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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 22:12 GMT
Fordham stuns Barneveld
Andy Fordham
Fordham held his nerve to win a thrilling contest
Andy Fordham beat defending champion Raymond van Barneveld 5-4 to reach the Lakeside World Championship final.

'The Viking' held his nerve in a thrilling match, coming back from 3-0 and 4-2 down in sets to win.

Van Barneveld, the three-time champion, appeared unsettled in the later stages, as Fordham began hitting the trebles with alarming regularity.

Fordham will play Mervyn King in the final after he beat Tony O'Shea 5-1 in the other semi-final.

Fordham, a four-time semi-finalist, looked down and out when the Dutch superstar raced into a three-set lead.

But Van Barneveld became distracted in the fourth set - the last before the interval - and Fordham stepped in to reel off three straight legs.

He reduced the deficit to one set with a 3-2 success in the fifth, only for Van Barneveld to responded by taking the next.

But Fordham, 41, won six of the next nine legs, nailing double 16 to take the match to a deciding set.

The tension was mounting, and both players began missing chances, but it was Fordham who held his nerve to close out the match with double two.

"I went 4-2 down and told myself I had nothing to lose," said Fordham.

"I just kept going and the darts started to go in.

"Raymond also played well and it's one of the best games of darts I've been involved in."

Meanwhile, world number one Trina Gulliver claimed her fourth successive women's title with a 2-0 win over Francis Hoenselaar.

The Leamington Spa ace won the opening set 3-1 and the players shared the next four legs before Gulliver hit double five to seal victory.

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