DARTS: Taylor Wins Eddie Cox Memorial Players Championship
PHIL TAYLOR defeated Red Dragon DartsAlan Tabern 6-2 to win the Eddie Cox Memorial Players Championship in Gibraltar, which saw Mark Walsh hit his first competitive nine-dart leg.
Taylormade a victorious return to action following his recent Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship triumph to claim the £6,000 title in the first of two Stan James-sponsored events.
Having defeated Mick McGowan, Jelle Klaasen, Andy Smith and Steve Beaton to reach the semi-finals, he edged out Colin Osborne 6-5 to book his place in the decider.
He trailed Tabern 2-1 before levelling on double top and then producing a superb burst of finishing - taking out two-dart checkouts of 97, 88 and 78 to move a leg away from victory.
A 165 score set up a double eight finish in the next leg, which he landed for a 13-darter to seal the win.
Tabern edged out Mark Dudbridge 6-4 in the semis to reach his first PDC Pro Tour final since September, having seen off Henry Zapata, Julio Barbero Gonzalez, Andy Hamilton and Robert Thornton earlier in the competition.
Dudbridge and Osborne both followed up their runs to finals on the PDC Pro Tour in Doncaster last weekend with semi-final appearances in Gibraltar, while Steve Beaton was a quarter-finalist having reached the same stage in both Players Championship events on ^The Rock^ last year.
Kevin Painter, Robert Thornton and Mark Walsh were the other last eight losers, while world number two James Wade went out in the last 16.
Walsh hit his first nine-dart leg in competition in the deciding leg of his 6-5 win over Jamie Caven in round two, earning him a £1,600 bonus.
Colin Lloyd - last Sunday^s Blue Square UK Open North-East Regional Final winner - Mervyn King, Dennis Priestley, Peter Manley and Ronnie Baxter were first round casualties.
Roland Scholten, who has been impaired by a shoulder injury for the last six months, grabbed a 6-0 win over Nicholas Gumbo on his return to action, before losing narrowly to John Quantock.
Play continues on Sunday at the Victoria Stadium with the StanJames.com Players Championship.
Eddie Cox Memorial Players Championship
Mick McGowan 6-2 Marti Santamaria
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Sean Palfrey
Jonathan Overton 6-2 Robbie O^Keefee
Denis Ovens 6-0 Eric Segui
Carlos Rodriguez 6-5 David Fatum
Andy Smith 6-2 Andrew Davies
Javier Costa 6-4 Dayle Ramirez
Louis Blundell 6-3 Kevin Harris
Steve Beaton 6-4 Barrie Bates
Jacko Barry 6-1 Shane Cox
Peter Wright 6-2 David Farras
Wes Newton 6-0 Alan Kimberley
Steve Brown 6-0 Carlos Garbayo
Steve Evans 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Par Riihonen
Matt Clark 6-1 Sergio Gil Sanchez
Wayne Atwood 6-1 Jason Clark
Mark Walsh 6-1 Dyson Parody
Jamie Caven 6-1 Jesus Martinez
John MaGowan 6-0 Jon Archer
Wayne Jones 6-4 Dave Honey
Colin Monk 6-4 Chris Cooper
George Federico 6-4 Darren Latham
Alex Roy 6-5 Martyn Turner
Dylan Duo 6-0 Steve Randall
Toni Munoz 6-4 Dave Ladley
Andy Jenkins 6-2 Juan Carlos Garcia
Robert Watson-Lang 6-1 Duncan Stewart
Roland Scholten 6-0 Nicholas Cumbo
John Quantock 6-1 Paul Wills
Robert Thornton 6-1 Ben Burton
Manolo Rodriguez 6-2 Danny Peach
Russell Mason Bye (Alan Caves)
Chris Mason 6-4 Chris Thompson
Steve Hine 6-4 Simon Craven
Henry Zapata 6-1 Stefan Federico
Adrian Gray Bye (Steve Maish)
Julio Barbero Gonzalez 6-3 Jose Villalobos
Darren Johnson 6-1 Tony Ayres
Lionel Sams 6-2 Kevin McDine
Robbie Newland 6-3 Francisco Ruiz
Jim Withers 6-3 Francisco Cruz
Mark Dudbridge 6-0 Anastasia Dobromyslova
Gary Mawson 6-2 Jim Leighton
Justin Broton 6-4 George Ramos
Tony Eccles 6-1 Ian Jopling
Celestino Mendoza 6-0 Nick Chadwick
Kevin Painter 6-0 Steve Grubb
Jose Perales 6-3 Daniel Duran
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Ian Perkins
Tony Blundell 6-1 Eric Asquez
Phil Taylor 6-3 Mick McGowan
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Jonathan Overton
Carlos Rodriguez 6-3 Denis Ovens
Andy Smith 6-0 Javier Costa
Louis Blundell 6-3 Colin Lloyd
Steve Beaton 6-1 Jacko Barry
Peter Wright 6-2 Dennis Priestley
Wes Newton 6-2 Steve Brown
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Steve Evans
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Matt Clark
Wayne Atwood 6-2 Peter Manley
Mark Walsh 6-5 Jamie Caven
John MaGowan 6-3 Mervyn King
Wayne Jones 6-2 Colin Monk
Colin Osborne 6-3 George Federico
Dylan Duo 6-5 Alex Roy
James Wade 6-0 Toni Munoz
Robert Watson-Lang 6-4 Andy Jenkins
John Quantock 6-5 Roland Scholten
Robert Thornton 6-3 Manolo Rodriguez
Andy Hamilton 6-1 Russell Mason
Steve Hine 6-3 Chris Mason
Alan Tabern 6-1 Henry Zapata
Julio Barbero Gonzalez 6-5 Adrian Gray
Darren Johnson 6-1 Wayne Mardle
Lionel Sams 6-2 Robbie Newland
Jim Withers 6-5 Ronnie Baxter
Mark Dudbridge 6-3 Gary Mawson
Terry Jenkins 6-0 Justin Broton
Tony Eccles 6-0 Celestino Mendoza
Kevin Painter 6-3 Jose Perales
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Tony Blundell
Phil Taylor 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Andy Smith 6-5 Carlos Rodriguez
Steve Beaton 6-1 Louis Blundell
Peter Wright 6-4 Wes Newton
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Mark Walsh 6-0 Wayne Atwood
Wayne Jones 6-0 John MaGowan
Colin Osborne 6-2 Dylan Duo
James Wade 6-3 Robert Watson-Lang
Robert Thornton 6-4 John Quantock
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Steve Hine
Alan Tabern 6-0 Julio Barbero Gonzalez
Lionel Sams 6-0 Darren Johnson
Mark Dudbridge 6-1 Jim Withers
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Tony Eccles
Kevin Painter 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor 6-3 Andy Smith
Steve Beaton 6-3 Peter Wright
Mark Walsh 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Colin Osborne 6-4 Wayne Jones
Robert Thornton 6-4 James Wade
Alan Tabern 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Lionel Sams
Kevin Painter 6-3 Terry Jenkins
Phil Taylor 6-2 Steve Beaton
Colin Osborne 6-4 Mark Walsh
Alan Tabern 6-2 Robert Thornton
Mark Dudbridge 6-3 Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor 6-5 Colin Osborne
Alan Tabern 6-4 Mark Dudbridge
Phil Taylor 6-2 Alan Tabern
Denis Ovens is the first winner of the day, whitewashing qualifier Eric Segui.
World Championship qualifiers Steve Grubb and Tony Ayres are knocked out, by Kevin Painter and Darren Johnson respectively.
Mick McGowan wins 6-2 against qualifier Marti Santamaria.
Wayne Atwood sees off Jason Clark 6-1, and John MaGowan whitewashes Jon Archer.
Peter Wright defeats qualifier David Farras 6-2, with Louis Blundell overcoming Kevin Harris 6-3.
Roland Scholten makes a winning return to action with whitewash of Nicholas Cumbo.
Steve Evans sees off Nick Fullwell, and Chris Mason defeats Chris Thompson 6-4.
Henry Zapata defeats Stefan Federico 6-1 to set up clash with Alan Tabern.
Justin Broton is 6-4 winner against George Ramos.
Qualifier Toni Munoz defeats Dave Ladley 6-4, and Darren Latham loses by the same scoreline to George Federico.
Mark Walsh takes 6-1 win over Dyson Parody, and Jelle Klaasen is 6-2 winner against Sean Palfrey.
Lionel Sams defeats Kevin McDine 6-2.
Mark Dudbridge - the runner-up in last Saturday^s Players Championship - whitewashes Anastasia Dobromyslova.
Spanish ace Carlos Rodriguez edges out David Fatum 6-5, and Alex Roy is another deciding-leg winner, against Martyn Turner.
Steve Beaton knocks out Barrie Bates 6-4, with Wayne Jones seeing off Dave Honey by the same score.
Steve Brown and Michael van Gerwen enjoy 6-0 wins against Carlos Garbayo and Ian Perkins respectively.
Robert Thornton takes 6-1 win against Ben Burton.
Andy Smith, Kirk Shepherd, Colin Monk and Jacko Barry all take opening victories.
Matt Clark wins 6-1 against Sergio Gil Sanchez.
Andy Hamilton is first man into last 32 with 6-1 win over Russell Mason.
Wayne Atwood defeats Peter Manley 6-2.
Colin Lloyd and Dennis Priestley are defeated, losing 6-3 and 6-2 respectively to Louis Blundell and Peter Wright.
Alan Tabern is 6-1 winner against Henry Zapata.
Jim Withers knocks out Ronnie Baxter in a deciding leg.
John MaGowan defeats Mervyn King 6-3.
Phil Taylor returns to action with 6-3 win over Mick McGowan in his first competitive game since the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship final.
James Wade is 6-0 winner against Toni Munoz.
Colin Osborne, Terry Jenkins and Steve Hine progress to last 32.
Mark Walsh hits nine-darter to win deciding leg of his clash with Jamie Caven, earning him a £1,600 bonus.
Steve Beaton wins 6-1 against Jacko Barry, and now meets Louis Blundell in second round.
Wes Newton is 6-2 winner against Steve Brown.
^s Dylan Duo wins deciding leg against Alex Roy, punishing missed doubles from the Englishman to set up second round meeting with Colin Osborne.
Adrian Lewis, Wayne Jones, Mark Dudbridge and Lionel Sams all progress.
Wins for Kevin Painter and Michael van Gerwen mean they meet in last 32.
Robert Watson-Lang defeats Andy Jenkins 6-4, setting up a double 16 game shot with a 174 score in the tenth leg.
Kirk Shepherd edges past Matt Clark.
Robert Thornton completes first round action with 6-3 win over Manolo Rodriguez.
Andy Hamilton edges past Steve Hine in a deciding leg to move into last 16.
Steve Beaton moves into third round with 6-1 win over Louis Blundell.
Phil Taylor is another 6-1 winner, this time seeing off Jelle Klaasen.
Mark Walsh follows up his earlier nine-darter with whitewash win over Wayne Jones.
Lionel Sams whitewashes Darren Johnson.
Wayne Jones is another whitewash winner, this time against John MaGowan.
Peter Wright defeats Wes Newton 6-4 to reach last 16, where he meets Steve Beaton.
Terry Jenkins wins 6-2 against Tony Eccles to move into third round.
Kevin Painter wins deciding leg battle with Michael van Gerwen.
Alan Tabern whitewashes Julio Balbero Gonzalez.
Adrian Lewis and Colin Osborne progress with 6-2 wins over Kirk Shepherd and Dylan Duo respectively.
Mark Dudbridge wins 6-1 against Jim Withers.
James Wade moves through to last 16 with 6-3 win over Robert Watson-Lang.
Andy Smith wins deciding leg against Carlos Rodriguez, who came from 5-1 down to level before losing 6-5.
Robert Thornton wins 6-4 against John Quantock to move into last 16.
Steve Beaton progresses to quarter-finals with 6-3 win over Peter Wright.
Mark Dudbridge and Kevin Painter set up quarter-final clash with wins over Lionel Sams and Terry Jenkins.
Mark Walsh moves into last eight with 6-4 win over Adrian Lewis.
Colin Osborne overcomes Wayne Jones 6-4 and now meets Walsh.
Alan Tabern wins 6-4 against Andy Hamilton.
Phil Taylor overcomes Andy Smith 6-3 to book his quarter-final spot, against Beaton.
Robert Thornton produces two superb legs to pull from 4-4 to win 6-4 against James Wade, hitting seven perfect darts in a ten-darter to break the deadlock before landing two more maximums in his winning leg.
Mark Dudbridge remains on course for a second successive Players Championship final following a 6-3 defeat of Kevin Painter.
Colin Osborne - last week^s Blue Square UK Open North-East Regional Final runner-up - wins semi-final place with 6-4 defeat of Mark Walsh.
Phil Taylor books his semi-final spot with a win over Steve Beaton - who was also a quarter-finalist in both tournaments in Gibraltar last year.
Alan Tabern ends Robert Thornton^s run with a 6-2 quarter-final victory, meaning he now meets Dudbridge in the last four.
Phil Taylor won a tight deciding leg battle with Colin Osborne 6-5.
won the opening leg on double two, having earlier hit a 177 only to miss four darts at a double before punishing a missed double 16 from Osborne.
Osborne won the next two, only for Taylor to start the next two legs with 180s and finish in 14 and 11 darts to lead 3-2.
The two traded maximums in leg six, only for five missed doubles to cost Taylor as Osborne levelled.
An 11-darter from Taylor, which included a fourth 180 in as many legs, put him 4-3 up - with Osborne waiting on 81 after hitting three 140s.
Double 16 saw Osborne level, and the next two were shared to send the game into a decider, which Taylor began with a maximum and finished on double two to move into the final.
Alan Tabern denied Mark Dudbridge a second successive Players Championship final appearance with a 6-4 win in the second semi.
Tabern punished a slow start from Dudbridge to take the first two legs, on double six and double eight, before two double top finishes saw the Bristol man level.
A 161 checkout saw Tabern move 3-2 up, before the next four legs were shared to leave him a leg away from victory, which was sealed thanks to a fine 12-darter.