Raymond Van Barneveld won the British Darts Organisation World Championship for the fourth time last night with a comprehensive 6-2 victory over his close friend Martin Adams in Frimley Green.
The top seed, roared on by a large Dutch following including the Chelsea winger Arjen Robben, missed seven doubles to take the first set but then struck a rich vein of form to put the outcome beyond any real doubt. He won five consecutive sets to underline his status as the BDO's No 1 as Adams, the oldest-ever finalist at the age of 48, failed to reproduce his form of the last two rounds.
Adams, appearing in his first World Championship final, started superbly by hitting a maximum 180 with his first three darts and pinched the opening set as Van Barneveld struggled on the doubles. But the tide immediately turned and the champion of 1998, 1999 and 2003 began to move through the gears, recording a 156 check-out and winning six successive legs on his way to a 5-1 advantage.
A seventh-set whitewash sustained hopes of an Adams comeback which would have eclipsed anything seen previously in 20 years at this venue, but soon the England captain was struggling to keep the match alive.
On his own throw and needing one leg to secure the trophy, Van Barneveld opened with a 180 and, under no real pressure, comfortably hit a double 16 to close it out and pocket the £50,000 winner's cheque.
"I can't believe this feeling," said Van Barneveld, a former postman from The Hague. "It may have looked easy but it wasn't. I have worked so hard to achieve this - every day jogging, fitness training and practising for six or eight hours.
"I was unbelievably nervous in the first couple of sets. I don't know why because I was very well prepared.
"Martin played well in the first set but then I calmed down, broke his throw in the second set and led 4-1 at the interval. I don't think I played my best final but it's fantastic to have won."
Adams admitted he had not matched the standard of his epic quarter-final triumph against Ted Hankey or semi-final rout of Simon Whitlock.
"I'm not unhappy because I've just had the chance to play in the final of the World Championship," said the 48-year-old from Peterborough. "I lost a great game to one of my greatest friends.
"Raymond played brilliantly and I missed some doubles but that's the way it goes. I wasn't over the moon with the way I played.
"My scoring wasn't great early doors but towards the end I nicked a set that Raymond didn't think I would take.
"It's Raymond's day. He kept it together. I'll be back next year and will hopefully reach the final again."
Adams admitted it had been "a dream" of his to play Van Barneveld in the final after he had sealed a place in the showdown for the first time in 12 appearances with a 5-0 whitewash of the Australian Whitlock. Van Barneveld had defeated Darryl Fitton 5-3 in his semi-final.