PHIL TAYLOR claimed Championship League Darts glory for a second time, following up his earlier nine-darter with a 6-1 defeat of Paul Nicholson in the Winners Group Final.

Taylor, the 2008 champion who has lost in the final of the internet-streamed event for the last two years, regained the trophy in style with a 113.71 average against Nicholson thanks to a terrific display at Crondon Park GC in Essex.

The 51-year-old – who hit a nine-darter during his league stage win over Mervyn King earlier in the day – dominated from the start, winning the first two legs in 13 darts courtesy of double 16 before taking the third leg in 12 darts.

Nicholson got off the mark in the fourth on tops, after Taylor had missed the same bed, but the world number one was swift in securing victory.

He moved 4-1 up with a third 13-dart finish of the game, broke Nicholson’s throw once more in 12 darts and finished a 14-darter to seal his triumph – earning £10,000 as champion in addition to £12,400 prize money he had won during the event.

Taylor had won all seven league games during a brilliant league phase of the event, which included a nine-dart finish during a 6-3 win over Mervyn King, before defeating Steve Beaton 6-1 in the semi-finals.

The victory saw Taylor win a fourth successive major title, following up his World Matchplay, European Championship and World Grand Prix wins since July, as he continues his return to dominating the sport.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Taylor, who was defeated by James Wade in the 2010 final. “I’ve loved every minute of the event this year and to hit a nine-darter today as well as win the final makes it extra special.

“All the players love this event, it’s great for us and that shows in the quality of darts which we had throughout the tournament, not just in the Winners Group.

“The scoreline in the final looks lopsided but I knew that I had to keep on top of Paul and finish him off because he never gives up, and I really enjoy playing him. The players like Paul are pushing me and it’s given me a new lease of life this year.

“A year ago I was putting myself under pressure, I was losing and people were talking about me, but I wanted to start enjoying the game again and not put myself under pressure, and that’s showing now.

“I’ve won back the World Grand Prix title and now I’ve won back this, and the next aims are the Grand Slam of Darts and World Championship.

“I’ll be trying my socks off to win both events and if I can win the Grand Slam next month it will be a brilliant way to build up to the World Championship.”

Nicholson had finished third in the league stage behind King, but followed up victory over the 2008 runner-up in their final league match with a 6-3 semi-final triumph.

Nicholson pocketed £5,000 as runner-up in addition to £14,900 that he won during the tournament, having competed in Groups Two and Three as well as the Winners Group for the first time.

King totalled £15,650 from the tournament after winning four of his league matches on Thursday to finish second behind Taylor.

Beaton, meanwhile, lost to Taylor in the semis for a second successive year, but had finished fourth after winning his final three league matches – overcoming a nightmare start to edge out Mark Walsh, Gary Anderson and Dennis Priestley on Leg Difference.

Simon Whitlock finished bottom of the Winners Group with just one win on Thursday, although having earlier competed in six groups he ended the event with £18,750 in prize money.

The Australian had also achieved a nine-dart finish, during group five, but never recovered from losing his first three games in the Winners Group.

Championship League Darts featured eight one-day groups of eight players, who competed in a round-robin format on each day in matches over the best of 11 legs, with £50 on offer per leg won in the league phase and £100 on offer in the play-offs.

Each day’s champion progressed to the Winners Group, where prize money of £100 per leg was paid in the group stage and £200 per leg in the play-offs, while the overall winner picked up £10,000, the runner-up £5,000 and the losing semi-finalists £2,500.

A total of £175,600 was paid out during the 2011 Championship League Darts, which featured 29 of the PDC’s top stars.

CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE DARTS
WINNERS GROUP RESULTS

Board One Board Two
Gary Anderson 5-6 Phil Taylor Steve Beaton 4-6 Dennis Priestley
Mervyn King 6-3 Simon Whitlock Paul Nicholson 6-3 Mark Walsh
Dennis Priestley 6-2 Gary Anderson Phil Taylor 6-3 Steve Beaton
Mark Walsh 3-6 Mervyn King Simon Whitlock 2-6 Paul Nicholson
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Paul Nicholson Gary Anderson 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Mark Walsh 6-3 Steve Beaton Phil Taylor 6-3 Mervyn King inc Phil Taylor nine-darter
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Gary Anderson Dennis Priestley 3-6 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 6-3 Mark Walsh Steve Beaton 0-6 Mervyn King
Steve Beaton 6-2 Paul Nicholson Mervyn King 3-6 Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock 5-6 Phil Taylor Mark Walsh! 6-1 Dennis Priestley
Mervyn King 6-2 Dennis Priestley Phil Taylor 6-1 Paul Nicholson
Simon Whitlock 3-6 Steve Beaton Gary Anderson 6-2 Mark Walsh
Steve Beaton 6-2 Gary Anderson Dennis Priestley 2-6 Phil Taylor
Mark Walsh 6-5 Simon Whitlock Paul Nicholson 6-2 Mervyn King
Semi-Finals
Phil Taylor 6-1 Steve Beaton Mervyn King 3-6 Paul Nicholson
Final
Phil Taylor 6-1 Paul Nicholson

 

WINNERS GROUP LEAGUE TABLE

Pl W L Won Lost Leg +/- £Won Pts £Total Prize Money
Phil Taylor 7 7 0 42 22 +20 £4200 14 £6600 £10,000
Mervyn King 7 4 3 33 26 +7 £3300 8 £3900 £2,500
Paul Nicholson 7 4 3 32 27 +5 £3200 8 £4600 £5,000
Steve Beaton 7 3 4 28 31 -3 £2800 6 £3000 £2,500
Mark Walsh 7 3 4 29 33 -4 ! £2900 6
Gary Anderson 7 3 4 28 33 -5 £2800 6
Dennis Priestley 7 3 4 26 35 -9 £2600 6
Simon Whitlock 7 1 6 28 39 -11 £2800 2

 

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY

Total
Phil Taylor £22,400
Simon Whitlock £18,750
Mervyn King £15,650
Paul Nicholson £14,900
Steve Beaton £10,950
Vincent van der Voort £10,100
Kevin Painter £9,050
Mark Walsh £7,850
Andy Smith £6,250
Gary Anderson £5,900
Wes Newton £5,700
Dennis Priestley £5,700
Colin Lloyd £5,500
John Part £4,900
Alan Tabern £4,850
Mark Dudbridge £3,200
Wayne Jones £3,100
Colin Osborne £2,850
Mark Webster £2,550
Jamie Caven £2,500
James Wade £2,350
Andy Hamilton £2,250
Ronnie Baxter £1,500
Steve Brown £1,400
Adrian Lewis £1,250
Robert Thornton £1,250
Denis Ovens £1,100
Terry Jenkins £950
Jelle Klaasen £900

 

Source – PDC

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