Darts: Barneveld cruises into last eight

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The Independent Online

The defending champion, Raymond van Barneveld, reached the quarter-finals of the Lakeside BDO World Darts Championship with a solid win over Paul Hogan here last night.

The Dutchman lost the first set to Hogan but steadied himself and came back to win 3-1. "I knew it was going to be a really tough match," Barneveld said. "I was very happy to win the second set and I broke him at the start of the third. You can never relax against anyone, especially Paul."

Barneveld hit three 180s in the opening set but Hogan also scored well and took out double 18 to take it by three legs to two. However, the 36-year-old hit form in the second set, winning three legs to one with double top. Barneveld nailed double eight to take the third set, and although the fourth went to a deciding leg, the Dutchman again found double eight to win.

Van Barneveld will face John Walton in the last eight, after the 2001 champion overcame a shaky start to inflict a 3-1 defeat on Norway's Robert Wagner.

Wagner, an amateur magician, made a confident start and took the opening set by three legs to one with a successful attempt at double 18. But Walton started to hit the doubles in the second set and clinched it with double five.

The Yorkshireman took the opening two legs of the third set, and even a superb 142 checkout by Wagner could not stop Walton closing to within one set of victory. The fourth went to a deciding leg, before Walton nailed double top.

Darryl Fitton also moved into the last eight with an emphatic victory over the highly rated youngster James Wade. Fitton caused a big upset in the first round on Saturday when he beat the 2002 champion, Australia's Tony David. And Fitton, from Stockport, carried on where he had left off against the Australian, securing a 3-0 victory over the 20-year-old.

Andy Fordham will be next up for Fitton. Fordham beat the fast-throwing Tony West 3-0.