Darts: Mark McGrath falls short against Raymond van Barneveld at Auckland Masters

Raymond van Barneveld.
Raymond van Barneveld. Photo credit: Photosport

Mark McGrath's run at the Auckland Darts Masters is over after a 10-4 defeat to Raymond van Barneveld on Saturday night.

The 50-year-old made history on Friday after becoming the first New Zealander to win at the Trusts Arena when he triumphed over Shanghai Masters champion, Michael Smith 6-4. 

Sadly he was unable to repeat his magical form against the five-time world champion in front of a rowdy crowd.

Van Barneveld averaged 89.43 and had a 62.5 percent checkout rate against McGrath. 

Mark McGrath.
Mark McGrath. Photo credit: Photosport

Speaking to Newshub after the defeat, McGrath said he wishes he could have done better.

"My performance was average," McGrath told Newshub. "Today it was lonely out the back and it was sad, but it was an incredible experience.

"The crowd was amazing, but sadly I couldn’t give them what they wanted." 

Van Barneveld will face Simon Whitlock on Sunday for a spot in the final.

Whitlock came from 2-0 down to beat reigning world champion Rob Cross 10-7 in the night's opening match.

It is the first time Whitlock has reached the final four in Auckland.

"I was really pumped up for the game tonight," Whitlock told Newshub. "I just wanted to prove that I'm one of the best players in the world.

"My doubles were great tonight and I hit the important shots at the right time which got me through.

"I've got lots more experience than Rob and maybe that helped me out in the end."

The 49-year-old from New South Wales was amazed the crowd was on his side for the match. 

"The crowd was amazing. They got behind me, they were very fair, and I needed to hear a few people get behind me to win the match."

Peter Wright.
Peter Wright. Photo credit: Photosport

Peter Wright is through to the semi-finals for the first time in Auckland after outclassing defending champion Kyle Anderson 10-3.

'Snakebite' led 4-3 at the break, and he turned on the jets when he returned, winning six legs on the bounce against the Australian.

He will have to be at his best once more in the final four as he will square off against world number one Michael van Gerwen, who crushed Gary Anderson in their match.

The Dutchman was at his best in a 10-4 win, throwing six 180s and averaging 105.87.

Van Gerwen missed last year's Masters due to the birth of his first child.

The 2018 Auckland Darts Masters concludes on Sunday with the semi-finals taking place before the decider to confirm who will be victorious in New Zealand.


Rob Cross 7-10 Simon Whitlock

Mark McGrath 4-10 Raymond van Barneveld

Gary Anderson 4-10 Michael van Gerwen

Peter Wright 10-7 Kyle Anderson


Simon Whitlock vs Raymond van Barneveld

Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright

Best of 19 legs


Best of 21 legs