Dave Chisnall was knocked out of the Auckland Darts Masters by Raymond van Barneveld on Saturday.
The Morecambe darts ace suffered a 10-5 quarter-final loss to the Dutchman, who will go on to play Gary Anderson in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Van Barneveld broke in the game’s opening leg, taking out double 16 for a 14-darter to break throw immediately.
Both players landed 180s in the second leg before the Dutchman pinned double 18 to move go 2-0 ahead.
Van Barneveld then missed the chance to open up a three-leg lead when he missed double seven, Chisnall hitting back on double ten to make it 2-1.
Van Barneveld threatened a nine-darter by opening the next leg with two 180s, and after Chisnall landed a maximum in reply, the Dutchman was unable to complete a perfect leg before returning to finish 76 for an 11-darter.
Chisnall finished 96 on double eight to cut the gap to one leg, and fired in another 180 in the following leg, but van Barneveld’s third-dart double four saw him respond.
Chisnall cut the gap once more through tops, but double 16 restored van Barneveld’s two leg cushion.
Chisnall then took out 74 on double 16 to hit back before van Barneveld missed the bull for a maximum 170 checkout, but he returned on double eight to hold throw and lead 6-4.
The 2015 finalist secured the second break of throw in the match by finishing double 12 for a 13-darter, and he finished 76 in two darts to extend his lead to four legs. Chisnall was punished for missing three darts at double top, ten and five as van Barneveld took out 64 on double four to move a leg away from the win.
Chisnall won his first leg in five with a 12-darter, hitting three 140s before finishing 81 on double 16 to break throw, but it wasn’t enough as van Barneveld opened the next leg with a 180, and when Chisnall missed tops to take out 101, the Dutchman finished 96 on double eight to move into the last four, averaging 101 in the process.
Speaking afterwards, van Barneveld said: “Last year was great getting to the final and I’d love to do even better and win tomorrow, but it will be hard because this is the best players in the world,” said van Barneveld.
“My darts are going fantastic, the trebles and doubles are going well. It’s going well for me so far, I’m feeling confident and energised and I know what I can do.”
The Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB and Burger King, concludes on Sunday evening (7pm) with the semi-finals and final at the Trusts Arena.