Holsten Premier League Darts - Night Ten

COLIN LLOYD snatched the fourth and final play-off place in the 2006 Holsten Premier League Darts in a dramatic finish to the league phase of the tournament at Reading's Rivermead Centre on Thursday night.

The world number one was left needing to win his final game, against Wayne Mardle, to secure a semi-final berth against Phil Taylor in Plymouth on 29 May.

And he duly obliged with a gutsy 8-4 victory - sealing the win by hitting two bullseyes on his way to checking out 132.

The other semi-final will see Raymond van Barneveld take on fellow Dutchman Roland Scholten, with the former winning all three of his games on the final night.

Van Barneveld's victories over Lloyd, Mardle and Ronnie Baxter - and Baxter's win over Peter Manley - left the latter in fourth place going into the night's final game.

"I can't believe I'm through," said Lloyd. "Last year it came down the last game against Wayne too and I knew I had to stick in there tonight."

Lloyd went into the night knowing that wins in both his games would secure fourth place, but finishes of 161 and 122 were not enough to see him overcome on-song van Barneveld.

Baxter cruised past Manley 8-4 in the second game of the evening, and van Barneveld's win over Mardle left him unable to qualify.

Taylor ensured that he would finish at the head of the table by completing his league campaign unbeaten after his 8-3 romp against Scholten.

And an 8-2 defeat for Baxter when he met van Barneveld left the Swindon-based world number three relying on a Lloyd defeat to cap his maiden Premier League campaign with a semi-final berth.

Lloyd, though, had other plans and finished strongly to keep himself in with a chance of claiming the £50,000 first prize in Plymouth later this month.

DartsTV subscribers can watch highlights from Friday evening.

Holsten Premier League Darts
Night Ten - Rivermead Centre, Reading
Colin Lloyd 6-8 Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Manley 4-8 Ronnie Baxter
Raymond van Barneveld 8-5 Wayne Mardle
Phil Taylor 8-3 Roland Scholten
Ronnie Baxter 2-8 Raymond van Barneveld
Wayne Mardle 4-8 Colin Lloyd

Final League Table







Phil Taylor







Raymond van Barneveld







Roland Scholten







Colin Lloyd







Ronnie Baxter







Peter Manley







Wayne Mardle








COLIN LLOYD suffered an agonising 8-6 defeat to Raymond van Barneveld to leave his hopes of qualifying for the Holsten Premier League Darts play-offs hanging by a thread.

The world number one had to win both his games in Reading to be assured of a top four finish, but could now find himself out of the picture when he returns to face Wayne Mardle in the night's final match.

In a high quality contest with the Dutchman, Lloyd produced some superb darts only to find his opponent in brilliant form.

Van Barneveld hit nine maximums during the match, and hit an 11-dart leg and checkouts of 147 and 144.

He also landed six perfect darts during the fifth leg, but missed nine darts at a double later on to allow Lloyd to take the leg and move 3-2 up.

The Dutchman won the opening two legs, punishing missed doubles from Lloyd to move 2-0 up before Lloyd hit top gear.

He produced a 122 checkout, ending on the bull, in the third leg before taking out 161 to level matters.

After seeing the fifth slip from his grasp, van Barneveld replied with an 11-darter in the next to go into the break at 3-all.

He then took out 144 to break Lloyd in the first leg after the restart, with his opponent sat on 16, and his 147 finish saw him regain a two-leg cushion.

Lloyd again hit back, winning the next three to move 6-5 up and within sight of a crucial win.

The Dutchman opened the next with a maximum, and checked out double 16 to tie the match once more.

Lloyd went agonisingly close to ensuring a point in the next, his attempt at double 14 for a 148 checkout hitting the wire.

Against the darts in the final leg, Lloyd was unable to get ahead of his opponent - but van Barneveld was first to the finish and clinically took out 74 for the win.


RONNIE BAXTER kept alive his hopes of snatching a place in the Holsten Premier League Darts play-offs with an 8-4 win over Peter Manley.

Manley went into the game knowing that a victory would put him into the semi-finals in Plymouth at the end of the month.

But, after winning his last two matches, the Carlisle-based star was unable to keep up his form with a disappointing display.

Baxter roared into a 5-1 lead in double-quick time, landing double top - Manley's trademark finish - four times to put himself in a commanding position.

Manley rallied after the break, landing scores of 180 and 177 on his way to taking the next two legs and cutting the deficit.

Baxter took advantage of a missed dart at bull to win the ninth on double four, and sealed a point in the next leg after Manley missed four darts at a double.

Manley won the 11th leg, but his poor finishing - less and 20 percent against over 50 percent from Baxter - cost him once again in the next.

He was unable to finish on double 16, eight and four to allow his opponent to take out double ten for the win - leaving him needing to defeat Raymond van Barneveld to make it into the top four.

"I'm pleased with that," said Baxter, who also won 8-3 when the pair met in Wolverhampton earlier in the tournament.

"I knew I had to win both matches, so this is half the job done. It's always tough playing against Peter and I knew I had to take my chances."


RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD ended Wayne Mardle's hopes of claiming a place in the Holsten Premier League Darts play-offs with an 8-5 victory in Reading.

Mardle needed to defeat both van Barneveld and Colin Lloyd at the Rivermead Centre to stand a chance of breaking into the top four.

The Essex showman looked on course to cause the biggest upset in this year's tournament when he came from 3-0 down early on to lead 5-3.

But the Dutchman's imperious form returned in the second half of the game as he roared back with five successive legs to take the victory.

Van Barneveld hit maximums in the opening two legs to take the advantage early on, and extended his lead to 3-0 by landing double top.

Mardle won the fourth leg with the throw to get himself off the mark, and then matched van Barneveld's 180 before taking out 106 to pull back to 3-2.

He opened the next leg with a second maximum of his own to level matters at the break, and came out after the restart with an 11-darter to move ahead.

He narrowly missed the bullseye for a 161 finish in the next leg, although he recovered to extend his advantage to 5-3.

Van Barneveld then roared back into life, hitting a ten-dart leg and then landing a fifth 180 of the match to level matters.

He began the next leg with another maximum, taking out a 13-darter to go 6-5 up.

With Mardle's surge suddenly behind him, van Barneveld capitalised by taking the next two comfortably to seal the win and end his opponent's top four hopes.


PHIL TAYLOR completed a double over Roland Scholten with a comfortable 8-3 victory against the Dutchman in Reading.

With both players already assured of a place in the semi-finals later in May, Taylor was the more determined of the two to extend his unbeaten run.

Scholten won the opening leg with double ten, but Taylor made no mistake with his doubles in the next five, taking them all to go into the break 5-1 up.

Scholten landed the first maximum of the game after the restart, winning the next two legs to cut back to 5-3.

Typically, Taylor found another gear, hitting his first 180 of the game on his way to restoring his dominance.

Both players missed a host of darts in the tenth leg before Taylor finally landed double five.

And a finish of 100 ensured that the 13-times World Champion ends the league phase at the head of the table and with an unbeaten record for the second successive year.

"I'm very chuffed," said Taylor. "The game didn't mean anything for either of us in terms of the league but I tried to relax.

"It didn't flow for me tonight, and probably not for Roland either."

Taylor will now meet the fourth placed player in the semi-finals, with Scholten taking on van Barneveld.

"I'd love to play Raymond in the final," added Taylor. "It would be a fantastic final and the one everyone wants to see I suppose, but we've both got to win our semis first.

"We will both have tough games and we'll all have to be on top form in Plymouth."


RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD completed a hat-trick of wins against play-off challengers in the Holsten Premier League with an 8-2 victory over Ronnie Baxter.

The Dutchman had already defeated Colin Lloyd and Wayne Mardle on the night, and produced his most clinical display to breeze past Baxter with a 104 average.

Baxter opened the match with a brilliant 11-dart leg, with both players trading maximums as the world number three made an ideal start.

But his play-off dreams began to fade as quickly as van Barneveld found top gear, taking out 160 to level the game and the next four legs to enter the break 5-1 up.

Baxter held his throw to pull back the first leg, but another maximum from the Dutchman helped to quell the challenge once more.

Despite a 180 from Baxter in the ninth leg, van Barneveld landed three scores of 140 to help him take a 7-2 lead.

And a 96 finish ensured that he ends the league campaign with only one defeat in his 12 matches since his move to the PDC.

"This is my last game in the league this year and I'm going to miss it very much," said van Barneveld. "The crowds have been fantastic and I've enjoyed every minute.

"We've still got the play-offs to come in Plymouth and I'm very proud that I'll play Roland Scholten in the semis - two Dutch coming up against each other.

"I'm looking forward to it. We've got the International Darts League in Holland first, but after that I'll be upping my practice again to three or four hours a day to make sure I'm ready."


COLIN LLOYD dramatically snatched fourth place in the Holsten Premier League Darts and a place in the play-offs in the final league match of the campaign.

The world number one had to win the clash to jump above Ronnie Baxter and take the final place in the semi-finals - where he will meet Phil Taylor in Plymouth on 29 May.

Lloyd had to show his champion qualities, bouncing back from his earlier loss to Raymond van Barneveld and coming from 3-1 down against Mardle.

He took out a stunning 132 finish to seal victory against his fellow Essex star, hitting two bullseyes before then landing double 16.

It capped one of his most gutsy displays in the tournament, after a crushing 140 finish from Mardle punished a missed double from Lloyd in the fourth leg to leave him staring down the barrel.

He hit back to win the next four legs in succession before Mardle took out double five to pull back the ninth leg.

Lloyd, though, responded to take the next two and ensure a point at 7-4 - but knowing that a draw would not be enough to take him into the top four, produced his superb coup-de-grace to ensure his win.

"I can't believe I'm through," said Lloyd. "I was in the same position last year when it went down to the last game.

"I had to stick in there tonight and I was delighted with that 132 finish to win it."