TAYLOR & WADE TO MEET IN SKY BET MOBILE WORLD MATCHPLAY FINAL

PHIL TAYLOR and James Wade will meet for the third time in the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay final on Sunday night, following their semi-final defeats of Andy Hamilton and Adrian Lewis.

Reigning champion Taylor’s bid to win the World Matchplay for a 12th time continued as he defeated Hamilton 17-9 at the Winter Gardens with a powerful display.

Taylor finished over half of his 30 chances at a double in the game, and won seven of the final eight legs to progress, hitting finishes of 116, 119 and 121 in the process.

The Stoke legend defeated Wade in both the 2006 and 2008 World Matchplay finals, and will get the chance to complete a treble against the left-hander on Sunday night.

“I’m over the moon that I’m in the final and I’d love to retain this trophy,” said Taylor.

“After the year I’ve had, I’m very happy to be in the final and even more so because it’s such a strong field now and every game’s like a final.”

Wade won through to the decider with a 17-10 victory over Lewis, who failed to hit top gear and never recovered from a run of five successive legs from the left-hander in mid-game, as he hit a 170 finish in moving into a key 10-4 lead.

2007 winner Wade eventually sealed the win with a 127 checkout on the bull, and will get the chance to win a second successive major tournament on Sunday, following last month’s Speedy Hire UK Open triumph.

“I’m glad to be in the final and honoured to be on the same stage as Phil Taylor on Sunday,” said Wade. “I don’t think anyone’s pushed Phil yet, and possibly I am the man to do that.

“There are different ways of beating Phil, and it’s not averaging 110, it’s doing things at the right time. If I do those things at the right time anything could happen, and I wouldn’t want to play me!”

Of his performance against Lewis, he added: “I play to win and I’ve done that, but there wasn’t much in front of me to beat and I was expecting more from Adrian, but he didn’t play like he can.”

Lewis had overcome six missed match darts from Kevin Painter in the first round in Blackpool, and also defeated Vincent van der Voort and Mark Webster, but admitted: “It was awful.

“James wasn’t brilliant but I’ve played like that for the last couple of games and got away with it, and I didn’t tonight. I’m disappointed with myself but that game’s gone now and I’ll be back.”

Hamilton had won nine successive legs to come from 15-8 down and defeat Simon Whitlock in the quarter-finals, but was unable to repeat the magic against Taylor, despite hitting ten 180s.

“I’ve got to pay credit to Phil because he was brilliant there,” said Hamilton, who returns to the world’s top 16 after his run in Blackpool.

“I’m happy to have got to the semi-finals because I came into the tournament on a bit of bad form, but I’ve got the fear factor back with people who will be playing me.”

Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay
Semi-Finals

Phil Taylor 17-9 Andy Hamilton
Adrian Lewis 10-17 James Wade

Sunday July 24 (7pm)
Final

Phil Taylor v James Wade
Best of 35 legs

PHIL TAYLOR 17-9 ANDY HAMILTON
PHIL TAYLOR remains on course to win a 12th Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay title after booking his place in the final with a 17-9 victory over Andy Hamilton on Saturday night.

The reigning champion will compete for the £100,000 first prize on Sunday after producing another fine performance, averaging 105.59 and finishing 57 percent of his chances at a double.

Hamilton had hit back from trailing by four legs at one stage to be just 10-8 down, but could do little as Taylor won seven of the final eight legs, including checkouts of 116, 119 and 121.

Taylor broke in the opening leg with a 13-dart finish, and he matched that to double his lead as the pair traded 180s before Hamilton won the third on tops to get off the mark.

A missed double 18 from Hamilton allowed Taylor a reprieve on double 11 in the fourth, before the world number one was punished for three misses as Hamilton cut back to 3-2 at the first break.

Taylor found another gear to win the next three in brilliant fashion with finishes of 11, 12 and 13 darts as the pair hit two 180s apiece, although Hamilton replied well with maximums in a brace of 12-darters, which included a 121 finish, to stay in touch at 6-4.

A 68 checkout from Taylor was followed by a 13-darter as he established a four-leg cushion, and the next two legs were shared before Hamilton won three in a row, including a 13-darter to break, in pulling back to 9-8 as Taylor showed some vulnerability on double top.

Double eight from Taylor stopped that run, and he hit a 171 and tops to lead 11-8 and a superb 116 checkout gave him a 12-8 cushion as he restored his advantage.

Two misses allowed Hamilton back to win his ninth leg in the next, but Taylor posted double 16 and then finished 84 after two missed doubles from his opponent to lead 14-9 before producing killer finishes of 119 and 121 on the bull, with Hamilton waiting to pounce in both legs.

They put him to the brink of victory, and the win was sealed when he took out 71 on tops to move into the final.

“I’m over the moon that I’m in the final and I’d love to retain this trophy,” said Taylor.

“After the year I’ve had, I’m very happy to be in the final and even more so because it’s such a strong field now and every game’s like a final.

“Andy hit a lot of 180s at great times and he was superb. He didn’t give in and he made it a great game for the crowd too.

“I need to play better in the final. A few times against Andy I missed doubles and he punished me, and I’ve got to stamp that out in the final.”

Hamilton said: “I’ve got to pay credit to Phil because he was brilliant there.

“I didn’t put up a bad show there and I’ll try to take this form into the European Championship next week and become a bit more consistent.

“I’m happy to have got to the semi-finals because I came into the tournament on a bit of bad form, but I’ve got the fear factor back with people who will be playing me.”

JAMES WADE 17-10 ADRIAN LEWIS
JAMES WADE booked his place in the final of the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay with a 17-10 victory over World Champion Adrian Lewis at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

The 2007 World Matchplay champion won through to his fourth Winter Gardens final in comfortable fashion, taking full advantage of a below-par Lewis display.

The Stoke ace never hit top gear as Wade hit a 170 finish in taking control with five successive legs in mid-game before he sealed victory with a 127 checkout.

The opening leg set the tone for the match, with Lewis missing three darts to lead as Wade took an immediate break on double two.

He doubled his lead with double top, and could have won the third leg but missed double 15 for a 110 finish as Lewis took out double ten to get off the mark.

The pair traded double top finishes in the next two, before a miss at the same bed from Wade, for a 102 finish, allowed Lewis to follow up an earlier 177 with double four to level.

Wade replied with his first 180 of the game in a 13-darter, and another double top finish gave him a 5-3 lead, although Lewis powered home the bull for a 126 checkout to reduce the gap to one leg.

However, Wade produced his best spell of the match to win the next five legs, hitting a 170 finish and an 11-darter which featured two 180s as he took command of the game at 10-4.

Lewis hit finishes of double four and double 18 to win two of the next three, but Wade landed double ten and double five to edge back into a 13-6 advantage.

A missed double top allowed Lewis in to win a seventh leg on double five, and he then traded maximums with Wade in taking the next in 12 darts.

Wade responded with a key 96 finish as Lewis waited on 80, and when he took out double top and double six he found himself on the brink of victory with a 16-8 advantage.

Lewis kicked off the next leg with a 180 and posted double three to keep the game alive, and when he hit a sparkling 11-darter he began to threaten a comeback akin to Andy Hamilton’s against Simon Whitlock in the quarter-finals.

But Wade had other ideas, and hit three ton-plus scores to pull clear in the next before sealing victory on the bull with a 127 checkout.

“I’m glad to be in the final and honoured to be on the same stage as Phil Taylor on Sunday,” said Wade.

“I don’t think anyone’s pushed Phil yet, and possibly I am the man to do that. There are different ways of beating Phil, and it’s not averaging 110, it’s doing things at the right time.

“If I do those things at the right time anything could happen, and I wouldn’t want to play me!”

Of his performance against Lewis, he added: “I play to win and I’ve done that, but there wasn’t much in front of me to beat and I was expecting more from Adrian, but he didn’t play like he can.”

Lewis admitted: “It was awful. James wasn’t brilliant but I’ve played like that for the last couple of games and got away with it, and I didn’t tonight.

“I’m disappointed with myself but that game’s gone now and I’ll be back.”

Match Stats

Phil Taylor

17-9

Andy Hamilton

45

100+

23

13

140+

15

3

180

10

35.20

Ave1

33.14

105.59

Ave3

99.43

121,119,116

High Finish

121

6

Legs Against Throw

2

17/30 – 57%

Checkouts

9/19 – 47%

 

Adrian Lewis

10-17

James Wade

29

100+

36

19

140+

23

5

180

5

30.51

Ave1

31.79

91.54

Ave3

95.37

126

High Finish

170,127

3

Legs Against Throw

7

10/34 – 29%

Checkouts

17/41 – 41%

Source PDC – Lawrence Lustig