TAYLOR THUMPS WADE AS KING’S ROYAL COMEBACK OUSTS WIZARD
PHIL TAYLOR ruthlessly powered past James Wade to book his place in Sunday’s final stages of the Players Championship Finals, but number one seed Simon Whitlock crashed out of the internet-streamed tournament at the Doncaster Dome.
Taylor followed up Friday’s defeat of Steve Brown with another powerful display, taking an lead of 4-0 before sealing the world number three’s fate.
Taylor will now face in-form Wes Newton in the quarter-finals, in the first of three games he would need to win on Sunday if he is to take the £60,000 title and only his second tournament win since August.
Newton edged a 15-leg thriller with left-hander Mark Webster to book his place in a second successive major quarter-final, recovering from missing seven match darts to finally take victory.
Mervyn King, meanwhile, came from 5-2 down for the second successive match in sealing his place in the quarters with an 8-5 defeat of Simon Whitlock.
The Australian, who was the number one seed for the event following six Players Championship victories in 2010, hit four 180s in taking a 5-2 lead.
King, though, won six sucessive legs to follow up Friday’s win over Co Stompe with another fightback victory.
He will meet Terry Jenkins in the last eight, with the Ledbury man coming from 6-5 down against Steve Beaton to win the last three legs without reply in progressing.
Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals, streamed live through www.pdc.tv, will also feature World Championship finalist Gary Anderson against Andy Smith and Colin Lloyd against Steve Farmer.
Players Championship Finals
Saturday February 5
Jamie Caven 4-8 Andy Smith
Steve Farmer 8-6 Colin Osborne
Gary Anderson 8-5 Kevin Painter
Colin Lloyd 8-3 Dennis Priestley
Wes Newton 8-7 Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock 5-8 Mervyn King
Terry Jenkins 8-6 Steve Beaton
Phil Taylor 8-3 James Wade
Sunday February 6
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Mervyn King v Terry Jenkins
Wes Newton v Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson v Andy Smith
Steve Farmer v Colin Lloyd
Best of 17 legs
Evening Session (7pm)
Semi-Finals (order of play to be decided by coin toss)
King/Jenkins v Newton/Taylor
Anderson/Smith v Farmer/Lloyd
Best of 19 legs
Best of 25 legs
WES NEWTON 8-7 MARK WEBSTER
WES NEWTON won through to his second successive major quarter-final, edging out Mark Webster 8-7 in their last 16 clash at the Players Championship Finals.
Newton, who also reached the last eight at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship a month ago, will now take on Phil Taylor on Sunday for a place in the semis as he chases his maiden major title.
He produced some moments of magic in an entertaining contest with Webster, who played his part but paid for one missed match dart after hitting back to force a deciding leg.
After Newton hit a 180 in taking the game’s opening leg, Webster replied with a 14-dart finish and then made Newton pay for a missed double 12 by finishing on double top to break for a 2-1 advantage.
Newton checked out 104 to break back, and then landed another maximum and double ten in a 14-darter to move 3-2 up.
The pair also traded 14-darters as the next four legs went with the thrown, and double top from Webster saw him level in the tenth at five-all.
Webster then raised hopes of breaking with his second maximum of the game in leg 11, but Newton took out double top for a 13-dart finish as he edged back in front.
Newton then missed a dart at tops to break in the next as Webster hit the best to level, before the Fleetwood ace hit seven treble 20s in the 12th.
While a nine-darter went begging when his dart at treble 19 on a 141 finish landed in treble three, although he returned to finish double ten for a 12-darter in moving a leg away from the win.
However, Newton missed five match darts in the 14th leg as Webster took out 61 to force a decider, but the Welshman followed a 180 with 45 in the final leg as his opponent took control.
Newton missed two more darts for the win as Webster returned on 115 – only to miss double top and allow Newton back to hit double five with his third dart.
“It feels great to win but I almost blew it,” said Newton. “When I got to 7-6 I thought about winning and it put me off, but thankfully I got there in the decider.”
MERVYN KING 8-5 SIMON WHITLOCK
MERVYN KING proved that lightning can strike twice, as he came from 5-2 down to win a second successive game in the Players Championship Finals by defeating Simon Whitlock 8-5.
King had fought back from the brink of defeat to take a 6-5 first round victory over Co Stompe, and took the final six legs without reply to move into the quarter-finals in Doncaster.
Whitlock played his part in a high-quality opening period, hitting four 180s on his way to a 5-2 lead, but lost his range as King – who won a Players Championship in Germany last Sunday – grasped the mettle.
Whitlock opened the game with a maximum and added a second in the first leg, which he took in 14 darts, before the pair traded 180s in the next, which King won on tops.
Whitlock finished double ten for the third leg, with King punishing misses at double 18 and double nine to follow another 180 with double eight.
The Australian took out 64 in two darts to win the fifth, and matched a King maximum before breaking with an 81 finish in the sixth for a 4-2 lead.
Double two moved him into a three-leg advantage at the break, but King returned in top gear.
He finished double four for the eighth leg, and after Whitlock missed double 16 in the next King took out 71 in two darts to break and pull back to within a leg.
King then hit 180s and finishes of 83 and 76 to take the next two legs, as he hit the front for the first time in the game at 6-5.
Double eight then moved King to the brink of victory, and he completed a remarkable comeback in the next when Whitlock saw two chances to stay in the game go begging.
TERRY JENKNS 8-6 STEVE BEATON
TERRY JENKINS won the final three legs without reply to come from 6-5 down and claim an 8-6 victory over Steve Beaton in progressing to the last eight of the Players Championship Finals.
Beaton looked set to follow up his first round win over Adrian Lewis by knocking out another of the world’s top eight when he held the edge over Jenkins going into the latter stages.
But he crucially missed two darts to take the 13th leg as Jenkins took out double ten to lead for the first time since the opening leg, before the Ledbury ace went on to seal victory.
Beaton began the game with a 180, but missed doubles allowed Jenkins to take out 120 an break throw for the opening leg.
Beaton broke throw on tops to level before edging the third, but missed three darts for a 3-1 lead as Jenkins hit back to level on double one.
Beaton opened a second successive leg with a 180 in the fifth, and took out 102 on double 16 – a finish he repeated two legs later in moving 4-3 up.
Jenkins held throw to keep pace as the duo progressed to being locked at five-all, with double top edging Beaton 6-5 up.
Beaton also landed a maximum in the 12th, but a 120 finish from Jenkins saw him level.
Jenkins then opened the 13th with scores of 180 and 140, and stepped in after two missed double 16s from Beaton to hit double ten and move 7-6 up, a leg which proved crucial as he then won the next to secure the win.
PHIL TAYLOR 8-3 JAMES WADE
PHIL TAYLOR ruthlessly powered past James Wade to book his place in Sunday’s final stages of the Players Championship Finals at the Doncaster Dome with an 8-6 win.
Taylor followed up Friday’s defeat of Steve Brown with another powerful display, taking leads of 4-0 and 7-2 before sealing the world number three’s fate.
The 15-time World Champion picked up an immediate break of throw in the first leg on double 16, and a brace of double top finishes put him 3-0 up before the pair traded maximum scores in leg four.
Wade was first to a double, but wasted six opportunities to get off the mark as Taylor once again hit double top to move four legs clear.
Taylor landed a 177 in the fifth leg, but Wade put his previous double trouble behind him with a fine 107 checkout as he got onto the scoreboard.
Double five put Taylor 5-1 up, but he then missed double 16 in the next as Wade posted double nine to claim his second leg of the contest.
Taylor produced legs of 15 and 14 darts to move 7-2 up and move to the brink of victory, but missed the bull for a 92 checkout before Wade landed double ten to stay in the contest.
Taylor, though, wrapped up victory in style by hitting a second 180 of the game in a 12-darter to set up a quarter-final clash with Wes Newton.