PHIL TAYLOR and Gary Anderson set up a mouthwatering clash at the BetVictor World Matchplay with superb quarter-final victories over Wes Newton and Adrian Lewis on Friday night in Blackpool.

Taylor continued his bid to claim a seventh successive Winter Gardens triumph in style as he ended the hopes of Fleetwood ace Newton with a 16-6 win in their last eight contest.

He was joined in moving through to Saturday’s semi-finals by Scottish star Anderson, who overcame UK Open champion Adrian Lewis – the number three seed – 16-8 as he set up a tasty contest with the reigning champion.

With Michael van Gerwen and Simon Whitlock set to meet in the other semi-final, Taylor insisted that darts fans are in for a treat on Saturday night in Blackpool – despite his own early scare in the quarter-finals.

Newton came from 2-0 down to lead 4-2 against the 14-time World Matchplay champion, but Taylor responded in style to take command with a run of seven successive legs, which included a 160 checkout.

Newton cut the gap to 12-6 at one stage with a 149 finish of his own, but Taylor finished 148 – with his opponent waiting on 32 – as he moved eight legs clear before he took the next two to secure victory.

“I’m really pleased to be in the semis,” said Taylor. “Wes has really dug in this week to get to the quarter-finals and he was up for it but I wanted to put him under pressure.

“He got ahead of me at the start and I was awful early on but I got into the game. I didn’t click and was 3-2 down before I knew where I was, but the 160 was a massive shot.

“My performance was okay but it won’t be good enough to beat Gary on Saturday and I’m excited about playing him. He’s played well all week and knocked out some great players.

“It will be a cracking semi-final and both games will be fantastic. Darts fans are in for a treat.”

Newton had battled back from behind to defeat Ronnie Baxter and Paul Nicholson to reach the quarter-finals for a second time in Blackpool, but found Taylor too great an obstacle to overcome.

“I had a pretty good start but from then on I wasn’t in the game.” admitted Newton. “Phil’s an awesome player, the best player that’s ever lived in my eyes, and he does special things at the right times.

“I got through to the quarter-finals and I know I’m not playing as well as I can. I’ve been fighting and battling and trying to get as far as I can, but it’s not good enough.

“We all go through this at certain times, and it’s how you come out of it that matters. I’ll keep practising and putting the hard work in, but it’s wins that will turn it around and I’ll keep fighting.”

Former Premier League Darts champion Anderson, meanwhile, reached the semi-finals in Blackpool for the first time with a commanding 16-8 defeat of Adrian Lewis.

Anderson set the tone for the game by taking a 3-0 lead, and though Lewis finished 104 to get off the mark the 2013 finalist was never able to draw level.

The Scot moved from 3-2 to lead 6-2 and also led 9-3 and 10-4, as Lewis’ 107 finish was bettered with a 110 checkout from Anderson, who added a 104 checkout in moving 12-6 up.

Lewis repied with a 102 checkout as he pulled back to 13-8, but Anderson’s second 104 finish of the game in the next proved a killer blow before he took his tally of 180s in the match to seven with one apiece in the next two as he sealed victory in style.

“Adrian wasn’t at his best and he didn’t hit as many 180s as he normally would, but I did a good job,” said Anderson. “I felt like Adrian was struggling and I was struggling, and I thought it was scrappy, but the finishes were okay.

“The last few legs were great and I didn’t realise it was a 100 average – but I know I can do better. It’s great to be in the semis but I want to keep this going now.

“I said in December that I was going to give it a good push this year, and I’m plodding along, just keeping quiet, and I’ll let the big boys worry about their darts and slip in the back door.”

Lewis had averaged 110 in his first round whitewash of Andrew Gilding and also saw off Mervyn King in round two, but admitted: “I put a lot of darts on the wire and couldn’t find my range with the scoring tonight.

“Fair play to Gary because he finished really well but it wasn’t to be for me. I felt really confident but it just didn’t happen for me and it was one of those nights, but I’ll take it on the chin and move on.”

The other semi-final sees World Champion van Gerwen – a semi-final loser 12 months ago – taking on former European Champion Whitlock, the number four seed who overcame James Wade in their quarter-final contest.

Van Gerwen, the pre-tournament favourite with sponsors BetVictor, is now 11/8 to claim his first World Matchplay win on Sunday night, with Taylor 6/4 to retain his title.

Anderson is 4/1 to claim victory, with Whitlock the 10/1 outsider as he seeks his second major PDC title.

Van Gerwen is the odds-on 2/9 favourite going into his semi-final with Whitlock (10/3), while Taylor is 4/9 ahead of his clash with Anderson (7/4).

BetVictor also make a van Gerwen-Taylor final 4/6, with a van Gerwen-Anderson decider 5/2, Taylor-Whitlock a 5/1 chance and a Whitlock-Anderson contest on Sunday 12/1. For further odds, visit www.betvictor.com.

BetVictor World Matchplay Darts Results

Friday July 25
Quarter-Finals
Gary Anderson 16-8 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 16-6 Wes Newton

Saturday July 26 (7pm)
Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson

Semi-Finals – Best of 33 legs
* Each game must be won by two clear legs, with up to a maximum of five additional legs being played before the sixth “extra” leg is sudden-death.

MATCH INFORMATION
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
0-0 – Adrian Lewis wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Lewis misses a dart at tops for a 120 finish, and Anderson takes out 84 on double 12 to break immediately with a 14-darter.
2-0 – Anderson lands a 180 before punishing two more misses from Lewis by landing double ten.
3-0 – Anderson breaks again by hitting double ten, with Lewis waiting on 24.
3-1 – Anderson misses double 16 for a 149 finish, and Lewis steps in to win his first leg with a 104 checkout.
3-2 – Lewis scores 170 to leave 40 before returning to post double top with his third dart as he reduces the gap to one leg.
4-2 – Anderson fires in his second maximum of the game in a 14-darter as he regains breathing space.
5-2 – Lewis misses two darts at tops, and Anderson steps in to break throw again by taking out 80 on double ten.
6-2 – Anderson misses double 11 for a 142 finish, but has enough breathing space to return on double four.
6-3 – Anderson lands another maximum, but Lewis fires in his first of the game before landing double 12 to reply.
7-3 – Another 180 pushes Anderson clear befeore he finishes 81 on double 12 for another superb leg.
8-3 – Anderson posts a fifth 180 of the game before hitting double top to break throw for a fourth time in the game.
9-3 – Anderson continues his charge as he lands tops to move beyond halfway to victory.
9-4 – Lewis finishes 107 as he wins a fourth leg.
10-4 – Anderson betters his rival’s finish of the previous leg by finishing 110.
10-5 – Tops sees Lewis hit back.
10-6 – Lewis breaks throw by finishing 92.
11-6 – Lewis lands a 180 but misses three darts at double eight, allowing Anderson in to break back.
12-6 – Lewis scores 174 during the leg, but Anderson finishes 104 on tops to move six legs clear.
12-7 – Lewis replies with a 102 finish.
13-7 – Lewis fires in a 180, but Anderson again takes the leg despite the maximum as he posts double 16.
13-8 – Tops sees Lewis reply as he cuts the gap to five legs.
14-8 – Anderson takes out 104 on tops to move two legs away from the final.
15-8 – Anderson hits a 180 before landing double four to move to the brink of victory.
16-8 – Anderson completes a brilliant win with an 11-dart leg, hitting 180, 123, 174 and ending the win on double six.

Phil Taylor v Wes Newton
0-0 – Phil Taylor wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Taylor takes out double 16 to win the opening leg.
2-0 – Taylor lands a 180 before finishing 86 to break throw.
2-1 – Newton opens with a 177, and punishes a miss at the bull from Taylor by hitting tops to get off the mark with a break.
2-2 – Newton posts a 180 before landing double 16 at the fourth attempt as he levels the game.
2-3 – Newton adds a second maximum, and when Taylor misses three darts at a double the Fleetwood ace steps in to move ahead.
2-4 – Newton posts two 180s in the leg, with Taylor replying with a 174 score only to see his opponent finish a scrappy 41 checkout on double three.
3-4 – Taylor wins his first leg in five on by taking out 73 on tops.
4-4 – Taylor fires in a 171 score to leave tops, and hits the finish for a 13-darter to break throw and level.
5-4 – Taylor unusually scores 26 during the leg, only to then take out a brilliant 160 finish to move back ahead.
6-4 – Taylor fires in double 16 to win his fourth straight leg as he regains breathing space.
7-4 – Taylor adds another maximum before finishing 84 on win a fifth successive leg.
8-4 – Taylor lands double 16 to win another leg.
9-4 – Newton misses double 19 to finish 118, and Taylor again finishes double 16.
9-5 – Taylor misses three darts at tops, allowing Newton back in on double 16 to claim his first leg in eight.
10-5 – Taylor opens with a 177 score before posting double eight to regain his five-leg lead.
11-5 – Taylor lands a third 180 before finishing 65 on tops to edge towards the semi-finals.
12-5 – Taylor matches the previous leg as he posts a maximum and tops to lead by seven legs.
12-6 – Newton responds with his best finish of the game, powering home a 149 checkout.
13-6 – Newton misses double 19 for a 158 finish, and is also unable to land two further darts at double eight as Taylor returns to pin tops.
14-6 – Newton opens with a 180 and sets up 32, only to see Taylor check out a stunning 148 to move two legs away from the win.
15-6 – Double two moves Taylor to the brink of the semi-finals.
16-6 – Newton opens with a 180, but Taylor replies with a maximum of his own before finishing 67 to seal the win.

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