Monday, 18 November 2013

The Grand Slam Semi's and Final

PHIL TAYLOR won one of darts' finest ever matches to reach the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts final with a 16-9 defeat of Adrian Lewis, while Robert Thornton joined him in the decider by seeing off Scott Waites by the same scoreline in Wolverhampton.
Taylor and Lewis hit a PDC record 32 maximums during a spellbinding semi-final at the Wolves Civic, with the latter posting 18 and averaging 110.99 in a stunning display, only to fall to defeat to his Stoke rival.

Taylor set the tone for the game with a 180 in his first visit to the oche, and added another in taking the opening leg and a third in the next leg as he posted back-to-back 12-darters to lead 2-0.

Lewis responded with three in as many legs as he moved 3-2 up, and though Taylor regained the edge with finishes of 14, 14 and 13 darts, Lewis replied with legs of 12 and 11 darts to level at five-all.

Taylor took out 167 to lead 6-5, only for Lewis to win three of the next four to lead 8-7 - only for the World Champion to find another gear to clinically take the next eight legs, finishing 160 and an 11-dart leg, as well as hitting six perfect darts of a possible nine-darter in moving 15-8 up.

Lewis responded with a 13-darter, but even an 18th maximum was not enough as Taylor hit tops for a 14-dart finish which secured his place in the final following a classic contest.

Taylor will now return to play in his fifth Grand Slam of Darts final on Sunday evening, as he takes on Thornton to compete for the £100,000 first prize.

Lewis' defeat saw him fall at the semi-final stage for a second time in three years to Taylor in Wolverhampton, and he admitted afterwards: "I don't feel as though I've lost - but if you average 111 there's probably only Phil Taylor who can beat you.
Thornton, meanwhile, overcame 2010 Grand Slam of Darts champion Waites 16-9 with another outstanding display, averaging 101.03 as he won through to the fourth major final of his career.

The Scot landed three 180s as he established an early 5-1 advantage, and he also landed an 11-dart finish as he moved 8-3 up.

Waites' though, missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish in the 12th leg, before winning the next three legs in 13, 11 and 14 darts as he cut the gap to 8-7.

Thornton then hit two 180s of his own as he regained some breathing space at 9-7, and he won the next two for a four-leg advantage before Waites hit back on double three.

A 111 checkout sparked a run of four straight legs from Thornton as he moved 15-8 up, and though Waites briefly kept his hopes alive on double 16, the Scot took out double ten in the next to complete a memorable win.

William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 17

Robert Thornton 16-9 Scott Waites
Phil Taylor 16-9 Adrian Lewis

PHIL TAYLOR'S incredible run of success continued with glory in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts for a fifth time on Sunday night, as he swept past Robert Thornton 16-6 in the final.
The World Champion's amazing 2013 continued as he followed up wins in the UK Open, World Matchplay, Sydney Masters, World Grand Prix and The Masters with a seventh major televised title as he took the £100,000 first prize in Wolverhampton.

Taylor followed up his stunning semi-final triumph over Adrian Lewis - in a game labelled by pundits as the greatest ever as the pair hit 32 180s and both averaged over 109 - with a dominant performance in the final to see off Thornton.

Thornton had seen off Scott Waites 16-9 in their semi-final earlier in the day, but missed nine darts at a double in the final's opening leg and never recovered as Taylor opened up a 5-0 lead in the blink of an eye.

Taylor stepped in to take the opening leg on double four, finished 76 and 121 to take the next two and then punished further misses from the Scot to land double six and double two to win five unanswered legs.

Thornton hit a 180 and finished 81 to get off the mark in leg six, and took out 116 and 121 as he pulled back to trail just 8-3.

Taylor, though, hit double eight and tops to win the next two before producing a hammer blow in the 14th leg, taking out a majestic 164 finish with Thornton waiting on 36.

Thornton hit tops and double ten to win back-to-back legs for the first time in the game, and after Taylor replied on double 16, a 90 finish saw him pull back to 12-6 and threaten a comeback.

A 98 finish, on double 19, saw Taylor restore his edge before he punished a miss from Thornton at tops, for a 116 finish, allowed the Stoke great in to hit double 16 in moving two legs from victory.

Double ten saw Taylor edge towards glory, and when Thornton missed the bullseye to take out 83, the world number one finished 64 on double four to seal another imperious triumph and a fourth successive major televised title.

Thornton had overcome Taylor as he won the 2012 UK Open title, and admitted: "That's probably a bit of revenge for Phil and we're one-each now!

Thornton had become a grandfather again earlier when his daughter gave birth to a boy, who was named Robert.

William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 17
Phil Taylor 16-6 Robert Thornton