Posted on July 29th, 2012
Anyone heeding the advice given in our pre-tournament article on the 2012 World Matchplay darts, should, have been in the money before the first darts were even thrown in tonight’s final. We had foreseen a Wade v Taylor finale, tipped Taylor to win and offered James Wade up as an each way bet. Hopefully some of you put your tungsten trust in us?
A Taylor v Wade final at Blackpool has occurred on three previous occasions, with the Power prevailing thrice. Unfortunately it was fourth time unlucky for Wade and lucky 13 for Taylor has he walked away with a bakers dozen of World Matchplay titles.
Taylor commenced his defense with a break of throw, Wade broke back in the second leg helped by a maximum and Taylor’s inability to hit tops with 3 darts. A further break and hold for the 15 times world champion then gave him a two leg advantage at 3-1.
Both players missed bull to take the fifth leg, with Wade cleaning up on double 10 on his next visit, to ensure he entered the interval just 1 leg in arrears. Taylor resumed his 2 leg lead, as he held throw when they retook to the stage, missed doubles though allowed the Machine to hold in the next and get back within a leg at 4-3.
At 5-4 Taylor missed 3 darts at 32 to hold, as Wade take hit double 10 to even the match, as they left the stage for the second interval all square at 5 legs each. Taylor capitalised on Wades missed double 14 to finish 121 to take the first leg after they reconvened, only for the man from Aldershot to take out 84 on double 11 to break back keeping the match tied.
A further break, and hold from Taylor after Wade missed the bull for a 123 checkout, again put him 2 legs clear. Wade missed 3 darts at 24 in the 15th leg, but the Power couldn’t finish 80 on his turn, offering a lifeline to the 2007 champion who duley obliged by cleaning up on double 3, keeping it tight at 8-7 after the third mini-session.
Taylor reeled off the next two legs to move 10-7 ahead and put distance between himself and his younger opponent, however with two breaks and a hold the Machine clawed his way back into the contest, levelling the match at the fourth break.
The fifth session saw a change of fortune as Wade’s average at one point dropped below 80, whilst the Power pulled away taking 4 legs and peaking at 105 average. A consolation leg taken on his trusty double 10 for the Machine finally stopping the rot in the last leg to reflect a 14-11 scoreline.
Throughout the game Taylor uncharacteristically missed doubles with multiple darts, and gave away the throw, a weakness not fully exploited by James Wade. However at 15-11 behind Wade hit the first 3 figure checkout of the match to keep his hopes alive, as his dart zoned in on the double 20 bed for a 112.
A 114 finish in the proceeding leg, following Taylors refusal to shoot at the bull with 50 left, gave Wade the confidence he needed to launch his fight back. 15-13 became 15-14, with only the wire of the double 10 denying the Machine the opportunity to take out 140 and once again draw level.
At 15-17 behind, Wade opened his account by scoring just 57, backed up by a 60 giving Taylor the advantage, a valiant effort at 144 for the Machine almost kept his hopes alive, but Taylor steadied himself to hit double 10 to retain his crown and equal his own record of five consecutive World Matchplay titles, and 13 in total.
After the match Wade admitted that neither player displayed their best form, and took confidence in 7 weeks of practice facilitating a close encounter. Taylor vowed to be back next year to win a 14th title and expressed his joy in maintaining his World No.1 spot, and keeping fellow Stokie Adrain Lewis at bay.