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Marvelling in a “Taylor Wonderland”

1st January 2013
“There’s only one Phil Taylor”, the crowd sing as they turn their attention and voices away from the Michael van Gerwen “Seven Nation Army” theme, and they are absolutely correct. The little tungsten flinger from Stoke has done it again!

It doesn’t matter whether you consider darts a sport or a pub game, the genius that is the portly Taylor shines through like a beacon! Fittingly this year, the trophy was dedicated to the “Voice of Darts”, Sid Waddell, who sadly passed away in 2012, and, even more appropriately, it was “The Power” who regained his world title after a couple of barren years.

The 52-year-old from the Potteries has now held a world title for almost a third of his life; last night’s awesome performance was Phil’s 16th title, an amazing performance built around stupendous concentration and absolute desire to win.

This year, after disposing of a rather large familiar ‘van’ in Barney, Phil faced a younger model in the final as the precocious Michael van Gerwen, the new Dutch master, strode purposefully to the stage. MVG’s scoring against the heavily perspiring reigning champ, Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis, had been incredible: it seemed that every leg of that match would start with a 180 and, sure enough, “Mighty Mike” delivered the obligatory 9-dart finish and very nearly produced a second 9-darter in the next leg.

The final was spectacular; in the studio, the Crafty Cockney showed that the jungle hadn’t addled his brain by correctly forecasting the 7-4 result in Taylor’s favour, but at 4-2 down, even Eric must have thought the shaven-headed Mikey was going to prevail. However, all those years of surviving close victories were clearly swirling around Phil’s mind and he switched from his favoured double 16 finish to achieve incredible accuracy on double top.

What a final, what a tournament! Sid Waddell would have needed a new thesaurus to deliver his superlatives. One final note; can Wayne Mardle please get back to playing? As a commentator, maybe we can get Clare Balding next year?!
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