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  Thursday, 10 January, 2002, 21:30 GMT
King edges out Barneveld
Mervyn King
King is in the semi-finals for the second time
Mervyn King came out on top in an Embassy World Championship quarter-final classic, knocking out tournament favourite Raymond Barneveld with a nail-biting 5-3 victory.

The 35-year-old from Ipswich produced a devastating display of precision at the oche to lead 4-1 and then had to resist a tenacious fightback from two-times champion Barneveld.

His semi-final opponent will be Colin Monk, the man who knocked defending champion John 'Boy' Walton out earlier

Monk beat Wayne Mardle 5-4 in an equally thrilling encounter.

'Barney' was the tip of most pundits to regain the crown this year and had strolled through his first two matches this week.

He was detained only 21 minutes by Erik Clarys in the last round, but it quickly became evident that King was not about to roll over.

King, wearing an England darts shirt, made the better start and went 2-0 ahead.

Barneveld then won his first leg against the throw to pull one back before the fourth seed reopened his two-set cushion just before the interval.

A 156 checkout by the former postman from The Hague could not stop King from moving 4-1 up.

In the next set he could have closed out the match by hitting the bull on a 170 out-shot, but his last dart missed by an inch.

Mervyn King
King shed tears after his epic win
World number five Barneveld took advantage and, now matching King in the 180 count, the former champion clawed his way back into it, reducing the arrears to 4-3.

But before Barneveld could take the match to a decider, in which he would have had the advantage of throwing first, King hit a magnificent 131 checkout to edge over the winning line.

An amazing 27 maximum scores of 180 were achieved in the match, Barneveld edging a 14-13 majority, and 'Merve the Swerve' acknowledged it had been one of the great Lakeside clashes.

"It's every player's dream to be involved in a game like that," said King.

"I started better than I hoped and was delighted to be 3-1 up at the interval because Ray is a phenomenal player.

"I just played the board rather than Ray, which you have to do against him, and I held my nerve and kept my game together. I'm just thankful to be through.

"That was the best match I've played in the Embassy and hopefully this will be my year.


I'm just relieved to get through
Colin Monk

"If I play properly for the rest of the tournament someone will have to do something extra special to beat me."

Monk will be hoping to produce that extra something when he squares up to King.

But he had to endure a nail-biting finale to clinch his place in the last four.

He stormed into a 4-1 lead over Mardle, before the 'Mouth of the South' hit back and claimed the next 12 successive legs to level the scores at 4-4.

However, Monk regained his composure and secured his second ever appearance in a semi-final.

"I'm just relieved to get through. I was absolutely drained at the end," said the 34-year-old.

"I thought Wayne was home and dry when he went 1-0 up in the last set. He was all over me like a rash.

"At 4-1 I was thinking it was happy days, but next thing I had the world on my shoulders.

"My arm was shaking and my knees rattling - I was worn out."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's David Croft
"This championship is now wide open"
Mervyn King
"Hopefully this year is my year"
Colin Monk
"My hand was shaking like a leaf"
Embassy World Darts Championship

David wins final

Earlier rounds

Picture galleries

Special coverage

Darts politics

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Links to more World Darts Championship 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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