Phil Taylor is The First Man to Lift The Sid Waddell Trophy 

The 2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Final was played out to a packed Alexandra Palace fueled with expectation and nostalgia, the expectation for a high quality darts match, and a 16th World title for Taylor or indeed a maiden title for young Michael van Gerwen.

World Darts Championship

16th World Title – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Nostalgia came in the form of the newly commissioned Sid Waddell trophy and Bruce Spendley refereeing his last game prior to retirement, having been a loyal servant to the sport and officiating in 34 World Championships.

Phil Taylor emerged the 7-4 winner after van Gerwen had taken the early advantage and twice forged a two set lead. The final kicked off in spectacular fashion, Taylor having won the bull back stage elected to throw second, a tactic he often employs to pile the early pressure on his opponent to hold throw.

Van Gerwen started strongly holding throw to win 3-2, closing the set out in style with a 140 checkout after Taylor had taken the second leg with a maximum 170 outshot of his own. Taylor’s game plan appeared to be going pear-shaped as van Gerwen achieved the early break taking the second set 3-1; an 11 dart leg finished on 98 doing the damage.

Taylor immediately broke back in the third set, putting  the brakes on the Dutch Juggernaut despite van Gerwen opening the set with another 11 dart leg and winning a second on the bull to convert 123. The Power won the deciding leg capitalising on a mistake which saw van Gerwen register just 37 with three of his darts.

Mighty Mike opened the fourth set with a 127 finish to break the Taylor throw, but the 15 times Champion hit back taking the set to a fifth leg which he cleaned up on tops as MvG missed 116. With the match all square at 2 sets each a relaxed looking Power found time to dance around the stage to entertain his braying fans.

Van Gerwen powered on taking the next two sets giving him a 4-2 advantage, curiously the sixth set would be the last one for the Dutchman as Taylor upped his game to restore parity.

World Darts Championship

The Sid Waddell Trophy- Lawrence Lustig/PDC

A key moment came in the seventh set as Michael missed checkouts of 107 and 158, a big ask by anyone’s standard but success here could have extended his lead to 5-2, and possibly changed the outcome of the match.

At 4 sets each, Taylor moved ahead for the first time in the game in a tight and nervy exchange which saw another set decided by a fifth leg, again van Gerwen’s chance coming via a three figure checkout which he was unable to convert.

The tenth set opened with Taylor holding throw and then breaking the Dutchman with an 11 dart leg, before van Gerwen hit back with a 106 out shot, but the experienced Stoke thrower had the Sid Waddell trophy in his sights and won the set 3-1.

The Power went on to secure his 16th World Championship title and £200k winners cheque with a 91 finish to take the final set 3-1 after van Gerwen missed chances to potentially extend the contest.

Van Gerwen will be disappointed and look back on wasted opportunities, but has time on his side and will surely get another bite at the cherry, and as for his opponent? Well, tonight proved it is foolish to write Taylor off (as we had) so don’t be suprised to see him back at the Ally Pally in December to defend and win a 17th title.

2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Final Result

Michael van Gerwen 4 v 7 Phil Taylor

(3-2) (3-1) (2-3) (2-3) (3-2) (3-1) (2-3) (1-3) (2-3) (1-3) (1-3)

Match Statistics

Phil Taylor 7-4 Michael van Gerwen
68 100+ 61
23 140+ 35
11 170+ 3
5 180 9
103.04 Average 100.66
170, 136 High Finish 140, 127, 123, 106
10 Legs Against Throw 6
42% Finishing % 53%

PDC Match Report

PHIL TAYLOR came from two sets down to claim the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship title with a thrilling 7-4 defeat of Michael van Gerwen as he became the first winner of the Sid Waddell Trophy at Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day. 

The 52-year-old Stoke great emerged victorious in one of the sport’s great matches to win his 16th World Championship title, although he was pushed all the way by a brilliant van Gerwen performance.

World Darts Championship

Mighty Mike – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The Dutch ace, 23, led 2-0 and 4-2, but missed two chances to move 5-2 up before Taylor hit back by winning three successive sets to move ahead for the first time at 5-4.

Taylor then won the tenth set 3-1 to establish a two-set cushion for the first time, before going on to take his fifth successive set as he swept to the title.

“I’m the proudest man in the world at the moment and to have my family watching makes this a very special night,” said Taylor, who takes away a £200,000 first prize for his efforts.

“It’s not sunk in yet and I’m very emotional.

“There was a 180 when the crowd were singing Sid Waddell’s name and I looked up and thought he’d put that in for me, and also Bruce Spendley [who refereed the final] was retiring too and him being on stage at the end meant a lot to me.

“I’m World Champion again and I’m so happy now.”

Van Gerwen had knocked out defending champion Adrian Lewis and hit a nine-darter against world number three during his run to the final, which sees him move to a career-high fourth in the PDC Order of Merit after taking £100,000 as runner-up.

“I don’t think I played as well tonight as I did in my earlier games,” said van Gerwen. “My doubles were great but my scoring power wasn’t as good and I think that was the difference.

“I felt great but it didn’t happen and it’s disappointing after having a good run that I didn’t finish the job off.

“I missed two doubles to lead 5-2 and that hurt me, and Phil got more confident and played better as the game went on.

“It’s a nice achievement to reach the final but it hurts to lose.”

He added: “I would like to thank the crowd for their incredible support over the last couple of weeks. They have added to what has been a very special time for me”

Van Gerwen began his first World Championship final confidently with a 14-dart finish in the opening leg, before Taylor levelled in amazing fashion by converting a 170 checkout to bring the capacity Alexandra Palace crowd to its feet.

The World Grand Prix champion hit double eight to win the third leg before Taylor won the fourth, thanks to landing double seven with a pressure third dart, and was waiting on 85 in the decider when van Gerwen powered in a fantastic 140 checkout to win the set.

Taylor won the first leg of set two by taking out 68, before van Gerwen took the second, which was followed by an 11-dart finish from the Dutchman as he moved 2-1 up before confirming a two-set advantage on double 16.

Van Gerwen then opened the third set in fine style with another 11-dart finish, and after Taylor levelled on tops the Dutchman took out a clinical 123 finish on the bull.

Taylor refused to buckle to his opponent and then won the fourth leg before sealing the set in the fifth, thanks to an accurate third dart at double 16 as he got off the mark.

Van Gerwen, who defeated James Wade to reach the final, kicked off the fourth set with a 177, before taking the opening leg with a 127 checkout before Taylor levelled in 14 darts and hit a 180 as he won the third.

Van Gerwen hit a 14-dart finish of his own to win the fourth leg, but a missed dart at tops for a 3-1 lead allowed Taylor hit the same bed to level the game.

Van Gerwen began the fifth set by taking the first leg on double eight, before Taylor hit a 13-dart finish to win the second, followed by a two-dart 65 finish to break.

The fourth leg saw Taylor miss a dart at double top to win the set, and van Gerwen took out a 90 finish, on double 14, to level before taking out 70 in the decider to move ahead for the second time.

The Dutch superstar made a fine start to the sixth set as he posted back-to-back 13-darters to take command, and after Taylor hit back with a 74 checkout it was van Gerwen won took out another 13-dart finish, on double 18, to restore a two-set lead.

The pair shared the opening two legs of the seventh set before van Gerwen landed double nine for an 83 finish in the third, after Taylor was off-target with a dart at bullseye.

Van Gerwen missed a chance to win the set in the fourth, when he was off-target on double 19 for a 158 checkout to allow Taylor back in to level on double four.

The fifth leg saw van Gerwen off-target with a second chance to win the set – this time on double 16 as he missed the chance to lead 5-2 – and Taylor took out 51 in two darts to stay on the Dutchman’s tail.

Four missed doubles from Taylor proved costly as van Gerwen hit double top to make a winning start to the eighth set, but the Stoke legend erased those errors in the next with a 136 checkout.

World Darts Championship

The Power Celebrates – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Taylor then won the third leg on double eight before van Gerwen hit a brace of 140 scores to forge ahead in the fourth, only to miss a dart at double top to allow Taylor in on double three to level the match at four sets all.

Van Gerwen hit a 13-dart finish to kick off the ninth set before Taylor won the second leg with a fabulous 11-darter.

Van Gerwen won the third on double top after both players had missed a dart at the same bed, before Taylor posted his second 11-darter of the set to win the fourth leg before taking the decider in only 14 darts to move ahead for the first time at 5-4.

Taylor continued his momentum in the tenth set as he won the first two legs, which included another 11-dart finish, as he extended his winning run to four successive legs.

He missed a dart at double 16 for the set in the next before van Gerwen finished 106 to hit back but Taylor finished 68 in the fourth leg to move a set away from the title.

Van Gerwen hit tops for a 13-dart finish to make a positive start to set 11, before Taylor won the second, finishing on the same bed for a 12-darter.

Taylor missed three darts at doubles in the third leg, but van Gerwen wasted four of his own and the Stoke ace hit double nine to move to the brink of victory, and he forged ahead with a 174 score in the next before taking out 91 to claim triumph in a classic final.

“I was two 2-0 and 4-2 down and I started looking up to the heavens for Sid Waddell to help me out, but Michael was playing superbly and he just wasn’t missing,” admitted Taylor.

“I was trying to push Michael to the limit and put him under pressure. He is a truly phenomenal player and I give Michael every credit – there were times when he hit some fantastic finishes and it crippled me a little bit.

“He was miles in front but I kept clinging on and I began hitting 177s when they had been 139s earlier in the game – I was hitting the treble 19 probably better than I did the treble 20.”

Van Gerwen’s rise to fourth in the PDC Order of Merit means that he will now compete in the McCoy’s Premier League Darts

“I’m in the top four of the world and I’m very happy,” said van Gerwen. “I’ve done that by myself with my good results this year and

“I am very excited about this opportunity and I hope to play well in the Premier League.”

2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Links

Draw | Schedule of Play | Roll of Honour | Head to Heads | Beat The Tipster | 9 Dart Club | All Time Player Ratings | 2012 Results