PHIL TAYLOR'S bid to win a 14th BetVictor World Matchplay title continued with a dramatic 14-12 second round win over Terry Jenkins on Tuesday night, as he was joined in the quarter-finals by Justin Pipe, Simon Whitlock and James Wade.
Taylor has not tasted defeat on the Winter Gardens stage since losing to Jenkins in the 2007 semi-finals, and the pair again enjoyed a classic duo which the Ledbury ace - a two-time runner-up in Blackpool - threatened to win.
Taylor had led 9-5 at one stage, with his average peaking at 110 during a thrilling opening, only for Jenkins to win five successive legs to move 10-9 up.
He also led 11-10 and sent the game into a tie-break at 12-all, only to miss three darts to move a leg away from the win as Taylor pounced, breaking throw on tops to put himself 13-12 up before hitting two 174s in a 12-dart finish as he edged through.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have come through that," admitted Taylor. "It was probably the best winning leg I've played, to hit two 174s in that situation.
"Terry came back superbly because I'd got him at 9-5; it was all over and anybody else would have buckled. He dug in and came back, and I let it get to me a little bit because it was a bit of a shock for me and I didn't expect Terry to go in front.
"He made it a fantastic game and he's showing that's the way he can play after not being on top form for about a year. He's on his way back again.
"We were nicking legs from each other and a ton was a bad score in the end. I was thinking I might be going home tomorrow but I had to dig deep and take advantage when he made a mistake."
Taylor now plays Taunton's Justin Pipe in Thursday's opening quarter-final, after the number nine seed won through to the last eight for a second successive year with an equally dramatic 13-9 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld earlier on Tuesday.
Raymond van Barneveld (8) 9-13 Justin Pipe (9)
Simon Whitlock (5) 13-10 Kevin Painter (12)
Phil Taylor (1) 14-12 Terry Jenkins (16)
James Wade (4) 13-9 Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld v Justin Pipe
0-0 - Justin Pipe wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - van Barneveld misses double five to finish 87 to break, and Pipe lands double 11 to win the opening leg.
0-2 - Pipe lands a 180 and hits tops to break throw with a 13-darter.
1-2 - Pipe misses darts at double 16 and eight to win a third leg, and van Barneveld steps in to finish double eight to get off the mark.
2-2 - van Barneveld levels the game by finishing double eight.
2-3 - Pipe kicks off the leg with a 180 and hits the first 170 checkout of the week to move himself back ahead.
3-3 - van Barneveld initially misses tops, but when Pipe misses three doubles to win the leg, the Dutch ace returns to hit tops and level at the second time of asking.
3-4 - van Barneveld lands his first 180 to leave 81, but misses darts at the bullseye, double 19 and double eight to allow Pipe in, and he capitalises on double nine.
4-4 - Pipe opens with a 180, but van Barneveld finishes 117 on tops to square the contest.
4-5 - van Barneveld misses the bull to break, and Pipe takes out double 16 to move back in front.
4-6 - van Barneveld misses the bull once again - this time on the wire for a 170 checkout - and Pipe hits the middle double to complete a 129 combination as he breaks to move two legs clear.
4-7 - Pipe lands a 168 score and van Barneveld posts a 180, but the Taunton ace wins the leg with a third bullseye checkout of the game, this time taking out 90 on the middle double.
5-7 - van Barneveld hits back by taking out 100 on double ten.
6-7 - Pipe misses a dart at double 16, and van Barneveld this time finishes 90 on the bullseye to break throw.
7-7 - The drama continues, with Pipe missing five darts to win the leg as van Barneveld returns from two misses at double 12 to land double six and square the contest.
8-7 - van Barneveld hits his third 180 of the game, and lands double eight to move in front for the first time in the game.
9-7 - The Dutchman posts another maximum and takes a fifth successive leg by finishing 81 in two darts on double 12.
9-8 - Pipe hits a 180, and when van Barneveld misses one dart at double 18, the world number nine wins his first leg in six by posting double six.
9-9 - The dramatic contest takes another twice, as van Barneveld misses a dart at double 11 and Pipe finishes double 18 for a 13-darter to square the game.
9-10 - Pipe opens with 180 and 140 - hitting five treble 20s in a row - and has enough cushion to initially miss six darts to win the leg before hitting double one to move back ahead.
9-11 - Pipe hits his sixth 180 of the game, and takes out 96 for a 14-darter to break throw and move two legs clear - and two away from the quarter-finals.
9-12 - Pipe moves one leg away from a famous victory, taking out another 14-dart finish on double 12.
9-13 - Pipe hits a 180 - his seventh of the contest - to leave 36, and finishes double 18 for a 13-darter to seal an amazing win.
|R v Barneveld||9-13||Justin Pipe|
|117, 100||High Finish||170, 129|
|3||Breaks of Throw||5|
|9/26 - 35%||Checkout %||13/36 - 36%|
Simon Whitlock v Kevin Painter
0-0 - Simon Whitlock wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Painter breaks throw immediately by hitting tops with his third dart.
1-1 - Whitlock finishes 85 to break back.
1-2 - Painter lands a 180, and capitalises on a miss from Whitlock by hitting double 14 to break again.
1-3 - Painter secures the game's first hold of throw by landing double ten.
2-3 - Whitlock opens with a 177 and hits double five to pull back to one leg behind.
3-3 - Whitlock posts double ten to level the game.
3-4 - Whitlock hits a 171 of three treble 19s, but misses the bull for a 132 finish and two further doubles to allow Painter in on double eight.
4-4 - The pair trade 180s before Whitlock takes out 96, hitting a single 20 and two treble 19s to show some fine dexterity around the dartboard.
5-4 - Whitlock hits double ten to hit the front for the first time.
5-5 - Painter posts a 180 and tops to square the contest.
5-6 - Painter hits a 180, and is given a reprieve for two misses at tops when he returns to hit double ten for yet another break, after Whitlock misses double 16 for a 108 checkout.
6-6 - Painter misses two darts to capitalise on a missed bullseye from Whitlock, who returns to land double eight.
7-6 - Painter misses two more darts at doubles, and Whitlock hits tops to move back ahead.
8-6 - Whitlock wins a third straight leg by hitting tops.
9-6 - Whitlock lands a second 180 of the game, and double ten puts him three legs clear.
9-7 - Painter hits back on double top to win his first leg in five.
10-7 - Whitlock takes out 74 on double 12 to regain his cushion.
10-8 - Whitlock is unable to take his chance to move four legs clear, and Painter lands double eight to hit back.
11-8 - Painter misses the bullseye, and Whitlock finishes double eight to edge closer to victory.
11-9 - Whitlock hits a 180, but Painter replies on tops.
12-9 - Whitlock kicks off with another maximum, and hits double 18 to move a leg away from the win.
12-10 - Painter takes out 122 on double seven to keep his hopes alive.
13-10 - Painter is unable to take out 129, and Whitlock finishes 91 on double 16 for the win.
|Simon Whitlock||13-10||Kevin Painter|
|5||Breaks of Throw||4|
|13/30 - 43%||Checkout %||10/23 - 43%|
Phil Taylor v Terry Jenkins
0-0 - Terry Jenkins wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 - Taylor lands a 180 and hits double four to win the opener in 13 darts.
2-0 - Jenkins misses two darts at double 19 for a 98 finish, and Taylor hits the same bed to double his lead.
2-1 - The pair trade 180s before Jenkins lands tops to win his first leg of the game.
3-1 - Taylor posts two maximums in a superb 11-darter to regain his cushion.
3-2 - Taylor misses darts at double top and ten to break throw again, and Jenkins pins tops to hit back.
4-2 - Taylor lands a 180 and finishes 68 to move two legs up once again.
5-2 - The pair trade 180s before Jenkins adds another maximum - but he misses two darts at tops and Taylor steps in to finish 92 in two darts to break throw.
6-2 - Taylor finishes double eight to move four legs clear of the two-time finalist.
6-3 - Jenkins hits back by taking out 118 on double 19.
7-3 - Taylor posts a 177 to leave 127 before taking out the combination on double eight to move four legs clear once again - raising his average to 110 in the process.
7-4 - Both players miss the bullseye before Jenkins returns to land double four.
7-5 - Jenkins hits a maximum before landing double eight to win back-to-back legs.
8-5 - Jenkins posts a 180 to leave 12, but misses his chance to pull back another leg as Taylor recovers to land tops.
9-5 - Double six sees Taylor edge away by winning his ninth leg.
9-6 - Jenkins posts his sixth maximum of the game, and finishes double ten to hit back.
9-7 - Jenkins breaks throw to hit back by finishing tops with his third dart.
9-8 - Jenkins opens with 140 and 180, and finishes 88 on the bull to reduce the gap to one leg.
9-9 - Jenkins levels an amazing game with a 12-darter, scoring 180, 140 and 170 before landing double four to square the contest, with Taylor unable to finish 170 on his own throw.
9-10 - Jenkins opens with his ninth 180 of the game but initially misses three darts at tops for the lead - only for Taylor to miss three darts at the same bed to allow him back in on double ten to lead for the first time.
10-10 - Taylor finishes 109 on tops to square the game and win his first leg in six.
10-11 - Jenkins posts double eight to hold throw and regain the advantage.
11-11 - Taylor coolly takes out 68 in two darts to level the contest once more.
12-11 - Taylor finishes 68 again to break throw and move back ahead - and to just one leg away from the quarter-finals.
12-12 - The game takes another amazing twist as Taylor misses five match darts at double top and ten, and Jenkins finishes double ten to keep his hopes alive and send the match into a tie-break.
13-12 - Taylor moves back ahead with a key break, with Jenkins missing tops in one visit and double ten and five when he returns, allowing the reigning champion back in to hit tops and regain the advantage.
14-12 - Taylor hits back-to-back 174 scores, and goes on to finish tops for a 12-darter to win an incredible contest.
|Phil Taylor||14-12||Terry Jenkins|
|5||Breaks of Throw||4|
|14/37 - 38%||Checkout %||12/36 - 33%|
James Wade v Gary Anderson
0-0 - James Wade wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Anderson hits a 180 in an 11-darter to break throw immediately.
1-1 - Wade breaks back, hitting two 180s and tops.
1-2 - Anderson hits back by finishing 121 on the bullseye.
2-2 - The high standard continues as Wade hits another maximum, and although he misses tops to take out 139, the left-hander returns to win another leg against the throw.
3-2 - Wade, for the second time in the game, hits a brace of 180s before landing tops for a 14-darter to move 3-2 up with the first hold of throw.
3-3 - Anderson hits a 180 and double eight to level.
3-4 - The Scot breaks throw with a fine 120 checkout.
3-5 - Wade fires in a 180, but Anderson is first to a finish and lands double 16 to move two legs clear.
3-6 - Anderson wins a fourth successive leg, initially missing two darts at tops only for Wade to miss one dart at the bed himself, allowing the Scot back in on double ten.
4-6 - Anderson is waiting on 40 to win a fifth straight leg, but Wade finishes 90 on double 18 - hitting treble one, treble 17 and double 18 - to hit back.
5-6 - Wade initially misses three darts at double ten, but returns to win the leg on double five with his third dart as he moves to within a leg of the Scot.
5-7 - Anderson takes out 90 on double ten to regain a two-leg cushion.
5-8 - The Scot brings the Winter Gardens crowd to their feet with a showpiece 99 finish, hitting single 19 and two double tops to pull three legs away from Wade with a fifth break of the match.
6-8 - Wade breaks back, landing a seventh 180 of the game and finishing double five with his third dart as he wins a sixth leg.
7-8 - Wade takes out 110 on tops to reduce the arrears to one leg.
8-8 - The 2007 champion levels by landing double four.
9-8 - Wade wins a fourth successive leg as he regains the lead, finishing 47 for an 11-darter.
10-8 - The left-hander finishes tops to break throw and move two legs clear.
11-8 - Wade pins tops for a 60 finish as he wins a sixth straight leg.
12-8 - The number four seed moves a leg away from victory by taking out 96 on double nine.
12-9 - Anderson keeps his hopes alive with another break of throw as he takes out 58.
13-9 - Wade finishes 69 on double six to book his place in the quarter-finals against Simon Whitlock.
|James Wade||13-9||Gary Anderson|
|8||Breaks of Throw||6|
Wednesday July 24 (7pm)
Andy Hamilton v Ian White
Adrian Lewis v Brendan Dolan
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Jamie Caven v Dave Chisnall