PHIL TAYLOR claimed a fourth successive Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts title with a 16-8 win over James Wade in Cardiff.

Taylor produced a Premier League record average of 112.68 in routing Adrian Lewis 11-1 in the semi-finals, before seeing off world number three James Wade in the decider to claim the £100,000 winner’s cheque.

Wade had come from 6-3 down to defeat world number one Raymond van Barneveld 11-8 in his semi-final, but had no answer to Taylor’s brilliance.

Wade was in touch at 3-2 before Taylor took six legs in a row to pull clear, with the 13-time World Champion matching power scoring with clinical finishing.

Six from eight legs saw Wade pull back to 11-8, but Taylor took five more in a row to claim the £100,000 first prize – the joint highest ever paid in the sport.

Taylor broke Wade in the opening leg, landing a maximum before taking out double 18 for a 13-darter, and doubled the advantage as both traded 180s in the second.

A 11-darter got Wade off the mark, but he paid in the next when suffering a bounce-out on a 120 finish, with Taylor taking out double 12 to move 3-1 up.

Wade pulled back to 3-2 at the first break – but paid in the next session as Taylor stormed clear.

He took six legs in a row without Wade reaching a double, landing two 13-darters and taking out a 93 finish on the bullseye in going 9-2 up.

Wade kick-started his challenge with a bull finish of his own in leg 12 for a 12-darter, and he pulled back to 10-5 and 11-8 with some fine darts, including two 13-darters and two 14-darters to make Taylor nervous.

Taylor, though, responded in typically outstanding fashion, starting the 20th leg with a 180 and taking out a 13-darter with Wade sat waiting on double top.

It was a killer blow, with a 130 checkout amongst three successive 12-darters to take Taylor to the brink of victory.

And he sealed the win with an 11-darter to claim the title and a fourth straight Premier League crown.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Taylor whose chances had been written off after losing three of his opening four games.

“It’s a massive tournament and you have to be at the top of your game for three or four months, so it means a great deal.

“I thought I was too far in front when I went 9-2 up but James came back and I had to concentrate, go back to doing what I do every day and hold on.”

Wade, who claimed £50,000 as runner-up in his debut Premier League campaign, admitted: “Phil showed how good he really is tonight.

“In the last ten to fifteen legs I threw some very good darts but it wasn’t enough and he showed his quality.

“I’ll keep trying to improve and hopefully I can go one better next year and win this event. I can play better than this and I’ll be working hard to do that.”

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts Play-Offs
Cardiff International Arena
James Wade 11-8 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 11-1 Adrian Lewis

Phil Taylor 16-8 James Wade



RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD suffered semi-final heartbreak in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts for a third successive year with an 11-8 loss to James Wade.

The Dutchman led 4-1 and 6-3 against Wade, only to see the world number three take eight of the last ten legs and move into the final in Cardiff.

Van Barneveld has also lost in the last four in his two previous Premier League campaigns since joining the PDC in 2006.

Van Barneveld kicked off superbly, breaking the throw with a 156 checkout in the first leg.

Wade hit back to take the second, but van Barneveld then won the next three to lead 4-1, including a 14-darter to take command of the game.

A missed dart at double top allowed Wade back in to take leg six on the same bed, and he also pulled back to 4-3 when van Barneveld failed to set up a double on a 114 finish.

Van Barneveld regained his range to win the next two legs and pull three legs clear again at 6-3, only for Wade – nicknamed The Machine – to find a superb second gear.

He followed a 12-darter with a 104 finish to cut back to 6-5, and then levelled after van Barneveld missed three darts in leg 12.

Wade then took the next two to make it five in a row as he took the lead at 8-6, punishing more misses from the five-time World Champion.

Legs of 15 and 14 darts, both finishing on double top, saw van Barneveld level the game at eight-all and effectively turn the contest into a best-of-five shoot-out.

It was Wade who took first blood, on double five, before a 12-darter against the throw put him 10-8 up.

Both struggled nervously in the next as the tension rose, with van Barneveld leaving a double before Wade took out his favourite double top to move into the final.

“It’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” said Wade. “Raymond missed a lot of doubles and let me in.

“He didn’t play his best darts but I have to look at my own performance and I can look forward to playing well in the final.”

Van Barneveld admitted: “I missed too many doubles. I was 6-3 in front but it should have been 8-1 and I missed my big chances.”


PHIL TAYLOR produced a record Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts average of 112.68 in storming to an 11-1 win over Adrian Lewis at the CIA in Cardiff.

Taylor remains on course for a fourth successive Premier League title after the incredible win, which set up a final against James Wade.

Taylor moved 5-0 up before Lewis got off the mark in the game, but wasted little more time in a scintillating display.

Taylor kicked off with an 11-dart leg, and added back-to-back 13-darters before Lewis had even reached a double.

The 22-year-old starlet from Stoke missed two darts at double 13 in the next as Taylor moved 4-0 up, and a two-dart 68 finish saw the lead extended further going into first the break.

Lewis landed double top to get off the mark, but Taylor responded with a 180 to kick off the seventh leg, which he took in 14 darts.

That was bettered with legs of 13, 12 and 12 darts in taking Taylor 9-1 up, with Lewis unable to reach a double despite two maximums in reply.

Taylor moved a leg away from victory by winning the 11th leg, and landed a sixth maximum of the game in sealing victory in 12 darts in the next.

“Adrian’s put in a lot of practice for this and done fantastically to get into the last four,” said Taylor. “I knew I had to do that to beat him, and I’m very pleased.

“It will be a good final against James – he came back well in his semi-final and is a great player, so I have to perform.”

Lewis admitted: “I didn’t get off to the start I wanted to and it went downhill from there. I didn’t put him under enough pressure and I was 5-0 down before I knew it.

“If it had been 3-2 at that first break it maybe could have been different, but every time I left a double he seemed to go out on the last dart after hitting a big score to leave a finish.

“He finished brilliantly, scored brilliantly and I thought he was a lot better player than me on the night.”

The £40,000 was Lewis’ biggest pay-day, but he added: “The money doesn’t mean anything, the title was more important to me. But with Phil on that form, there’s not a lot more any player could have done.”

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