PHIL TAYLOR won his eighth PDC Pro Tour event of 2008 with victory over Alan Tabern in the final of Saturday’s Bristol Trade Centre Players Championship.

The world number one, who lost in the quarter-finals of last weekend’s Blue Square UK Open to Raymond van Barneveld, made a superb start to the double-header weekend at Ashton Gate in Bristol to claim the £5,000 title.

He won his first four games without dropping a set before defeating Peter Manley 3-1 in the quarter-finals and Matt Clark 3-0 in the semis – dropping just one leg in the second game and hitting four 180s and two 174 scores.

Taylor won the first two sets of the final 2-1, with Tabern missing darts to win the second set in a decider.

Taylor – who hit four maximums in the first two sets – defied a Tabern 180 to take the third set’s opener, and a 130 score set up a double top finish to seal the win.

Tabern, who won a Players Championship in Wigan in March, was in fine form to reach his second final of the year.

The left-hander overcame Denis Ovens 3-1 in the semis having been taken to a deciding leg in his five-set win over Brendan Dolan at the last eight stage.

Clark came from 2-1 down to defeat Dennis Priestley in another quarter-final which went the distance, with Ovens defeating van der Voort 3-2 in their clash.

Van der Voort earlier missed double 12 for a nine-dart leg during a win over Mark Jones.

Bristol Trade Centre Players Championship (Saturday)
Preliminary Round
Dennis Smith 3-0 Jonathan Overton
Simon Whatley 3-1 Steve Hine
Andy Pearson 3-2 Alan Weist
Steve Cupitt 3-1 Tom Martin
Tony Ayres 3-2 Martin Burchell
Tom Wilson 3-1 Ben Burton
Dale Pinch 3-0 Karl Loiseau
Michael Rosenauer 3-1 Dan Cook
Darren Whittingham 3-1 Gary Barnett
Tony Eccles 3-0 Andy Relf
Pat Orreal 3-0 Steve Musson
Alan Caves 3-1 Chris Daglish
Dave Smith 3-2 Stephen Hardy
Sean White 3-2 Mark Jodrill
Robbie Newland 3-0 Peter Aleman
Brendan Dolan 3-0 David Davies
David Platt 3-0 Nigel Peden
Russell Mason 3-2 Ricky Williams
Mark Lawrence 3-1 Richard Plowman
Michael van Gerwen 3-1 Jamie Caven
Matt Sheehan 3-0 Raul Conde
Mark Tiller 3-1 Danny King
Steve Evans 3-0 Stuart Holden
Gary Mawson 3-1 Lionel Sams
Jelle Klaasen 3-2 Dave Askew
Steve Brown 3-0 John Kuczynski
Fraser Hill 3-2 Owen Caffrey
Kevin Dowling 3-0 Kevin Reade
Dave Honey 3-0 Tomokazu Onoda
Louis Blundell 3-1 Derek Box
Matt Gallett 3-1 Lee Gregory
Tony Littleton 3-0 Jimmy O’Regan

First Round
Terry Jenkins 3-1 Robert Thornton
Tony Blundell Bye (Steve Smith)
Alan Warriner-Little 3-2 Dennis Smith
Danny Pinhorne 3-1 Simon Whatley
Kevin Painter 3-0 Carlos Rodriguez
Robert Watson-Lang 3-2 Aaron Monk
Denis Ovens 3-0 Andy Pearson
Colin Monk 3-2 Steve Cupitt
Andy Hamilton 3-2 Shayne Burgess
Jason Clark 3-1 Darren Johnson
Wes Newton 3-0 Tony Ayres
Tom Wilson 3-2 Ian Jopling
Wayne Mardle 3-1 Rick Andrews
Kevin Harris 3-1 Colin Wonnacott
Vincent van der Voort 3-2 Dale Pinch
Mark Jones 3-0 Michael Rosenauer
Adrian Lewis 3-1 John Quantock
Lee Williams 3-0 David Nelson
Mark Walsh 3-1 Darren Whittingham
Jacko Barry 3-2 Tony Eccles
Alan Tabern 3-0 Ian Walters
Nigel Birch 3-2 Jim Leighton
Mervyn King 3-2 Pat Orreal
Alan Caves 3-1 Gary Welding
James Wade 3-1 Michael Smith
Wayne Atwood 3-1 Mark Layton
Dave Smith 3-2 Adrian Gray
Steve Cusick 3-2 Sean White
Barrie Bates 3-0 Lee White
Norman Fletcher 3-1 Paul Dillon
Andy Jenkins 3-0 Robbie Newland
Brendan Dolan 3-0 Steven Watts
Co Stompe Bye (Raymond van Barneveld)
Matt Clark 3-1 Ray Farrell
Wayne Jones 3-0 David Platt
Scott Kirchner 3-1 Russell Mason
Colin Osborne 3-1 Mick Savvery
Geoff Wylie 3-0 Ian Critchett
Chris Mason 3-1 Mark Lawrence
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Darren Sutton
Martyn Turner 3-0 Roland Scholten
John Ferrell 3-1 Steve Lane
Alex Roy 3-0 Matt Sheehan
Mark Tiller 3-0 Steve Randall
Dennis Priestley 3-1 Stuart Dutton
David Fatum 3-1 Lee Holden
Andy Smith 3-2 Steve Evans
Gary Mawson 3-0 Glyn Humphries
Mark Frost 3-1 Colin Lloyd
Michael Barnard 3-2 Nick Fulwell
Jelle Klaasen 3-0 Mick McGowan
Steve Brown 3-2 Gary Noonan
Peter Manley 3-0 Graeme Stoddart
Chris Cooper 3-1 Ian Branks
Kirk Shepherd 3-1 Fraser Hill
Jan van der Rassel 3-1 Kevin Dowling
Phil Taylor 3-0 Geoff Daniels
Steve Maish 3-2 Peter Wright
Dave Honey 3-2 Steve Beaton
Kevin McDine 3-1 Louis Blundell
Ronnie Baxter 3-1 John MaGowan
Mark Carter 3-0 Dave Ladley
Mark Dudbridge 3-0 Matt Gallett
Tony Littleton 3-0 Andy Mason

Second Round
Terry Jenkins 3-1 Tony Blundell
Danny Pinhorne 3-1 Alan Warriner-Little
Kevin Painter 3-1 Robert Watson-Lang
Denis Ovens 3-0 Colin Monk
Andy Hamilton 3-1 Jason Clark
Wes Newton 3-1 Tom Wilson
Wayne Mardle 3-1 Kevin Harris
Vincent van der Voort 3-1 Mark Jones
Adrian Lewis 3-0 Lee Williams
Mark Walsh 3-0 Jacko Barry
Alan Tabern 3-1 Nigel Birch
Mervyn King 3-2 Alan Caves
Wayne Atwood 3-1 James Wade
Steve Cusick 3-1 Dave Smith
Barrie Bates 3-1 Norman Fletcher
Brendan Dolan 3-1 Andy Jenkins
Matt Clark 3-1 Co Stompe
Wayne Jones 3-0 Scott Kirchner
Colin Osborne 3-0 Geoff Wylie
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Chris Mason
Martyn Turner 3-1 John Ferrell
Alex Roy 3-0 Mark Tiller
Dennis Priestley 3-0 David Fatum
Gary Mawson 3-2 Andy Smith
Mark Frost 3-1 Michael Barnard
Jelle Klaasen 3-1 Steve Brown
Peter Manley 3-1 Chris Cooper
Kirk Shepherd 3-2 Jan van der Rassel
Phil Taylor 3-0 Steve Maish
Kevin McDine 3-1 Dave Honey
Ronnie Baxter 3-0 Mark Carter
Mark Dudbridge 3-1 Tony Littleton
Losers £75

Third Round
Terry Jenkins 3-1 Danny Pinhorne
Denis Ovens 3-1 Kevin Painter
Andy Hamilton 3-2 Wes Newton
Vincent van der Voort 3-1 Wayne Mardle
Mark Walsh 3-1 Adrian Lewis
Alan Tabern 3-0 Mervyn King
Steve Cusick 3-1 Wayne Atwood
Brendan Dolan 3-2 Barrie Bates
Matt Clark 3-2 Wayne Jones
Michael van Gerwen 3-2 Colin Osborne
Alex Roy 3-0 Martyn Turner
Dennis Priestley 3-2 Gary Mawson
Jelle Klaasen 3-0 Mark Frost
Peter Manley 3-1 Kirk Shepherd
Phil Taylor 3-0 Kevin McDine
Ronnie Baxter 3-1 Mark Dudbridge
Losers £150

Fourth Round
Denis Ovens 3-2 Terry Jenkins
Vincent van der Voort 3-1 Andy Hamilton
Alan Tabern 3-0 Mark Walsh
Brendan Dolan 3-1 Steve Cusick
Matt Clark 3-0 Michael van Gerwen
Dennis Priestley 3-0 Alex Roy
Peter Manley 3-2 Jelle Klaasen
Phil Taylor 3-0 Ronnie Baxter
Losers £300

Quarter-Finals
Denis Ovens 3-2 Vincent van der Voort
Alan Tabern 3-2 Brendan Dolan
Matt Clark 3-2 Dennis Priestley
Phil Taylor 3-1 Peter Manley
Losers £600

Semi-Finals
Alan Tabern 3-1 Denis Ovens (2-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-1)
Phil Taylor 3-0 Matt Clark (2-1, 2-0, 2-0)
Losers £1,250

Final
Phil Taylor 3-0 Alan Tabern (2-1, 2-1, 2-0)
Winner £5,000
Runner-Up £2,500

Early Round News
Preliminary Round
Bristol’s Steve Brown made a winning start with a 3-0 preliminary round win over John Kuczynski – who has been practising in Brown’s father’s pub this week following the Blue Square UK Open.
Jelle Klaasen edged out Dave Askew in five sets in the first game to be played on stage in the Dolman Stand Exhibition Hall, with Askew coming from 2-0 down to almost claim victory.
Australia’s Pat Orreal took a straight sets win over Steve Musson to earn a first round game with Mervyn King.
Michael van Gerwen defeated Jamie Caven 3-1 in the preliminary round.
Simon Whatley followed up his run to the last 16 of the UK Open with a 3-1 win over Steve Hine.

First Round
Colin Lloyd is the first round one casualty, losing 3-1 to Mark Frost.
Phil Taylor’s challenge for a seventh Pro Tour win of 2008 began with a straight sets win over Geoff Daniels.
Peter Manley and Ronnie Baxter gained safe passage to round two, while Terry Jenkins overcame Robert Thornton 3-1 on the main stage.
Roland Scholten lost 3-0 to Martyn Turner, meaning he suffered a first game defeat for a second week running after his third round exit at the UK Open.
Wayn Mardle, Adrian Lewis, Barrie Bates, Colin Osborne and Alan Tabern all won their opening contests.
Andy Hamilton was taken to five sets by Shayne Burgess, while Alan Warriner-Little also needed the deciding fifth set in his victory over Dennis Smith.
Kevin Harris’ win over Colin Wonnacott earns him a clash with Wayne Mardle, while Steve Maish’s reward for a narrow win over Peter Wright is a meeting with Phil Taylor.
Steve Brown edged out Gary Noonan 3-2, while local star Mark Dudbridge was a 3-0 winner against Matt Gallett.
Holland’s Vincent van der Voort was pushed all the way by Welshman Dale Pinch, while Klaasen enjoyed a more comfortable second round win, defeating Mick McGowan 3-0.

Second Round
Ronnie Baxter swept past Mark Carter in straight sets in the second round to move into the last 32.
Phil Taylor, Terry Jenkins and Ronnie Baxter were other early round two winners.
Klaasen continued his run with a 3-1 defeat of local favourite Brown.
Co Stompe’s debut on the PDC Pro Tour ended in a second round loss to Matt Clark, having received a bye in round one after Raymond van Barneveld withdrew on Friday.
Colin Osborne moved into the board 15 final with a straight sets defeat of Geoff Wylie.
Danny Pinhorne set up a last 32 meeting with Terry Jenkins thanks to a 3-1 defeat of Alan Warriner-Little.
Martyn Turner backed up his earlier defeat of Roland Scholten with a 3-1 win over fellow left-hander John Ferrell, and he now faces Alex Roy in round three.
Michael van Gerwen overcame Chris Mason 3-0 to set up a clash with Osborne.
Mark Walsh defeated Jacko Barry 3-0 and earn a board final game with Adrian Lewis.
Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan reached the last 32 with a win over Andy Jenkins, and World Championship runner-up Kirk Shepherd sneaked past Jan van der Rassel in five sets.
Vincent van der Voort missed double 12 for a nine-darter during his victory over Mark Jones.
Steve Cusick’s win over Dave Smith earned him a board final against Wayne Atwood.

Third Round
Jelle Klaasen swept into the last 16 with a 3-0 defeat of Mark Frost, and is joined by Phil Taylor, who has yet to drop a set in his first three matches after a win over Kevin McDine.
Ronnie Baxter ended Bristol hopes of a home win with a 3-1 defeat of Mark Dudbridge.
Michael van Gerwen won board ten with a 3-2 victory over Colin Osborne, and he will now face Matt Clark in the last 16, with Clark coming two sets down to defeat Wayne Jones 3-2.
Terry Jenkins won board one with a 3-1 defeat of Danny Pinhorne, while Alex Roy overcame Martyn Turner in straight sets to win board 11.
Wayne Mardle’s run was ended by Vincent van der Voort in a quick-fire 3-1 defeat on board four.
Peter Manley avenged his World Championship quarter-final loss to Kirk Shepherd with a 3-1 victory in the board 14 final.
Andy Hamilton won board three with a 3-1 win over Wes Newton, meaning he meets van der Voort in the last 16.
Alan Tabern and Mark Walsh will meet in the last 16 following wins over Mervyn King and Adrian Lewis respectively, while Steve Cusick came through to win board seven against Wayne Atwood.
America’s Gary Mawson – who reached last week’s Blue Square UK Open final, saw his hopes of glory this week ended in a tight game with Dennis Priestley, with all five sets going the distance before the Yorkshireman prevailed in a decider.

Fourth Round
Phil Taylor’s run continued as he booked a quarter-final place with a 3-0 win over Ronnie Baxter.
Matt Clark also won a last eight spot, ending Michael van Gerwen’s run with a 3-0 victory.
Peter Manley set up a quarter-final with Taylor after beating Jelle Klaasen in a deciding leg of their five-set contest.
Denis Ovens edged out Terry Jenkins 3-2 in their last 16 game, and he now plays van der Voort in the quarters, following the Dutchman’s 3-1 win over Andy Hamilton.
Alan Tabern and Brendan Dolan will clash in the quarters, having seen off Mark Walsh and Steve Cusick respectively.
Dennis Priestley won the final last 16 game, overcoming Alex Roy in straight sets.

Quarter-Finals
Phil Taylor powered past Peter Manley 3-1, including three 11-darters in his win, although Manley was the first player of the day to take a set from the 13-time World Champion.
Denis Ovens won a final-leg decider against Vincent van der Voort to reach the semi-finals of a second Players Championship of the year, having come from two sets down against the Dutchman.
Alan Tabern was also involved in a five-set thriller, sneaking past Brendan Dolan in a deciding leg to set up a semi-final with Ovens.
The final quarter-final also went to a deciding leg, with Matt Clark edging out Dennis Priestley. Priestley led 2-1 in sets but Clark levelled and then hit a 165 score in the deciding leg to leave 24, which he took out at the first time of asking.

Semi-Finals
Alan Tabern remains on course for a second Players Championship win of the year after seeing off Denis Ovens 3-1 in the first semi-finals. Ovens landed a 180 in taking the game’s opening leg, with Tabern levelling and then landing a maximum of his own in breaking the throw to take the first set.
Ovens broke throw in the second set’s opener and added another maximum in the next leg, only for Tabern to land double top to break back and then land a 180 of his own in taking a two-set lead.
Ovens came from a leg down to win the third set in a decider and stay in the game, but Tabern edged the fourth 2-1 on double 11 to move into the final.
Phil Taylor powered into the final with a straight sets win over Matt Clark, although the world number one didn’t have an easy ride.
Clark took the game’s opening leg on double top after Taylor missed the same bed, but paid for missing six darts for the set in the deciding leg before Taylor landed double 18 to go in front.
Typically, Taylor didn’t look back, kicking off set two with a 180 – his fourth of the game – and adding another in leg two as he won the set without reply.
He then twice produced scores of 174 in taking the third set 2-0, finishing with a 13-darter to put himself into the final.

PREVIEW

BRISTOL’s Ashton Gate will host two important Players Championship tournaments this weekend as stars of the PDC seek to emulate Bristol City’s success this season.

Ashton Gate’s Dolman Stand Exhibition Hall will welcome two Bristol Trade Centre-sponsored Players Championships on Saturday and Sunday, with £40,000 in prize money up for grabs.

Phil Taylor, Terry Jenkins and recent Blue Square UK Open champion James Wade head the 160-strong field of competitors for the two events.

The tournaments also see the PDC Pro Tour debuts of Robert Thornton and Co Stompe, who have recently switched to the Professional Darts Corporation circuit.

Thornton faces world number five Jenkins in a tough opener in Saturday’s event, while Stompe received a boost on Friday when five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld – who he drew in Saturday’s tournament – was forced to withdraw due to a family illness.

Bristol’s Mark Dudbridge heads the field of local stars in the event, while Steve Brown meets America’s John Kuczynski – who has been practising with Brown this week at his father’s pub, the Red Lion in Whitehall.

The tournaments have added interest as part of the three remaining Players Championship events where stars can win a place in the Stan James World Matchplay, with the 16 best players from the Players Championship Order of Merit at the end of this month joining the world’s top 16 in Blackpool next month.

Both events will begin at 11am, with spectators tickets now sold out.

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