Taylor gets job done as nine-dart hero Newton loses
As the last 16 at the World Matchplay came to an end, Phil Taylor was far from his best but managed to beat Ian White to reach the quarter-finals.
The Power has been using different darts to the ones he used in the UK Open final defeat to Robert Thornton, but he didn’t look comfortable at all on the oche, despite getting a 13-3 win over his former practice partner White.
Taylor was almost on the verge of losing to Mervyn King in the opening round, and against White he was never really pushed, although he wasn’t at his brilliant best.
When the 15-time champion of the world led 6-3, he didn’t drop a single leg afterwards as he raced to the victory, posting top finishes of 107, 109 and 170.
Searching for a 13th World Matchplay crown at Blackpool this week, Taylor knows he must do better than the reigning and back-to-back world champion Adrian Lewis, as if the latter goes further than him or beat him in a potential final, the top spot in the world rankings would go to Lewis.
Local boy Wes Newton didn’t quite have the night he would have wanted to remember, as he hit a nine darter but ended up losing 13-10 to Justin Pipe.
Michael van Gerwen hit one last night, and for the second night in a row the Winter Gardens was set alight, this time by Newton, but from being 10-8 in front, he lost five legs on the spin as Pipe superbly fought back to book his place in the quarter-finals of a major television tournament for the very first time.
In the evening’s opening match, world finalist Andy Hamilton got the better of former BDO Lakeside world champion Mark Webster. The Hammer was tied at 6-6 against the Welshman, but put his foot on the gas to march towards the finishing line as Webster began to falter, and he sealed a 13-6 win by winning seven legs in a row. Ronnie Baxter meanwhile reached the quarter-finals with a 13-8 win over Gary Anderson's conqueror Dean Winstanley.
Whether Scott Waites will win as many world titles as Phil Taylor may not be a matter for debate if only because it is hard to believe anyone matching the Power.
Scott Waites will play Tony O'Shea in the final of the BDO world Championship at the Lakeside Country Club.
The BDO world championship might be the poor relation in the world of darts but it is fashioning a Cinderella story this year.