History in the making….Phil Taylor now holds every single ‘Major’ ranking title…..darts own ‘Grand Slam’ secured in Dublin with a 9th World Grand Prix Title.
But Raymond van Barneveld gave it his best shot…two sets to nil in front but just couldn’t quite take home the advantage.
It was fabulous darting drama but you always got the feeling that Taylor was in control….they shared 18 maximum’s in the final but it appeared that it was always going to be Taylor’s night.
“I have to give every credit to Raymond,” said Taylor. “He was excellent and I had to be at my best. It is a great honour for me.”
Barneveld’s consolation is a cheque for £40,000 and the fact that he has overtaken James Wade to reclaim the No.2 spot in the world rankings.
But he knows that the final should have been so much closer! For Taylor, the ultimate prize!
The Final as it happened:
• Set One: Barney takes it! Four legs won with the throw, although Taylor missed two darts to win it in that fourth leg. Then came the drama….incredibly, Taylor took 12 darts to get away but he still nearly pinched it, missing one dart at D16 and Barneveld nailed D20 to take the opener.
• Set Two: Amazing set as Taylor blows it big time…..he broke the Dutchman to lead by two legs to one but missed three darts to win the set in the fourth leg….Barney levelled but there was more double trouble for ‘The Power’ because in the deciding leg, he missed three more darts at tops and D10. He couldn’t believe it and was left shaking his head as Barneveld nailed D10 for a two set lead.
• Set Three: Taylor had to strike back and he did. A clean sweep – three consecutive legs, including a second maximum and there was nothing that Barney could do about it….game on again!
• Set Four: Unicorn’s 14 times World Champion is back in business, as it’s Barney’s turn to hit double trouble. He misses six darts at D16 in the opening leg and Taylor takes control….he wins the set by 3 legs to 1 – hitting D8 and it’s two sets apiece at the City West.
• Set Five: Taylor hits the front as yet another set goes to a deciding leg…..a 96 check-out means it is three sets on the spin for Taylor, as he continues his pursuit of a 9th World Grand Prix crown….all of a sudden, the pressure is on Barney because he has won only three legs in the last three sets.
• Set Six: Barney is struggling….another whitewash for Taylor, who has now won 12 out of the last 15 legs and looks to be totally in control of the final.
• Set Seven: The writing is on the wall…..Taylor is within touching distance of the trophy and the £100,000. Another convincing set and another three legs to one, although he wins it in style with a 12-darter and Barney looks resigned to his fate.
• Set Eight: Barney deserves the credit…..he refuses he wave the white flag and a terrific D14 wins the set in another deciding leg. It’s just reward for the effort and determination he has displayed but it’s too little too late.
• Set Nine: Taylor’s title! He’s dropped only five sets all week and re-writes the darting history books yet again. After nine weeks away from the sport, Barney gave it his best shot but Taylor wasn’t to be denied and a 105 finish gave him the record-breaking win.
Phil Taylor 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Winner - £100,000
Runner – up - £40,000
By STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy PDC / Lawrence Lustig