Peter Wright believes that darts legends Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld would still be winning majors into their 60s.
The retired oche icons played out a cracking Target Darts NHS Heroes charity clash on Thursday night which was streamed online. Dutch giant Barney pipped his old foe 7-6 and the 15 maximum 180s thrown meant that £15,000 went to the NHS Heroes charity.
But current World Champ Peter Wright is not surprised about the legends producing another top class match. He said: “Phil and Raymond could be winning major titles for another decade. They are just so naturally talented.”
“It’s got nothing to do with their ability why they have retired. It’s the travelling that eventually has been too much for them, the PDC circuit is gruelling. But if they didn’t have to play for ranking and just in the UK majors, they’d still be in regular semi-finals and finals and winning.”
“I miss them both being around on the circuit. It always gave me a huge lift to be playing against them or in their company, it was inspiring.”
Peter Wright added: “I know Raymond had a tough last year or so but he put himself under so much pressure. He would have played himself back into form in the end. When he was in the right place mentally, he could beat anyone.”
“Just look at those classic matches when Raymond beat Michael van Gerwen, he knew how to win big matches.”
Van Barneveld, 52, rolled back the years with the win over Taylor, 59, in the unique online clash of the highest quality.
Barney went on to hit an incredible 120.12 three-dart average while The Power was just under that at 119.02. The Dutchman also nailed the biggest checkout of 161 while Taylor delivered a classy 151 kill.
It was a final fling for RVB to at last make him smile after such a disappointing end to his career by going out of the World Championship in the first round to Darin Young last December.
He said afterwards: “Of course this is wonderful to still be involved in the game. It was nice to win but the most important thing was to raise £15,000 for the wonderful NHS. It was good fun and definitely gives me something to be happy about, I know I have the game and the ability.”
“I felt it was a very good standard. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have to travel anywhere to play and you are not tired!”
Taylor added: “I’m delighted how it all went. Fair play to Target Darts for organising it and Paddy Power for donating the money to the NHS Heroes Charity, it’s the very least we can do.”
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