PHIL TAYLOR and Raymond van Barneveld will meet in the quarter-finals of the Blue Square UK Open for a third successive year on Sunday.

The world’s best two players have clashed in the last eight at the Reebok Stadium in the last two years, with Dutchman van Barneveld claiming victory on both occasions on his way to the title.

They will come head-to-head once more on Sunday, with Taylor riding high after hitting a fourth UK Open nine-darter in Saturday’s fourth round before seeing off Wes Newton with an incredible 114.53 average in the last 16.

Van Barneveld held off the challenge of Ireland’s Jason Barry and Andy Hamilton to book his place in the last eight and remain on course for a Reebok Stadium hat-trick.

“It will be brilliant,” said Taylor. “The game two years ago was 11-10 and could have gone either way but he battered me last year 11-4 and that hurt.

“I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got and I’m delighted with how I’m playing.

“Hitting the nine-darter was special and it was pleasing to back that up with a good display against Wes.”

Van Barneveld had a disappointing Whyte & Mackay Premier League campaign, but admitted he was happy to be back in form at the Reebok Stadium.

“I had five or six bad months and I was changing my darts but I’m settled again now,” he said. “I believe in myself and am happy with how I’m playing.”

World number three James Wade swept into the last eight with victories over Steve Brown and Ronnie Baxter, and he will take on fellow left-hander Alan Tabern on Sunday.

Tabern, a semi-finalist two years ago, edged out Yeovil’s Simon Whatley 9-8 in an epic.

American Gary Mawson also edged a final-leg contest, against Mark Dudbridge, and he will take on Wayne Jones – who knocked out World Champion John Part with a thrilling performance.

2007 runner-up Vincent van der Voort defeated his fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen 9-6, and he faces York-based solicitors clerk Chris Thompson in the quarter-finals.

“It was such a hard game because Jelle’s a close friend and it’s no fun to beat him,” said van der Voort. “I played my own game and though I didn’t play my best I’m happy to be through.”

Thompson reached his first major quarter-final with a 9-2 rout of Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan, having also knocked out Steve Maish earlier in the day.

“I’m over the moon to be in the last eight,” said Thompson. “I’ve never been so nervous as I was against Brendan, but I held myself together and got through it.”

Dolan sent world number six Adrian Lewis crashing out of the tournament in the last 32 earlier on Saturday, with Terry Jenkins, Peter Manley, Chris Mason and the two remaining Holsten Qualifiers, Robert Thornton and Scott Waites, also among the fourth round casualties.

It was Taylor, though, who grabbed the headlines with a nine-darter during a 9-1 win over resurgent Scottish veteran Jamie Harvey – his fourth in five years at the Reebok Stadium and sixth in televised competition.

Fifth Round
James Wade 9-2 Ronnie Baxter
Raymond van Barneveld 9-4 Andy Hamilton
Vincent van der Voort 9-6 Jelle Klaasen
Wayne Jones 9-6 John Part
Phil Taylor 9-3 Wes Newton
Chris Thompson 9-1 Brendan Dolan
Alan Tabern 9-8 Simon Whatley
Gary Mawson 9-8 Mark Dudbridge

AFTERNOON SESSION

BIG guns Raymond van Barneveld, John Part and James Wade continued their challenges in the Blue Square UK Open on Saturday afternoon as Phil Taylor landed a fourth Bolton nine-darter.

Taylor completed his sixth televised nine-darter and a quartet at the Reebok Stadium during a 9-1 fourth round win over Scottish veteran Jamie Harvey.

The 13-time World Champion will now face Fleetwood’s Wes Newton in the last 16 on Saturday evening as he bid to collect a third UK Open title and wrestle the trophy from Raymond van Barneveld’s grip.

The Dutchman won his place in round five with a hard-fought 9-7 win over plucky Irishman Jason Barry, and he now meets Andy Hamilton, who defeated Chris Mason 9-6.

Vincent van der Voort, the 2007 runner-up, edged out Colin Osborne 9-8 in a classic battle and will now face former Lakeside champion and his travelling partner Jelle Klaasen in the last 16.

World Champion John Part’s reward for a gritty 9-6 defeat of world number five Terry Jenkins is a date with Wayne Jones.

The final two Holsten Qualifiers, Robert Thornton and Scott Waites, saw their hopes ended by Alan Tabern and Ronnie Baxter respectively, while Stoke newcomer Nigel Birch lost 9-3 to Klaasen.

Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan, who came from 8-6 down to knock out Adrian Lewis in a deciding leg, will take on Chris Thompson, a solicitor’s clerk from York, as the pair bid for their first major quarter-final.

Mark Dudbridge, who pipped Peter Manley 9-7, meets Gary Mawson, while Yeovil’s resurgent Simon Whatley takes on Tabern.

Baxter will meet world number three James Wade, who defeated Steve Brown 9-5 in the fourth round.

Blue Square UK Open
Fourth Round
Phil Taylor 9-1 Jamie Harvey
Ronnie Baxter 9-6 Scott Waites
Raymond van Barneveld 9-7 Jason Barry
Mark Dudbridge 9-7 Peter Manley
Vincent van der Voort 9-8 Colin Osborne
John Part 9-6 Terry Jenkins
James Wade 9-5 Steve Brown
Andy Hamilton 9-6 Chris Mason
Jelle Klaasen 9-3 Nigel Birch
Alan Tabern 9-6 Robert Thornton
Wes Newton 9-7 Mark Walsh
Gary Mawson 9-4 Mark Lawrence
Wayne Jones 9-2 Barrie Bates
Brendan Dolan 9-8 Adrian Lewis
Chris Thompson 9-5 Steve Maish
Simon Whatley 9-6 Steve Smith

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