Barney victorious in Dublin
Raymond van Barneveld won his first ranking title of 2013 on Sunday, beating Peter Wright in the Players Championship final in Dublin.
The Dutch star had last won a PDC ProTour event in July 2012 in Germany, but swept to the £10,000 first prize at the Citywest Hotel by producing some sublime darts.
Having defeated the Essex pair of Steve Maish and Paul Barham in the opening two rounds, he then edged to a 6-5 victory over Jamie Caven in the last 32, taking the deciding leg by scoring 177 and then finishing 64 in two darts.
He would drop only four more legs in his next three games as he won through to the final by defeating Wayne Jones, Kevin Painter and Andrew Gilding, before seeing off Wright to take the title.
He won the final's opening three legs, finishing 72, 120 and 94 for legs of 14, 15 and 12 darts before Wright took out double two to hit back in the fourth.
Van Barneveld stole the fifth with a 106 finish after Wright opened the leg with two 180s. However, he was made to pay for missed doubles in two visits after missing out on a possible nine-darter, with the Dutchman moving 4-1 up.
That lead was swiftly extended to 5-1 after the pair traded 180s in the next, with van Barneveld posting double 18 for a 13-darter, and though Wright finished 121 and double four to pull back the next two legs, the Dutchman sealed the win on double eight.
"It's a great boost for me ahead of the World Grand Prix, and my form's great going into the event," said van Barneveld. "I played some awesome darts on Saturday before I lost to Brendan Dolan, but the first two or three rounds today weren't as solid.
"I got lucky against Jamie Caven, winning 6-5, but after I was great and I'm really over the moon with the way I'm playing."
The win sealed van Barneveld's place in November's Cash Converters Players Championship Finals - which is based on prize money won in ProTour events - and was an ideal preparation for Tuesday's World Grand Prix opener with Stuart Kellett.
"I love this game and I love winning - sometimes I love this game too much," he added. "I want to show the world that I can still play and I want to play against Phil Taylor, James Wade, Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis at my best game.
"Sometimes players like me, James Wade and Adrian Lewis need the pressure to play our best darts. Adrian won on Saturday and I won today, and for some reason it gives us better focus.
"I had a bad September and struggled for the month, but I've started well in October and hopefully I'm going to do well for the rest of this year."
Wright's run to the final, which included a last-four win over Michael van Gerwen, saw him pick up £5,000 in prize money as he continues to progress towards the world's top 16 and maintained his recent run of form.
Saturday's winner Lewis lost out to Painter in the third round.
The double-start World Grand Prix gets under way in Dublin on Monday.