Raymond van Barneveld and John Henderson look ahead to quarter-final clash

Raymond van Barneveld will meet Michael van Gerwen’s Grand Prix conqueror John Henderson on Thursday, with both relishing the match-up.

Barney booked his place in the final eight with little fuss at Dublin’s Citywest on Tuesday night, as he saw off Steve Beaton 3-0.

Henderson, fresh from his magnificent first-round victory over MVG, fell behind to Alan Norris but recovered to win the next three sets and clinch the match 3-1.

It is just the second time in his career that the Highlander will sample the last eight of the Grand Prix, while for Van Barneveld it is a tournament he has to win.

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“John [Henderson] beat the world champion and world No 1 and has had a good run so you can’t underestimate him,” Barney told the PDC.

“I said to a few people that if the No 32 in the world can beat the world champion, then how good is he? You can’t underestimate players anymore and John has played well.

“I felt a lot of confidence coming into this tournament and Sunday was good against Kyle Anderson. This game wasn’t as good but I won and I’ll be practising hard ahead of the quarter-finals.”

Only in his maiden season on the PDC circuit in 2011 has ‘Big John’ made it this far in Dublin, and the Scot is convinced he is playing the best darts of his life ahead of meeting Barney.

“To get through a hard game like that is fantastic,” Henderson said. “After beating Michael there was a lot of pressure on me tonight (against Norris) but I think I played better tonight.

“Alan missed a lot of doubles to start and you’ve got to punish these top players for that and luckily I did.

“I believe I’m a far better player than I was in 2011 but other players will say the same so I’ll have to play outstanding darts in every round.

“I’m playing steady darts and I’m still in the competition so let’s hope I can go all the way. I’m enjoying it – I’ve not been in a quarter-final here since 2011 and hopefully I can take that one step further.”

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