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   Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 19:31 GMT
Barneveld claims world crown
Raymond Barneveld
Barneveld proved too strong for Davies
Raymond Barneveld bt Ritchie Davies 6-3


Raymond Barneveld has won his third Embassy World Darts title following a stunning 6-3 victory over Wales' Ritchie Davies.

The Dutchman dominated from the opening leg and looked to be on course for a comfortable victory at 4-0 up before Davies produced an inspired comeback

The Welshman brought the scores back to 4-3 but his rival lifted the tempo once again to win the final two sets.

Barneveld, a former postman who turned professional after his first Embassy title, was far more proficient from the opening leg, which he sealed with a double one,

Davies, in contrast, struggled with nerves from the outset in his first world final, falling well behind before he even had a chance to settle.

Ritchie Davies
Davies came to life in the fifth set

Barneveld, who won the title in 1998 and 1999, took the first set with a 132 finish despite Davies clinching the first 180 of the evening in the same leg.

All the next three sets went to the deciding leg, but the Dutchman continually held the upper hand.

Barneveld showed his superior experience at the climax of the second and third legs, hitting a treble 20, a single 20 and a double 18 for a 3-0 lead.

A 103 from Davies took the fourth set to another deciding leg but once again he failed to capitalise as his rival at the oche finished it off with 11 darts.

In the final set before the interval, Davies, nicknamed "Lamb Chop", finally captured his form from the earlier rounds.

A poor first leg went the Welshman's way, who needed 17 darts for the 1-0 lead, but it gave him the confidence required and he rattled off the set in still with a 121 checkout.

Davies' fifth maximum of the final gave him the perfect opening to the sixth set and appropriately mirrored the second set with the deciding leg, unleashing another 121.

Barneveld, who at one stage had looked on course for a whitewash, fell apart in the seventh set, twice choking on his checkouts to cut his lead to a solitary set.

The pair cranked up the level of the darts in the eighth set, Davies with the chance to level the scores with a 161 checkout.

But the Welshman missed, allowing Barneveld to move within clutching distance of his third crown with a double 18.

He edged ever closer in a one-sided penultimate set before sealing a third championship crown with a 72 checkout.

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 ON THIS STORY
 Raymond Barneveld
"It was an emotional victory"
Embassy World Darts Championship

Barneveld's title

Photo galleries

Bobby's Kingdom

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