Taylor slays Wade in epic to scoop £100,000
Phil Taylor needed to call on all his experience to get over the line and walk away with £100,000 after edging a tense tussle 18-15 with James Wade in the World Matchplay final.
In a high-quality showpiece in Blackpool, Wade showed his battling qualities to claw his way back from 15-11 to trail 15-14. However, Taylor turned the screw at the business end of the match, reeling off three of the next four legs to clinch a 13th World Matchplay title.
In a high-scoring contest, Taylor found stubborn resistance in the form of Wade, only opening up a three-leg cushion for the first time at 10-7. If he thought that would deter his opponent he was soon proved wrong; Wade broke The Power twice to haul himself back on level terms.
Taylor's accuracy was unwavering, and the 15-time world champion found good rhythm with his doubles to open up a four-leg advantage. Wade snapped the run, signalling he was still in a fighting mood, but his resolve was tested further when Taylor took the next.
Checkouts of 112 and 114 gave Wade hope and double six then saw him move within one of Taylor. He had chances in the next leg but was made to pay for missing double 10 for a 140 checkout as Taylor nailed double 16 to go two clear.
Refusing to yield, Wade took out 76 to keep his chances alive but it was to prove futile because Taylor held his throw with a 13-dart leg to clinch his fifth straight World Matchplay title.