Premier League Darts Results – Taylor Takes Title

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Updated: May 18, 2012
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TAYLOR CLAIMS McCOY’S PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS TITLE AS WHITLOCK LANDS NINE-DARTER IN PLAY-OFFS

PHIL TAYLOR defied a spirited fightback from Simon Whitlock to win his sixth McCoy’s Premier League Darts title with a 10-7 win at The O2 in London – with the Australian’s earlier nine-darter in the semis not enough to carry him to glory.

Taylor, who had finished eight points clear at the top of the league table following the 14 weekly rounds and earlier defeated James Wade 8-6 in the semis, looked set to romp to the £150,000 title when he moved into leads of 6-1 and 7-2 in the final.

Whitlock, though, hit back brilliantly to level at seven-all by taking five successive legs to threaten an incredible comeback win.

The Australian – who landed a nine-darter in his 8-6 semi-final win over Andy Hamilton earlier in the night – crucially missed one dart to lead Taylor 8-7, as the Stoke great recovered to win the leg and the next two to claim victory.

“It feels fantastic to be the McCoy’s Premier League champion again,” said Taylor, who had lost in the semi-finals last year to Adrian Lewis.

“It was a massive night for all four of us in the semi-finals and in many ways it was a strange final.

“The semi-final took a lot of out me, because for some reason I was nervous and it was a real battle against James. Simon had put in a huge effort too in his game and maybe that showed in the final.

“Simon came back brilliantly but I think that used up a lot of his energy, and even when he got level I knew that I had the throw and just had to keep myself steady, and thankfully I came through.”

Taylor had hit averages of 117.35 – a Premier League record – and 116 during the league season, but dipped below 100 in both games in the Play-Offs.

“I’m disappointed with my performances, even though I’m delighted to win,” he added. “I set myself some high standards this year and I want to play consistently at that level.

“I’ll have a couple of weeks now to relax and prepare for the UK Open at the start of June, and winning back that title’s my next goal.”

Despite the efforts of his semi-final, and a cameo appearance to sing along to the performance of Chas Hodges & The Premier League Boys’ charity single ‘Got My Ticket For The Darts’ on stage before the final, Taylor made a superb start to the decider.

He punished four missed doubles from Whitlock to win the opening leg on double four before posting back-to-back 14-darters in moving 3-0 up.

Whitlock took out 96 on double eight to get off the mark in the fourth, but Taylor hit a 180 before taking out 81 on tops to win the next for a 4-1 cushion.

Taylor then punished two misses from Whitlock to win the sixth on the bullseye and took out 109 to seal the next for a 6-1 advantage.

Whitlock set up a double 12 finish with a 174 score as he took leg eight, but despite a 180 from the Australian in the next it was Taylor who landed double eight for a 7-2 lead.

Misses at double top in the next two allowed Whitlock to step in and pull back to 7-4, before the Australian landed a 180 and finished 80 on double ten to win his fifth leg.

He then broke Taylor’s throw for a second time as the world number one missed three darts to halt Whitlock’s charge, before the 2010 World Championship finalist powered in a maximum and a 120 finish to incredibly level the match.

Whitlock also gave himself a chance to move ahead in leg 15, but missed double 16 for a 149 checkout – ironically the finish Taylor took out against Wade in the semis to break a six-all deadlock – as the Stoke great stepped in on tops.

Taylor then opened the next leg with a 171 and took out 96 to lead 9-7 before adding a 180 and taking out 73 to reclaim the trophy.

“I did well to fight back and get it back to seven-all, but I had one chance to go in front and missed, and before I knew it, it was all over,” said Whitlock.

“It’s very tough to play two games like that in one night, especially when the semi-final was so tight. Phil struggled as well as he had a very hard semi-final.

“It’s been a fantastic McCoy’s Premier League though and I’m really proud to have reached the final. I think the two best players reached the final.

“It means a lot to be in the final against Phil. I tried my best but I wasn’t good enough on the day, but I’m over the moon with how the season’s gone.

“I’ll never forget the nine-darter. I’ve thrown a couple of nine-darters before in front of big crowds but not in front of 10,000 fans, so it was special.”

Whitlock’s nine-darter came in the second leg of his semi-final with Premier League newcomer Hamilton, who had finished third in his debut season and led the Australian 4-1 – with the nine-darter being the only leg he took in the opening five.

He pulled back to 5-4 before Hamilton posted a 110 checkout to move 6-4 up – but Whitlock took the next four in thrilling fashion to earn his place in the final.

“It’s been a great journey and I’ve enjoyed every single minute of this Premier League,” said Hamilton. “I’ve fought again tonight but Simon fought back and showed true resilience, and it was a great game to have a nine-darter against me.

“I can’t complain. I’ve had a great match and Simon was a worthy winner – it could have gone my way but it didn’t, and I feel privileged to have played in such a great arena alongside some great players, and hopefully I’ll be back in the Premier League next year.”

Taylor was also pushed all the way by 2009 champion Wade in their last-four contest, with the left-hander leading 4-2 at one stage.

Taylor moved 6-4 up before Wade levelled, but the game turned on a stunning 149 checkout by the world number one, who then finished double top to seal his place in the final.

Teenager James Hubbard was the night’s other big winner, as he was crowned as the PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion following a 6-3 win over Michael van Gerwen.

The 19-year-old from Norfolk showed no nerves in a brilliant opening as he hit an 11-dart finish and led 3-0 before holding off the Dutchman’s fightback to claim the £10,000 first prize.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “When you start playing darts, this is what you dream of, and to play in front of 10,000 people is a dream come true for me, and to come out as World Champion is amazing.

“I was nervous before the game but Simon Whitlock was brilliant and gave me lots of advice, and the start I made on stage was terrific and settled me down.

“I didn’t think I’d win it to be honest because Michael’s so experienced and such a brilliant player. You always believe in yourself, but when I hit that double top it was the most amazing feeling of my life.”

The night also featured a special performance of the charity single ‘Got My Ticket For The Darts’, as Chas Hodges & The Premier League Boys were joined on stage by Taylor, Wade, Hamilton, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis, Kevin Painter and PDC Chairman.

The song has been released to raise money for Haven House Children’s Hospice, and is available for 99p from iTunes.

McCoy’s Premier League Darts Play-Offs
The O2, London – May 17
Semi-Finals
Simon Whitlock 8-6 Andy Hamilton
Phil Taylor 8-6 James Wade

PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final
Michael van Gerwen 3-6 James Hubbard

McCoy’s Premier League Darts Final
Simon Whitlock 7-10 Phil Taylor

McCOY’S PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS SEMI-FINALS
SIMON WHITLOCK 8-6 ANDY HAMILTON
SIMON WHITLOCK hit an incredible nine-dart finish and came from 4-1 down to win through to the McCoy’s Premier League Darts final with an 8-6 defeat of Andy Hamilton.

The Australian landed the perfect finish in only the second leg of the contest – hitting two 180s and finishing 141 on double 18 – only to then find himself three legs down after Hamilton began the game with some flawless finishing.

Whitlock, though, clawed his way back in before taking the lead for the first time at 7-6, and took the next to erase the memory of his semi-final defeat in 2010 and win through to the decider.

The game began in incredible fashion, with Hamilton winning the first leg with a 130 checkout before opening the second with a 180 – only for Whitlock to reply with two maximums before finishing 141 to land an amazing nine-darter, bringing 10,000 fans at The O2 to their feet.

Hamilton refused to blink despite the achievement, finishing 112 to break back in leg three and hitting 180s in the next two legs as finishes of double top and double 16 put him 4-1 without either player missing a dart at a double.

Whitlock hit a 180 and tops to hit back, and then finished double ten to pull back to within a leg before Hamilton landed a maximum and double seven to lead 5-3.

Hamilton also hit a 180 in the ninth leg, but was punished for three misses as Whitlock posted double six to hit back – only for a 110 finish to see the Stoke ace move 6-4 up.

Whitlock replied with a superb 12-darter before levelling the game in a dramatic 12th leg, as Hamilton saw his dart at double top land agonisingly just in double one, allowing Whitlock to level.

Hamilton then missed double 18 and double nine in the next as Whitlock landed double nine to lead for the first time, before he sealed victory by taking out 76 on double 18.

“I’m so happy to be in the final and it was a fantastic match,” said Whitlock. “Andy’s had a great year and has played brilliantly – and I had to throw a nine-darter there just to win a leg!

“But I battled and fought my way back in and got the win in the end.”

Hamilton said: “It’s been a great journey and I’ve enjoyed every single minute of this Premier League.

“I’ve fought again tonight but Simon fought back and showed true resilience, and it was a great game to have a nine-darter against me.

“I can’t complain. I’ve had a great match and Simon was a worthy winner – it could have gone my way but it didn’t, and I feel privileged to have played in such a great arena alongside some great players, and hopefully I’ll be back in the Premier League next year.”

Leg-By-Leg
0-1 – Hamilton wins the opener against the throw with a brilliant 130 checkout, finished on double five.
1-1 – Both players open with 180s, with Hamilton landing a 140 before Whitlock lands another maximum to set up a nine-dart chance – AND HE FINSHES 141 FOR A NINE-DARTER!
1-2 – Hamilton finishes 112 to win the third leg – a third successive ton-plus finish!
1-3 – Hamilton posts tops to remain flawless in his finishing and move two legs clear.
1-4 – Hamilton lands double 16, hitting his fourth successive double at the first time of asking to maintain a 106 average.
2-4 – Whitlock hits his third 180 of the game and finishes tops to hit back going into the interval.
3-4 – Hamilton fails to pressure Whitlock, who misses three darts at tops but returns to land double ten to pull back to within touching distance.
3-5 – Hamilton hits a 180, and this time has the cushion to miss five darts at a double before landing double seven.
4-5 – Hamilton opens with a 180 but misses the bull for a 90 finish to break – only for Whitlock to miss double six to hit back. Hamilton misses double eight and four, and Whitlock lands double six to hold throw in a crucial leg.
4-6 – Hamilton hits his third ton-plus finish of the game by taking out 110 on double 18.
5-6 – Whitlock hits back, hitting a 180 to leave 84, which he finishes with a bullseye, double 17 combination.
6-6 – Whitlock leaves 84 again, but misses the bull to complete a 16, 18, bullseye combination – but Hamilton misses double top in double one, and Whitlock finishes tops to level the game.
7-6 – Hamilton hits 140, 137 and 140 to leave 87, but misses double 18 and double nine to break, and Whitlock finishes double nine for a 14-darter to lead for the first time.
8-6 – Whitlock completes an amazing comeback by finishing 76 on double 18.

PHIL TAYLOR 8-6 JAMES WADE
PHIL TAYLOR was forced to battle from behind before defeating James Wade 8-6 to reach the McCoy’s Premier League Darts final.

Taylor has finished top of the league table this season after dropping only four points in the weekly rounds, but was facing the prospect of a second successive semi-final exit in the tournament when Wade took a 4-2 lead.

Taylor battled back to lead 6-4 before Wade levelled, but a stunning 149 checkout turned the game in the world number one’s favour, and he finished 80 in the next leg to set up a final against Simon Whitlock.

“It was a struggle from start to finish,” admitted Taylor. “I felt very, very nervous and maybe the venue and the occasion put me under pressure.

“I just didn’t feel comfortable up there. I was maybe trying too hard, and when you try too hard they don’t go in. When you relax, the darts flow and they go in.”

Wade, with the advantage of throw, held the early cushion with finishes of 87 and 104 as he took a 2-1 lead, with Taylor having finished 112 in the second leg before landing double eight in the fourth.

The pair traded 180s in the next, with Taylor missing double eight to break as Wade landed double ten to lead 3-2, before the left-hander swooped on a rare score of 30 from Taylor in leg six, hitting a 180 with his next visit before landing double five for a 4-2 cushion.

Taylor hit back in style, landing a 177 in a 14-darter to win the seventh against the throw and tops to level before taking the next two following misses from Wade to move ahead for the first time at 6-4.

The pair traded 180s again in the 11th leg, as Wade hit back on double 12 before then squaring the match with a break of throw on double ten.

Wade also left himself 58 after 12 darts in the next, but could only watch on as Taylor hammered home a 149 checkout to break and lead 7-6 before coolly landing tops to move into the final.

Leg-By Leg
0-1 – Wade finishes 87 for a confident opening leg.
1-1 – Taylor takes out 112 to level the game.
1-2 – Wade checks out 104 to hold throw, with Taylor waiting on 40 to break.
2-2 – Taylor lands double eight to level the contest.
2-3 – The pair trade 180s, with Wade missing the bull for a 161 finish before returning to hit double ten after Taylor missed double eight to break.
2-4 – Wade pounces on a score of 30 from Taylor by hitting a 180 to leave 81 after nine darts, and eventually lands double five to break throw and lead by two at the interval.
3-4 – Taylor opens the leg with a 177 and, when Wade misses tops for a 108 checkout, he returns to land double eight for a 14-darter to break.
4-4 – Taylor levels the game by hitting tops at the first time of asking to nudge his average over 100.
5-4 – Taylor misses double five for a 130 finish, but Wade is unable to post double 18 for a 116 finish, and Taylor posts double five with his third dart to lead for the first time – and his celebration shows how much the leg means.
6-4 – Wade hits a 180 to leave 64, but when Taylor misses double 16 the left-hander cannot finish tops. Taylor returns and misses three darts outside double eight, but the drama intensifies as Wade misses double ten and two darts at double five, and Taylor lands double eight to win a key leg.
6-5 – Taylor opens with a 180, but Wade matches the maximum, and although he misses double 12 for a 125 checkout he returns to hit the bed for a 14-darter.
6-6 – Wade breaks back immediately, missing the bull for a 164 finish but returning to the oche to land double ten to level.
7-6 – Taylor takes out a superb 149 checkout to move a leg away from the final.
8-6 – Taylor finishes 80 on tops to seal his place in the final.

PDC UNICORN WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
JAMES HUBBARD 6-3 MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
TEENAGER James Hubbard was crowned as the PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion following a 6-3 victory over Michael van Gerwen in their final at The O2 in London.

Hubbard, who only turned professional last November, produced an impressive display to condemn van Gerwen to defeat in the final for a second successive year, following his previous loss to Arron Monk in January 2011.

The 19-year-old took command from the start after opening the game with an 11-darter and taking a 3-0 lead, to mean that van Gerwen’s fightback eventually came in vain.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “When you start playing darts, this is what you dream of, and to play in front of 10,000 people is a dream come true for me, and to come out as World Champion is amazing.

“I was nervous before the game but Simon Whitlock was brilliant and gave me lots of advice, and the start I made on stage was terrific and settled me down.

“I didn’t think I’d win it to be honest because Michael’s so experienced and such a brilliant player. You always believe in yourself, but when I hit that double top it was the most amazing feeling of my life.”

Despite stepping on stage in front of 10,000 fans at London’s O2 Arena, Hubbard showed no nerves with a superb opening, hitting scores of 140, 180 and 145 in the opening leg as he finished double nine for an 11-darter.

He then scored 171 to leave 32 in the next as he broke throw on double eight, after van Gerwen missed tops, and a nerveless 81 finish of treble 15 and double 18 for a 14-darter moved him 3-0 up.

Van Gerwen replied in 14 darts to get off the mark, finishing 76 on double eight, before Hubbard landed two 140s and a 120 before hitting double ten to lead 4-1.

The Norfolk prospect faltered for the first time with five misses at doubles in the sixth leg, as van Gerwen posted double 16 and then produced a quality 12-darter – featuring a 180 and a 102 finish of single 20, bullseye and double 16 – to reduce the gap to 4-3.

However, the Dutchman could only watch on in the next after leaving 74, as Hubbard finished 51 on tops to move to the brink of victory, and when van Gerwen missed double 15 to take out 88 he stepped in to land tops for the title and a £10,000 first prize.

Leg-By-Leg
0-1 – Hubbard makes a brilliant start, hitting 140, 180, 145 and finishing double nine for an 11-darter.
0-2 – Hubbard lands a 171 to leave 32, and when van Gerwen misses tops he returns to land double eight and break throw.
0-3 – Hubbard finishes 81 with treble 15 and double 18 to move three legs clear.
1-3 – van Gerwen finishes 76 in two darts to win his first leg of the game.
1-4 – Hubbard scores 140, 140 and 120 before missing tops for a 101 finish, but he has enough cushion to return and land double ten with his third dart.
2-4 – Hubbard misses double 19, double eight and three darts at double four before van Gerwen lands double 16.
3-4 – van Gerwen hits a 180 to leave 102, and takes out the combination with single 20, bull and double 16.
3-5 – Hubbard hits tops to move one leg away from the title.
3-6 – van Gerwen misses double 15 for an 88 finish, and Hubbard hits tops for the victory.

McCOY’S PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS FINAL
PHIL TAYLOR 10-7 SIMON WHITLOCK
Leg-By-Leg
0-1 – Whitlock misses four darts at a double to break, and Taylor lands double four to win the opener.
0-2 – Taylor opens with a 177, and although he misses the bull for a 124 finish, he has enough cushion to return and hit double eight.
0-3 – Taylor misses the bull for a 161 finish, but again lands double eight as he moves three legs clear.
1-3 – Whitlock finishes 96 on double eight to get off the mark.
1-4 – Taylor scores 180 and 140 before finishing 81 on tops for a 12-darter.
1-5 – Whitlock lands a maximum in reply but misses double top and ten, allowing Taylor in to finish 89 on the bull to move halfway to victory.
1-6 – Taylor finishes 109 on tops to move five legs clear.
2-6 – Whitlock hits a 174 to leave 24, and when Taylor misses tops for a 101 finish the Australian lands double 12 to hit back.
2-7 – Whitlock lands a 180 but Taylor finishes double eight to win his seventh leg.
3-7 – Taylor misses a dart at tops, and Whitlock steps in to hit double ten and win his second leg in three.
4-7 – Whitlock hits a 171, and punishes Taylor for a miss at tops by hitting the same bed to break for the first time in the game.
5-7 – Whitlock posts his third 180 of the game, and finishes 80 in two darts on double ten to win a third straight leg and pull back to within touching distance.
6-7 – Tayor misses a dart at double ten and two at double five, and Whitlock takes out 36 by hitting single four and double 16 to pull back to within a leg.
7-7 – Whitlock posts his fourth 180 of the game and takes out 180 to incredibly level the contest – having won five successive legs.
7-8 – Whitlock misses double 16 for a 149 checkout, and Taylor lands tops to regain the lead.
7-9 – Taylor opens with a 171 and finishes 96 on double eight to move a leg away from the title.
7-10 – Taylor hits a 180 and completes his triumph with a two-dart 73 finish for a 14-dart leg.

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