Comeback Kid Waites Wins Daily Mirror Grand Slam Of Darts
Red Dragon’s SCOTT WAITES defeated James Wade 16-12 to win an incredible Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts final, coming from 8-0 down in claiming the £100,000 title at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
Waites made up for his defeat to Phil Taylor in last year^s final with a thrilling fightback to claim the biggest win of his career.
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He had overcome Steve Beaton 16-9 in Sunday afternoon^s semi-finals, and produced one of the sport^s finest comebacks to claim the prestigious trophy.
"It^s absolutely incredible," said Waites. "When I went 8-0 down I just wanted to get back into the game and make the scoreline respectable.
"But when I got closer to James I started to believe I could win it - but it^s not sunk in yet and probably won^t for some time. It feels so good to be called the Grand Slam of Darts champion."
Despite Waites opening the match with a 180, the first of three in as many legs, it was Wade who made the early running, hitting double top to break in the first leg, a 107 finish in the third and a 110 checkout in leg five.
A pair of double tops moved Wade 7-0 up in a stunning start, with Waites twice punished for missed doubles as the left-hander took complete control.
He also won the eighth on double ten to extend the lead further before Waites finally got off the mark on double 12.
Waites hit a 180 and double 18 to break in the tenth, before taking the next three to pull back to 8-5.
Wade slowed the fightback with a 90 finish, only for Waites to hit double top in the next and a 13-darter before checking out 68 to incredibly reduce the gap to just one leg.
The world number two landed a 180 and double ten to take the 18th leg, and after Waites missed the bull in the next a 97 finish saw him edge away again at 11-8.
Wade, though, missed three darts at double 12 in the next as Waites began a run of six successive legs which saw him grasp control, following up finishes of double 18 and double 16 with a superb 121 checkout to level.
Wade missed two darts to steal the next as Waites recovered from twice wasting his chance to land double four and move 12-11 up, before landing double nine in the next and a 180 in moving three legs clear.
Wade finished 70 to stem the tide, but a ninth 180 of the game in the next from Waites left him double eight, and he would then follow another maximum by hitting the same bed to complete a remarkable triumph.
"James^ finishing was phenomenal from the start - I hit three 180s and was 3-0 down!" Waites added. "When I won a leg and then another and five on the bounce I thought ^I can get back in this game^.
"I had to keep plodding away and I didn^t change my style. I started to hit my doubles straight away and the next thing I knew I was level.
"Then I got in front and just wanted to stay in front, and then I wanted to hold my throw and get to the winning double. To do a comeback like that in front of a live audience and on TV is unbelievable - I still can^t believe it."