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Article: Taylor claims Bolton Hat-trick

Taylor claims Bolton Hat-trick


PHIL TAYLOR claimed a Blue Square UK Open hat-trick with an 11-6 victory over Colin Osborne in the final at Bolton^s Reebok Stadium on Sunday night.

Taylor followed up his wins in the 2003 and 2005 events with a third victory, claiming the £40,000 winner^s cheque in bouncing back strongly from his Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts semi-final loss a fortnight ago.

The 14-time World Champion dropped just six legs in his opening three games in the event, before whitewashing Mark Lawrence in the quarter-finals.

He held off Ronnie Baxter^s challenge in the semi-finals - with the Evesham thrower coming back from 6-0 down to 7-6 before eventually losing 10-6 - before claiming the £40,000 winner^s cheque by seeing off Osborne.

Osborne, appearing in his first major final, led 3-0 in the decider before Taylor moved level with a 145 finish in a run of nine successive legs.

Osborne took three of the next four to stem the tide, but Taylor was too strong to claim victory on double top.

Osborne won the opening leg of the final on double top and hit the same bed to break Taylor^s throw in leg two and again in the third to make a brilliant start with legs of 15, 14 and 13 darts.

A poor third leg allowed Taylor in on double eight before he repeated the trick in the next and then landed a stunning 145 finish to level.

A 13-darter against the throw, featuring his third 180 of the game, pushed Taylor ahead of the first time after Osborne missed one dart at double top to regain his lead.

Double four pushed Taylor 5-3 up, and he landed double top, double 12 and double eight in taking a five-leg cushion.

That was extended to 9-3 on double ten before Osborne landed double 16 with Taylor waiting on a finish in the next.

Double five put Taylor a leg away from the title, only for legs of 13 and 14 darts to see Osborne threaten a comeback at 10-6.

However, Taylor swiftly wrapped up the victory, hitting a 13-darter and double top to ensure glory at Bolton for a third time.

"I^m over the moon to win this title again," said Taylor. "Colin kicked off fantastically in the final but I tried to grind him down and all of a sudden I had a few chances and took them.

"Colin won his semi-final and went back to his room and had a sleep for an hour, and for me having a half hour break made a difference.

"It^s a tough tournament to win and it was hard work - but the rewards are fantastic. I^m probably not fit enough and I need to work on that because players like Colin are younger and fitter than me.

"He^s a great player and has a lot of finals ahead of him. His talent is fantastic but he went a little bit during the middle session and I picked up on that and stepped in."

Osborne said: "I^m proud of reaching the final. Phil is the level I have to get to and you have to play your best darts not just to win it but to be with him all the time and unfortunately he was too good for me.

"Over the last six months in the floor tournaments I^ve been very consistent so I was in good spirits coming to Bolton.

"I kicked on and proved to myself that I can play well in front of the cameras too."

Blue Square UK Open


Kevin Painter 10-8 Alan Tabern

Colin Osborne 10-3 Jamie Caven

Ronnie Baxter 10-7 Terry Jenkins

Phil Taylor 10-0 Mark Lawrence


Colin Osborne 10-7 Kevin Painter

Phil Taylor 10-6 Ronnie Baxter


Phil Taylor 11-6 Colin Osborne



COLIN OSBORNE won through to his first major PDC final with a 10-7 victory over Kevin Painter at the Blue Square UK Open.

The Derby ace erased the memories of his 2007 semi-final defeat to Vincent van der Voort to see off Painter^s brave challenge.

Painter had battled through to his first UK Open semi-final, but he never recovered from allowing Osborne into a 5-1 lead early on.

Painter led after hitting double 19 in the opener, but Osborne took out 104 to level and punished four missed doubles to break and lead 2-1.

Osborne also took the next two and then hit a 177 score and a bullseye finish for a 5-1 cushion.

Painter took advantage of misses from Osborne to win the next two and halve the deficit, but then wasted two chances to take the ninth as double eight put the Derby man 6-3 up.

That was extended to 7-3 on double top before Painter fired in an 11-darter, featuring a 180 and a two-dart 86 finish.

He also began the 12th leg with a maximum, but double top put Osborne into an 8-4 lead and he also moved a leg away from victory at 9-5 after Painter edged a scrappy 13th on double one.

Painter hit a 180 on his way to the next leg, and stepped in after a missed double 16 for a 152 finish and victory from Osborne to pull back to 9-7.

A missed bullseye for a 170 checkout and two off-target efforts at double eight saw Osborne waste further match darts, but three misses from Painter gave him another chance, which he took on double four.

"It feels great," said Osborne. "I^ve done a lot of hard work and it^s coming to fruition.

"Kevin missed a few doubles and I had to try and jump on that, which I did. It was nervy trying to get over the finishing line and I did that eventually!"

Painter admitted: "I saved my worst performance for the semi-finals, although neither of us played our best darts.

"My finishing was what got me to the semi-finals and then I played Colin and couldn^t hit a double. I threw away five legs and that could have won me the match."


PHIL TAYLOR survived a huge scare from Ronnie Baxter before sealing his place in the Blue Square UK Open final with a 10-6 win.

Taylor looked set to follow up his quarter-final whitewash of Mark Lawrence with another heavy victory when he raced into a 6-0 lead.

However, Baxter won six of the next seven legs to cut the gap to one leg - only for Taylor to land a key 161 finish in jumping over the finishing line.

Baxter missed three darts to win the opening leg as Taylor broke throw immediately on double top, and then he extended the lead on double 16 and double ten.

Taylor^s accuracy on double top and double 16 saw him push clear to 6-0, hitting two 13-darters and three 14-dart finishes in his run.

Two misses at double 19 from Taylor gave Baxter a chance to get off the mark in the next, which he took on double ten.

Baxter also punished misses from Taylor to win a second leg, and then fired in an 11-darter to halve the deficit.

Double top put Taylor 7-3 up, but a 100 finish gave Baxter a fourth leg and he also won the next two to pull back to 7-6.

Taylor visibly showed the pressure, but took out double 12 to edge away and then piled in a brilliant 161 checkout to lead 9-6.

He almost repeated that finish to win the match, this time wiring the bullseye, before taking out double eight to progress to the decider.

"I^m through but I know I^ll have to improve for the final," said Taylor. "Ronnie was fantastic. I^d got him and then he came back and I started panicking, and he played really well, but the 161 was a massive shot.

"Colin has been doing the business all year, he is dedicated, works hard and he deserves to be in the final.

"It^s always a tough game against him - I^ve played him about ten times this year and it^s been a battle every time."

Baxter said: "I gave Phil a good head start but came back at him. I had three darts at a double in the first leg and missed too many doubles in the early legs.

"If anyone had said before the tournament that I^d reach the semi-finals, I^d have accepted that. It^s great to play well and get through to play Phil, who I love playing against."

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