phil taylor ladbrokes 09 qfPHIL TAYLOR routed Co Stompe with one of the finest displays in the history of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship to set up a semi-final against Mervyn King at Alexandra Palace

Taylor’s bid for a 14th World Championship continued with him hitting the third highest average in the tournament’s history – 108.80 – as he swept the Dutchman aside.

Stompe had defeated Taylor in the final of the German Darts Championship a month ago, but won just three legs this time around as the world number one stormed through.

“I’m delighted with that performance,” said Taylor. “When he kicked in with a good shot I seemed to follow him.

“It’s a longer format in the semis and I can relax a little bit more. There’s no pressure on me now and Mervyn has to come out and have a massive game.”

King himself impressed in a 5-2 win over Barrie Bates, winning the final three sets in style after the Welshman came from two sets down to level.

“I’m happy with the win and my performance was better,” said King. “I did enough to get the victory but can still improve.

“I’m not here to lose in the semi-final – I’m here to win it. I’ve got it in me and it’s got to come out at the right time.”

The quarter-finals continue on Friday at Alexandra Palace, with world number three James Wade taking on Australian number one Paul Nicholson in the opening game.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld then faces Jelle Klaasen in an eagerly-awaited all-Dutch battle, a repeat of their meeting in the 2006 Lakeside Championship final, which the youngster won.

“I’ve never beaten him on TV, but I know if I play my normal game I can beat anyone,” said van Barneveld. “Jelle is in good form and I think it will be a good match.”

Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
Quarter-Finals – Thursday
Mervyn King 5-2 Barrie Bates
Phil Taylor 5-0 Co Stompe
Friday (7pm)
James Wade v Paul Nicholson
Raymond van Barneveld v Jelle Klaasen

MERVYN KING 5-2 BARRIE BATES
(3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-0)
MERVYN KING reached his first Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship semi-final with a 5-2 victory over Barrie Bates

King capped his impressive first two years in the PDC ranks with a third televised semi-final inside three months – following the World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts – and also provisionally moved into the world’s top six with the win.

He saw a 2-0 led slip away before putting in a decisive burst to win three sets on the bounce to end the resurgent Welshman’s hopes.

King started the game in confident fashion by breaking throw in the first leg before a 14-dart finish gave him a 2-0 lead in the first set.

Bates took out a fine 97 finish to win the third leg, but King wrapped up the set in the next by landing double eight.

King continued to dominate at the start of the second set, landing a 15-darter and then punishing three misses to take leg two, and he took out a fabulous 134 checkout to open up a 2-0 lead in the game.

Bates began to come back into the match in third set, hitting a maximum in the first leg and then a 116 checkout to break in the next.

However, he missed two darts for the set in the third leg, and King hit back to level matters.

In a dramatic deciding leg, Bates missed five darts to take the set, but King wasted four chances of his own before the Welshman landed double ten with his last dart to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

King put those missed opportunities behind him to take a 2-0 lead at the beginning of the fourth set, but Bates broke back with a 96 finish in the third and then held throw in the next by hitting double nine, after King was missed one dart at double 16 for the set.

Bates, who defeated former runner-up Mark Dudbridge in the round three, then hit an excellent 96 finish to square the game at two apiece.

A 101 checkout put Bates ahead in the fifth set, only for King to land a 14-darter to level, his first maximum of the game in taking a 2-1 lead and double top for the set.

He then landed further maximums in legs of 11 and 13 darts to lead in set six, only for Bates to his back and level in 14 darts.

However, Bates missed opportunities to level the set in leg four and King stepped in to land double eight and restore his two-set advantage.

With a scare firmly behind him, King went on to coast to victory, breaking throw on double 12 in the seventh set’s opener, landing a 13-darter to lead 2-0 and double 16 for victory.

“I’m happy with the win and my performance was better,” said King. “I did enough to get the victory but can still improve.

“I should have been 4-0 up really, or at least 3-1, and at two-all I had to find something, and I did that.

“I’m nowhere near my best but it’s there in flashes. I have peaks and troughs in my game anyway and I’m not as consistent as some players, but when I’m at the top of my game I’ll beat anybody.

“I’m not here to lose in the semi-final – I’m here to win it. I’ve got it in me and it’s got to come out at the right time.”

Bates admitted: “That was my worst performance of the tournament and Mervyn deserved to win.

“He did a professional job. I got back to two-all but didn’t deserve that and was beaten by the better player.

“I’ll build on this though. Two weeks ago I’d have laughed if someone had said I would reach the quarter-finals but I hope I can kick on from this in 2009.”

PHIL TAYLOR 4-0 CO STOMPE
(3-0, 3-2, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1)
PHIL TAYLOR’S Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship challenge hit top gear with a sensational 5-0 romp against Co Stompe.

Taylor’s bid for a 14th World Championship continued at Alexandra Palace with the third highest average in the tournament’s history – 108.80 – as he swept the Dutchman aside.

Stompe had defeated Taylor in the final of the German Darts Championship a month ago, but won just three legs this time around.

Taylor began the match in superb fashion, hitting a 177 with his first three darts and taking the set with legs of 14, 14 and 11 darts without Stompe reaching a double.

Another 14-darter put him ahead in the second set, only for three missed doubles to allow Stompe to get off the mark.

The Stoke star hit a 120 ‘Shanghai’ finish to take the third leg, and landed double top for the set after Stompe levelled again.

Stompe’s first maximum of the game was not enough at the start of the third set, as Taylor hit double nine to break throw.

Taylor hit back to back maximums in the second leg, winning it in 11 darts, and then won the third in 12 darts to increase his lead to 3-0.

Taylor’s domination continued in set four, hitting two 13-darters in taking the set without reply, and a 14-dart finish to open set five put him two legs from victory.

A 71 finish took Taylor 2-0 up before Stompe capitalised on two misses at double four for the win to take just his third leg of the game.

Taylor, though, made no mistake in the fourth leg, as he hit his sixth 14 dart-finish of the match to complete the rout and set up a semi-final clash against Mervyn King.

“I’m delighted with that performance,” said Taylor. “When he kicked in with a good shot I seemed to follow him.

“I actually played better against Co in Germany when he beat me, but he didn’t reproduce that tonight.

“It’s a longer format in the semis and I can relax a little bit more. There’s no pressure on me now and Mervyn has to come out and have a massive game.

“He’s a good player and he has got a scrap on his hands.”

Stompe said: “He was brilliant, he really turned up.

“I turned up a month ago when we played in the final and I won, but this time he was the only player on the stage.

“Maybe he has had a few better displays but not many.”

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