180 is such a great Champion and I hope he goes on to win it !! I will be back next year because I will never give up !! Thank you to all my sponsors and fans for the support ! pic.twitter.com/eUog5hmeab— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) December 29, 2017
Hope you all enjoyed that. Always have great games with Raymond and did again tonight. He pushed me all the way. Very happy with the win and my game (except at the beginning) but know I have more gears to go! Look forward to semi-final against Rob Cross tomorrow. 🎯— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) December 29, 2017
You’ve got to love the darts, haven’t you?