Raymond van Barneveld outclassed by 16-year-old prodigy Luke Littler: ‘There was no honor to be gained from this at all’ | Sport

with summaryRaymond van Barneveld (56) has become the next victim of the incredible darts fairy tale called Luke Littler (16). The English prodigy always saw the five-time world champion as an idol, but showed absolutely no mercy. Van Barneveld, who was in the eighth finals of the Darts World Cup for the first time in six years, was sent home 4-1. “I didn’t throw that bad at all, but this is not normal.”

Tim Hartman

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The expectations for the World Cup clash between 56-year-old Raymond van Barneveld and 16-year-old Luke Litter were so high that it could only have been disappointing, but nothing could be further from the truth. The five-time world champion and the English prodigy – who was born twenty days after Barney’s last world title – presented darts fans from all over the world with a fantastic match. But only for Littler it became an evening to truly remember. “Unbelievable. Incredible. Yes, unbelievable,” the youngster was almost speechless afterwards.

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“Am I going to demolish it? Yes, I believe that too,” said Van Barneveld in the run-up to the clash of this World Cup. Barney responded to the words of Michael van Gerwen, already a quarter-finalist at the World Cup. Mighty Mike stated that Van Barneveld was too experienced and had too much quality to lose to a 16-year-old World Cup debutant from England. But that 16-year-old World Cup debutant showed no mercy for his idol on Saturday evening.

Cheering for Barney in diapers

After two sets, Van Barneveld raised his eyebrows. Littler might have cheered in his diaper like Barney before the oche crashed into Alexandra Palace The Nuke his darts back into the dartboard as if he were throwing against Uncle Harry in the local pub without any pressure. After two sets there was ‘normally’ another 2-0 lead for Littler with an average of more than 100. Something that also seemed to surprise Van Barneveld.

Raymond van Barneveld congratulates Luke Littler. © PDC

Not that the five-time world champion from the Netherlands was throwing so badly. In fact, Barney, good for a nice 127 finish, also threw an average of 99.61. But he said it himself more than once this World Cup: I would rather win with an average of 83 than throw an average of 107, receive plenty of compliments, and be able to sit back and relax.

It wasn’t the Barney Army’s fault. That was also fully present against the English home favorite, but that did not bother Littler at all. The teenager seems to be able to withstand all the pressure. Two-time world champion Gary Anderson, who was knocked out by Brendan Dolan earlier in the evening, already said that the media should leave ‘that child’ alone.

But whether all the media focuses on him or not (he was even offered free kebab for the rest of his life), Littler seems to be able to close himself off to everything on stage. With an average of 105.01, he sent his idol back across the North Sea 4-1.

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“Hats off, respect,” sighed Van Barneveld Viaplay. “It looks like you’re throwing against a darts robot. There was no honor to be gained from this at all. I haven’t thrown that bad at all, but this is not normal. Incredibly handsome. Who’s going to stop him? That doesn’t interest me one bit. This is a hard blow for me. I saw opportunities, especially after Gary’s elimination against Brendan, but it’s over for me. Tonight I have to recognize my superior in this young lad and I wish him the best of luck,” he said before leaving the Alexandra Palace disappointed without speaking to other media.

And so: no Raymond van Barneveld, but 16-year-old Luke Littler on January 1 in the quarter-final of the World Darts Championship against Brendan Dolan. Unbelievable, but true.

The program (best of 7 sets):
• Brendan Dolan-Gary Anderson 4-3
• Raymond van Barneveld – Luke Littler 1-4
• Luke Humphries – Joe Cullen 4-3


Luke Humphries wins!

WHAT. A. SIDE! But it is Luke Humphries who wins against Joe Cullen. The title favorite is still in the tournament. But don’t ask how!


Humphries misses eight (!) match darts, so it is now 5-5 in legs. Sudden death: who will go to the quarterfinals? This is the decisive leg!


Humphries wins set 3-0

We get a seventh and decisive set. Humphries is convincing this time and wins 3-0 in legs. The score in sets is equal again: 3-3. Who will go to the quarter finals?


Humphries totally gives it away

Humphries seems to be on his way to his third set win in a row, but the Englishman misses six (!) arrows on the doubles and sees Cullen still walk away with the victory. Cullen takes a 2-3 lead and is one set away from a place in the quarter-finals.


Humphries evens the score

Humphries dangled, but now seems to be recovering. The top favorite for the final victory wins the fourth set and levels the score again: Humphries comes back from a 2-0 deficit to 2-2.


Impressive Humphries takes set from Cullen

Humphries wins the set from Cullen and brings back the tension: it will be 1-3 in legs, so the score in sets is now 1-2. Humphries can also start the next set.


Cullen is 0-2

Humphries was the big favoritebut for now it’s Cullen who calls the shots. The Englishman breaks his opponent twice and takes the second set 0-3 in legs.


Cullen wins first set

In the last game of the evening, a English chat between Luke Humphries and Joe Cullen, it is the latter who writes the first set to his name. Humphries misses on his doubles and sees Cullen take full advantage: he wins the first set 3-2 in legs.


Van Barneveld eliminated!

Littler qualifies for the quarter-finals of the Darts World Cup! The Englishman beats Van Barneveld with clear figures: 1-4.


Van Barneveld makes it 2-2

Barney keeps his leg and faces his English opponent gonna break now to stay in the game. How does Littler handle the pressure?


Littler takes the lead again

No, the people in Ally Pally won’t be spoiled with breaks tonight. Now Littler keeps his leg: the score is 1-2 again.


Van Barneveld equalizes again

Van Barneveld easily levels the score again. He misses twice on his doubles, but takes his last chance on double 6. It is now 1-1 in legs.


Littler advances in the fifth set

Littler although missing topsbut then quickly hits double 10 and wins the first leg of the fifth set.


Van Barneveld is still alive

Littler is unable to throw out 128, so Van Barneveld gets the chance to extend the game. Barney takes the decisive fifth leg and makes it 1-3. Is it still possible for the Dutchman?

11:00 PM

Last straw for Barney

Littler comes alongside again, so a potentially decisive leg is coming. If Littler takes this leg, Van Barneveld can pack his bags.


Barney accepts gift

Littler misses his doubles and Van Barneveld sees his opportunity to take advantage. The Dutchman takes a 2-1 lead. Barney has need a break to get this set now.


Littler levels the score again

It is phenomenal what sixteen-year-old Littler shows in Ally Pally. The Nuke throws out 90 and reaches 1-1 in legs. Littler is on his way to a resounding victory.


Barney keeps his leg

Van Barneveld keeps his leg without any problems and takes the lead in the fourth set. A break seems necessary to keep the chances alive.


Also third set to Littler

Van Barneveld increases the pressure somewhat, but Littler does not fail at the top: he stands 3-0 in sets for the Englishman.


Barney broke back

Van Barneveld misses two chances at double 16, Littler is happy to unwrap that present. The mega talent hits top marks and levels the score in set 3: 2-2.