Four days of fabulous darts, more darting perfection from ‘The Power’ and the tournament that finally saw the boy become a man.
That sums up the first ever European Championship in Frankfurt and next year the tournament seems likely to be played in Austria, as the PDC continues to spread the darting gospel.
It was always going to be a gamble but it paid off handsomely, as the Germans embraced the event and the best darts players in the world responded with some fantastic action….and when you consider four players lost with an average over 100 - that tells its own story.
But it is difficult to find new superlatives to describe Phil Taylor, who has yet again taken the sport of darts to new and dizzy heights.
His tournament average of 108.21 is another world record and yet another mark in the darting history books. Robert Thornton pushed him all the way in the semi-finals but an all too familiar ‘Power’ surge guaranteed Taylor another ‘Major’ final and ultimately, another ‘Major’ title.
Quite simply, he looks unbeatable at the moment and he looks unstoppable in his quest to claim a 14th World Title at the Alexandra Palace.
Unicorn star Adrian Lewis deserves special praise for his efforts in Frankfurt and it seems the boy has now finally become a man in the world of darts.
Lewis has responded in the right way after his enforced two month suspension, when he was banned over the now infamous incident with Kevin Painter at a tournament in Holland earlier in the year.
His demolition of Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals is without doubt, the best performance of his career…..he averaged 108.62 and the sight of Barney shrugging his shoulders, as if to say there is nothing I can do about this, was an abiding memory of the tournament.
But Lewis then followed that up with a display of character and maturity in the semi-finals. There was so much riding on that clash with Peter Manley with the winner clinching the last place at the Grand Slam of Darts.
Lewis held it all together and a cheque for £25,000 will be some consolation but perhaps more importantly, his efforts in reaching the final have catapulted the Stoke youngster back up to No.6 in the world and it could be crucial in the race for those six automatic spots in the 2009 Premier League.
Manley too showed he still has what it takes…..he went into the tournament in danger of dropping out of the world’s top 16 for the first time in almost 15 years…..he ended it back up to No.12 in the world.
The final word must go to Taylor…..awesome sums him up and expect him to rewrite the record books again over the coming couple of months
By STUART PYKE