NINE-DART TAYLOR TAKES PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP WIN IN READING
PHIL TAYLOR won his first Players Championship of 2012 by following up a nine-darter with a 6-1 defeat of Wes Newton in Saturday^s final at the Rivermead Centre in Reading.
The world number one continued his imperious start to the year with a classy display, losing more than one leg only once in seven matches during the day as he claimed the £6,000 first prize.
Having defeated James Richardson 6-1 in the first round, he defeated Tony West by the same scoreline in round two, hitting a brilliant nine-darter in the process as he followed up scores of 174 and 177 by taking out 150 with a treble 20, bull and double top combination.
He then whitewashed Stoke rival Ian White and came from 3-0 down to defeat Andy Smith 6-3 in the last 16, before seeing off Kim Huybrechts and Simon Whitlock to reach the final.
There, Taylor led 2-0 before Newton punished a missed bullseye for a 121 finish to win the third on double ten.
Taylor, though, replied with legs of 11 and 12 darts to move 4-1 up, finished 70 to win a fifth leg and sealed the win in 14 darts by checking out 84.
"It^s a brilliant day^s work," said Taylor, who averaged 113.54 in the final. "The win pretty much means I^ll be in the Players Championship Finals later in the year, and it^s great to keep my form up.
"When you look around the field and see the games going on elsewhere, you realise how hard each tournament is, so I^m really pleased to have won."
Taylor^s nine-darter was his 15th in competition - following his recent effort in the McCoy^s Premier League Darts in Aberdeen - and earns him a £400 bonus.
"It was special because it didn^t involve a 180," added Taylor. "I missed a couple of others too and it shows I^m playing well."
Newton produced his own fightback from 3-0 down as he hit back to defeat Gary Anderson 6-4 in the semi-finals, taking out finishes of 109, 105 and 127 in sealing the victory.
Newton picked up £3,000 on the day and also defeated Steve Evans, Brian Woods, Colin Lloyd, Connie Finnan and Mervyn King.
Emerging Belgian star Huybrechts saw off World Champion Adrian Lewis, world number three James Wade and five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld in his run to the quarter-finals before losing to Taylor.
Terry Jenkins, Dave Chisnall and Mervyn King joined Huybrechts in reaching the quarter-finals, while Alex Roy, Ronnie Baxter, Mark Webster, Brendan Dolan and Andy Smith were others to reach the last 16.
Play continues at Reading^s Rivermead Centre with a further Players Championship on Sunday.
Players Championship 3
Rivermead Centre, Reading - Saturday March 10
Gary Anderson (1) Bye
Mareno Michels 6-4 Josh Jones
Alan Tabern (32) 6-4 Matt Clark
Dennis Smith 6-5 Magnus Caris
Kevin Painter (16) 6-3 Keegan Brown
Jason Crawley 6-4 Ted Hankey
Arron Monk 6-4 Michael van Gerwen (17)
Alex Roy 6-3 Mike Veitch
Dave Chisnall (8) 6-2 Reece Robinson
William O^Connor 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Wayne Jones (25) 6-2 Paul Rowley
Andy Jenkins 6-2 Ross Smith
Ronnie Baxter (9) 6-1 Stephen Hardy
Andy Brown 6-5 Devon Petersen
Michael Barnard 6-2 Mark Hylton (24)
John Bowles 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Paul Nicholson (5) 6-1 Andrew Cornwall
Adrian Gray 6-2 Steve Hine
Jamie Lewis 6-1 Denis Ovens (28)
Darren Whittingham 6-4 Gino Vos
Mervyn King (12) 6-1 Jim Walker
Mark Jones 6-5 Jyhan Artut
Jamie Caven (21) 6-2 Terry Temple
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Gareth Pass
Wes Newton (4) 6-3 Steve Evans
Brian Woods 6-4 Carlos Rodriguez
Colin Lloyd (29) 6-3 Gaz Cousins
Steve West 6-4 Dyson Parody
Colin Osborne (13) 6-3 Keith Stephen
Connie Finnan 6-1 Barrie Bates
Steve Beaton (20) 6-2 Mark Dudbridge
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Kevin Dowling
Justin Pipe (2) 6-5 Liam Kelly
Michael Smith 6-2 Ian Moss
Terry Jenkins (31) 6-4 Co Stompe
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Joe Cullen
Mark Walsh (15) 6-5 John Henderson
Jeff Smith 6-5 Nigel Heydon
Mark Webster (18) 6-3 Joe Murnan
Peter Hudson 6-1 Daniel Starkey
John Part (7) 6-3 Stuart Kellett
Brendan Dolan 6-3 James Hubbard
Scott Rand (26) 6-2 Mick Todd
Shaun Griffiths 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Simon Whitlock (10) 6-1 Tony Littleton
Dean Winstanley 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Kevin McDine 6-5 Steve Brown (23)
Chris Thompson 6-1 Bernd Roith
Gary Butcher 6-4 Vincent van der Voort (6)
Nigel Birch 6-5 Andy Relf
Raymond van Barneveld (27) 6-5 Michael Mansell
Steve Farmer 6-5 Paul Barham
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 James Wade (11)
Les Wallace 6-5 Ian Jopling
Adrian Lewis (22) 6-3 Steve Grubb
Johnny Haines 6-3 Matt Jackson
Phil Taylor (3) 6-1 James Richardson
Tony West 6-0 Paddy Meaney
Robert Thornton 6-1 Richie Burnett (30)
Ian White 6-1 Dave Smith
Richie Howson 6-5 Peter Wright (14)
Roland Scholten 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Andy Smith (19) 6-0 John Scott
Darren Johnson 6-2 Antonio Alcinas
Gary Anderson 6-0 Mareno Michels
Dennis Smith 6-1 Alan Tabern
Jason Crawley 6-3 Kevin Painter
Alex Roy 6-0 Arron Monk
Dave Chisnall 6-5 William O^Connor
Wayne Jones 6-5 Andy Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter 6-0 Andy Brown
John Bowles 6-3 Michael Barnard
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Adrian Gray
Jamie Lewis 6-1 Darren Whittingham
Mervyn King 6-2 Mark Jones
Jamie Caven 6-4 Prakash Jiwa
Wes Newton 6-1 Brian Woods
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Steve West
Connie Finnan 6-5 Colin Osborne
Nick Fullwell 6-5 Steve Beaton
Michael Smith 6-2 Justin Pipe
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Mark Walsh 6-2 Jeff Smith
Mark Webster 6-1 Peter Hudson
Brendan Dolan 6-2 John Part
Shaun Griffiths 6-3 Scott Rand
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Dean Winstanley
Kevin McDine 6-3 Chris Thompson
Gary Butcher 6-2 Nigel Birch
Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Steve Farmer
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Les Wallace
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Johnny Haines
Phil Taylor 6-1 Tony West - Phil Taylor hits nine-dart finish
Ian White 6-2 Robert Thornton
Richie Howson 6-3 Roland Scholten
Andy Smith 6-3 Darren Johnson
Gary Anderson 6-4 Dennis Smith
Alex Roy 6-5 Jason Crawley
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Wayne Jones
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 John Bowles
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Jamie Lewis
Mervyn King 6-4 Jamie Caven
Wes Newton 6-2 Colin Lloyd
Connie Finnan 6-2 Nick Fullwell
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Michael Smith
Mark Webster 6-5 Mark Walsh
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Shaun Griffiths
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Kevin McDine
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Gary Butcher
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 6-0 Ian White
Andy Smith 6-2 Richie Howson
Gary Anderson 6-5 Alex Roy
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Mervyn King 6-1 Paul Nicholson
Wes Newton 6-3 Connie Finnan
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 6-3 Andy Smith
Gary Anderson 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Wes Newton 6-3 Mervyn King
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Terry Jenkins
Phil Taylor 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Wes Newton 6-4 Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor 6-1 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 6-1 Wes Newton
Final - Leg-By-Leg
Wes Newton v Phil Taylor
0-0 - Wes Newton wins the bull and will throw first.
0-1 - Despite two 140s from Newton, Taylor is first to a finish and takes out 65 for a 14-darter to break throw immediately.
0-2 - Taylor scores 100, 140 and 180 before finishing double 16 for a 13-darter.
1-2 - Newton leaves 40 with a fine 139 score, and when Taylor misses the bull for a 121 checkout he lands double ten to get off the mark in 14 darts.
1-3 - Taylor scores 139, 137 and 180 to leave 45 after nine darts, and finishes double 16 for an 11-darter.
1-4 - Taylor opens with a 180, Newton also hits a maximum before the world number one lands another to set up a potential nine-darter, and although he misses a seventh treble 20 he returns to win the leg in 12 darts on double eight.
1-5 - Taylor finishes 70 on tops to move a leg away from victory.
1-6 - Taylor leaves 84 after 12 darts and, despite Newton hitting 133 to set up 40 the world number one takes out the combination in two darts for a 14-darter in sealing the win.
Final Averages: Wes Newton 101.70, Phil Taylor 113.54