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Article: PDC Media Release - Taylor Wins Championship League Darts

PDC Media Release - Taylor Wins Championship League Darts

PHIL TAYLOR claimed victory in the inaugural Championship League Darts final with a 7-5 victory over Mervyn King.

The 13-time World Champion swept through the eight-man field at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex in the Winners Group, sitting unbeaten after seven league games and winning through the play-offs.

Only Mark Dudbridge took a point from Taylor in the league phase with a draw in the final round of matches, before the Stoke legend defeated Alan Tabern 6-4 in the semi-finals and came from 3-2 down to defeat King 7-5 in the final.

Taylor claimed a total of £20,050 in the tournament, having won £3,350 in taking victory in Group One, £6,700 in prize money in the Winners Group and an additional £10,000 as the champion.

"I^m over the moon," said Taylor. "It^s a fantastic competition and will get bigger and bigger.

"The players have loved it, it^s good money for everyone and has been exciting to play in - as today showed.

"I let Mervyn in a bit in the final and he^s a great player, who has climbed fast up the rankings and earned his place in the final.

"He missed a couple of doubles and I managed to step in and hit some crucial finishes at the right time."

King picked up £5,000 as runner-up, in addition to £5,300 in winning legs during the day to take his tournament earnings to £15,700.

Walsh finished second in the league phase with four wins and two draws from his seven matches, but went down to King 6-5 in a thrilling semi-final.

Walsh took his earnings to £15,350 in the event, which was played over nine days and screened exclusively live on the internet through and

Adrian Lewis failed to reach the Winners Group despite six successful league days which earned him £15,250, whilst the total prize money paid out in the event was more than £175,000.

Andy Hamilton, who finished seventh in the Winners Group, won £11,950 in five days competing in the event, while Tabern (£11,900) and Mark Dudbridge (£10,900) also topped £10,000.

Taylor^s win meant that there would be no new qualifier from Championship League Darts for the Grand Slam of Darts, giving ITV Wildcard Qualifier runner-up Colin McGarry a place in the tournament.

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First Round of Games

Mark Walsh made a sensational start to the Winners Group with a 6-1 rout of Mark Dudbridge. Walsh won Group Eight on Wednesday and carried on where he left off with a brilliant showing to leave Dudbridge reeling. Walsh won the first leg on double 18 and punished a missed double 16 from Dudbridge in the next to lead 2-0. Three misses at double eight from Group Seven winner Dudbridge allowed Walsh to take the third before a miss from the Hertfordshire man - at double 12 for a 141 finish - allowed Dudbridge to get off the mark by hitting the same bed. Walsh restored his advantage at 4-1, and landed double ten in the next two legs to complete a comprehensive triumph.

Phil Taylor opened his Winners Group challenge with a 6-2 win over Alan Tabern. Taylor, the Group One champion, overcame some nervy doubles to claim maximum £600 prize money from his first match. Double two gave him the first leg, but after three 140 scores went to waste when he missed three darts at a double and Tabern returned for double 16 to level. Double ten saw Taylor move 2-1 up, and he edged clear after three misses from Tabern gave him a second bite at the cherry in leg four. Double top put Taylor 4-1 up, and though Tabern took leg six the 13-time World Champion swiftly closed out the win with finishes of 106 and 81.

Colin Osborne opened his bid with a 6-3 comeback win over Vincent van der Voort. Osborne took out 110 in the first leg, but van der Voort claimed three of the next four for a 3-2 lead. However, Osborne levelled on double top and then won the next two to lead 5-3 before trading 180s in the next with the Dutchman and taking out double four for both points.

Mervyn King grabbed a draw with Andy Hamilton in a see-saw battle. King came from a leg down to take a 4-1 lead, matching some superb scoring with clinical finishing. Hamilton, though, hit back with four legs in a row of his own to lead 5-4, But King landed a fourth 180 of the game in the decider before taking out double five for a point.

Second Round of Games

Mervyn King remains unbeaten following a superb 6-1 demolition of Vincent van der Voort. King followed up his draw in game one with six successive legs against the Dutchman - who hit scores of 180 and 140 on his way to the opening leg but was given little chance after. King took out 93 for the second leg, and added finishes of 96 and 101 in taking a 4-1 lead, before hitting double eight in leg six and closing out the win in the seventh.

Phil Taylor picked up a second successive win with a final-leg defeat of Mark Walsh. Taylor followed up his defeat of Alan Tabern by taking leads of 2-0 and 3-1 against Walsh to take charge early on. A 102 checkout gave Walsh leg five before Taylor landed two maximums in winning the sixth, before double 16 earned him a minimum of a draw at 5-3. A missed dart at double top for the match let Walsh take the ninth, but double 19 in the decider gave Taylor the victory.

Alan Tabern snatched a draw with Mark Dudbridge in a final-leg thriller. Tabern took the game^s first three legs to put himself in command, before Dudbridge roared back to level. An 81 finish put Tabern 4-3 up, but a 101 checkout from Dudbridge was followed by a double 16 finish as he took a 5-4 cushion. However, the Bristol man missed double top for a 120 finish in the decider, but a cool two-dart 68 finish earned Tabern a share of the spoils.

Andy Hamilton and Colin Osborne also shared the points with a draw in their second games. There was little to separate the duo throughout, with Osborne taking out a 156 finish to lead 3-2 before Hamilton finished on 98 for a 4-3 advantage. Osborne landed a 180 for a second successive leg in levelling at four-all, and double top earned him at least a draw, before Hamilton landed the same bed for a point.

Third Round of Games

Phil Taylor made it three wins from as many games with a 6-4 win over Vincent van der Voort to leave the Dutchman without a point at the foot of the table. Van der Voort opened with a 13-darter and led 2-1 before Taylor took three in a row to move 4-2 up. The Dutchman landed double 16 for the seventh leg, but Taylor hit scores of 140 and 180 in taking the eighth, and sealed the win in a deciding leg.

Mark Walsh picked up a second win of the day with a 6-2 win over Mervyn King. Walsh made a sensational start, taking out 100, 81 and 118 to lead 3-0, before King replied with a 137 checkout to get off the Mark. King also took the sixth leg to trail 4-2, but back-to-back legs from Walsh gave him the win.

Mark Dudbridge won his first game of the Winners Group with a 6-3 defeat of Andy Hamilton. The Stoke man won the opening leg with a two-dart 88 finish, only for Dudbridge to win five in a row and ensure a minimum of a draw. Hamilton took the next two as Dudbridge stuttered at the finishing line, but the Bristolian secured the win in leg nine.

Colin Osborne produced some finishing of the highest order to claim a draw with Alan Tabern. Osborne led 2-0 and 3-2 before the St Helens star took advantage of six missed doubles to level and then landed double 16 to lead 4-3. A 145 checkout from Osborne levelled, with Tabern taking leg nine to earn at least a point before a 116 finish saw the Derby man grab a draw.

Fourth Round of Games

Phil Taylor picked up win number four of the Winners Group with a 6-1 defeat of Mervyn King. King shared the second leg but a ten-darter in the third put Taylor back in front and he swiftly pulled clear with five successive legs to take the win.

Mark Walsh continued his run of form with a 6-2 defeat of Vincent van der Voort. Walsh continuing his clinical finishing on double top in taking a 3-0 lead, before the winless Dutchman took two in a row to reduce the arrears. But Walsh took leg six to restore his advantage, with double eight edging him 5-2 up before he landed a maximum and double 14 to seal victory.

Andy Hamilton drew for the third time in the Winners Group with a five-all finish against Alan Tabern. Tabern led 3-1 before Hamilton fired in a 14-darter and then won leg six to level. The next four legs were shared as the pair divided the points, with Hamilton taking out double eight in the deciding leg for his third stalemate.

Colin Osborne remained unbeaten with a third successive draw, this time claiming a point from Mark Dudbridge in a deciding leg. Dudbridge took the opener before the Derby man took three in a row, including seven perfect darts in the fourth leg but missing out on a potential nine-darter on treble 15. Dudbridge won the next three to lead 4-3, and also landed a 180 in going 5-4 up to secure a point - before Osborne landed double 18 to snatch a draw.

Fifth Round of Games

The first whitewash of the Winners Group saw Phil Taylor maintain his advantage at the top of the table with a fifth successive victory, seeing off Colin Osborne. Taylor defied a break following a power cut to return and take out 96 for the opening leg, and hit 148 to double his lead, before moving 4-0 up and then firing in an 11-darter to take the fifth leg and double top for the win.

Mervyn King came from behind to move onto five points in the league table with a 6-3 defeat of Mark Dudbridge. Dudbridge led 2-1 before King won three legs in a row to take a 4-2 cushion. Double top gave Dudbridge leg seven, before King matched that in the eighth for a minimum of a point. He then wrapped up the victory on double ten to boost his play-off hopes.

Alan Tabern matched Taylor^s 6-0 triumph with a whitewash to continue Vincent van der Voort^s miserable campaign in the Winners Group. Tabern was was too strong in taking command early on, and pulled 5-0 up before hitting a maximum and taking out 121 for the match.

Mark Walsh maintained his strong challenge at the head of the table with a 6-3 win over Andy Hamilton. Walsh led 3-0 before Hamilton battled back to lead 3-2, but Walsh hit double top to level and a key 180 in the next leg to restore his advantage. A bullseye finish gave him a 5-3 lead, and he hit a 177 before sealing the win on double top in the next.

Sixth Round of Games

Alan Tabern grabbed a draw with Mervyn King to share two points which may prove vital in the final outcome. Tabern took out 113 to lead, with King finishing 155 on the bull for a 2-1 advantage. Tabern won the next three legs, hitting two maximums in one, before a hat-trick from King earned him a point. But Osborne took a share of the spoils in the deciding leg, hitting double 12 for a draw.

Mark Walsh denied Colin Osborne a vital win as both continued their play-off challenges with a draw. Walsh took a 3-2 lead with typical accuracy on double top before Osborne, aided by a third 180 of the game, levelled and then took the next two to earn at least a point at 5-3. Double four saw Walsh send the game into a decider, and Osborne missed double seven for a 122 finish before the Watford man grabbed a draw with a 108 checkout.

Vincent van der Voort claimed his first win of the Winners Group and effectively ended Mark Dudbridge^s play-off challenge with a 6-2 victory.  Dudbridge led with an 86 checkout, but van der Voort showed his true colours with five successive legs thanks to some clinical accuracy on double 16 and eight. Dudbridge took leg seven on double ten to stay in the game, but his hope was short-lived as the Dutchman sealed victory on double eight.

Phil Taylor ended Andy Hamilton^s play-off chances in the Winners Group with a final-leg 13-darter in their clash. Taylor continued his dominant form on the final day by taking leads of 2-0 and 4-2 before a bull finish pulled Hamilton back to within a leg. Double ten secured Taylor a point at 5-3 before a 130 finish from Hamilton gave him a chance going into the deciding leg - only for Taylor to end with a 13-darter on double top for a sixth straight victory.

Seventh Round of Games

Mervyn King edged out Colin Osborne to book his place in the semi-finals and also end the Derby man^s hopes of qualifying for the play-offs. Osborne came from 2-0 down to level at three-all before finishes of double 16 and double nine earned King the point that sealed his play-off spot - with a 93 checkout from Osborne keeping him in the game and sending the match to a decider - only for King to seal the win on double top.

Mark Dudbridge ended his campaign with a draw against top-placed Phil Taylor - but missed his chance to inflict a first defeat of the day on the Stoke legend. Dudbridge came from 2-1 down to lead 3-2 and 4-3, and sealed at least a draw with a 94 finish. Taylor won leg nine, but Dudbridge hit a 180 in the decider only to miss double top for a 109 checkout and victory, before Taylor grabbed a point on double top to finish the league phase unbeaten.

Alan Tabern grabbed a draw with Mark Walsh in their final league game - but it was not enough for the St Helens man to avoid playing Phil Taylor in the semis, having needed a win to jump above Mervyn King into third. Tabern led 3-0 before Walsh, buoyed by a 110 checkout in the fourth, took five legs in a row to earn himself a draw. Tabern won leg nine to send the game into a decider, and took out 124 to grab a draw.

Andy Hamilton and Vincent van der Voort shared the spoils in their final match, with the Stoke star hitting the day^s highest finish of 170 in taking a 2-0 lead. Van der Voort hit back to lead 3-2 before Hamilton made the Dutchman pay for missed doubles in levelling and then moving 4-3 up. Van der Voort took leg eight but double six earned Hamilton a point and the Dutchman won the decider.

Those results mean Taylor meets Tabern in the first semi-final, with Walsh meeting King in the £200-a-leg play-offs.


Phil Taylor booked his place in the final of Championship League Darts with a superb comeback to defeat Alan Tabern 6-4. The St Helens man held the early advantage, leading 2-1 and then securing the first break of throw with a superb 11-darter. That sparked Taylor into gear, as he hit back immediately on double six, levelled despite a maximum from Tabern and then won the next two legs on double 12 to lead 5-3. Tabern took leg nine and hit 140 to leave 40 in the next - only for Taylor to clinically check out 85 in two darts for the win.

Mervyn King came from 3-0 down to win a place in the Championship League Darts final with a thrilling 6-5 win over Mark Walsh. Walsh broke throw twice early on to lead 3-0, only for King to break back in leg four and take out 110 in the fifth. Double top put Walsh 4-2 up, but King won the next two to level. However, the Norfolk man wired the bullseye for a 124 finish in leg nine, with Walsh hitting 177 to set up a double top finish - but crucially it was Walsh who missed in the next, with one dart at his beloved tops for victory. King landed double ten to send the game into a decider, and hit scores of 177 and 137 to pull clear before hitting double 16 to take victory.

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