Raymond van Barneveld stuns Gerwyn Price to reach Grand Slam semi-finals

Raymond van Barneveld is back in a televised semi-final (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)
Raymond van Barneveld is back in a televised semi-final (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld produced a remarkable comeback to beat world number one Gerwyn Price 16-13 to reach the semi-final of the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

The Dutchman, who retired in 2020 but made his comeback in February having gone through qualifying school, found himself 8-3 down in his first televised quarter-final in three years.

However, he rallied with seven successive legs and never looked back as his 20th 140 and his sixth maximum then saw him move 13-10 ahead and a 10th leg in 12 edged him close to victory before holding off a late fightback from the three-time defending champion.

“He played amazing in the first 10 legs. I’m not playing bad and I will never give up and I promised my grandson today,” Van Barneveld, who won the Grand Slam title a decade ago, told Sky Sports.

“8-3 down and I’m thinking ‘OK Ray, win a couple more legs against the world number one’ and then it changed.

“It’s all about belief and I worked unbelievably hard. I was struggling for many years and now with Julia (Evans) we’re going to marry next year. She’s the love of my life and I’m happy.”

In the opening quarter-final Michael Smith won a last-leg decider for a roller-coaster 16-15 victory over Joe Cullen.

The two-time world championship runner-up was never behind until his opponent edged ahead 10-9 and then 13-10.

But he went on to win six of the final eight legs to snatch victory with a 76 checkout, finishing with a 100 average having posted 14 180s.