• World Matchplay

Perfect Taylor eases into last eight

ESPN staff
July 23, 2014
There was no stopping Phil Taylor in Blackpool © PA Photos

Phil Taylor hit a nine-dart finish as he eased into the third round of the World Matchplay with a 13-6 victory over Michael Smith at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

Fourteen-time champion Taylor was 6-2 up when he opened the ninth leg with 180, following with 177 and, needing 144, he hit two triple tops with a double 12 to finish, bringing the crowd to their feet.

Smith started well, winning the opening two legs before Taylor took eight on the spin, including his nine-darter and three 125-finishes. The match concluded with Taylor registering a ten-dart finish in the last leg.

"I did forecast it by the way, there were a few people in the crowd who'd had a bet on it," Taylor told Sky Sports. "I said before I thought there could be a nine-darter so I hope everyone had a bet on it. There's nothing wrong with my form, everyone in the world kept telling me there's something wrong with you but it was all about the equipment, we've kept on experimenting and then something just clicked in."

Taylor will next face local boy Wes Newton who bounced back from 5-0 down to beat Paul Nicholson 15-13 as the match went into extra legs. It took Newton until the 20th leg to draw level, and even then Nicholson missed two chances to seal the tie.

Gary Anderson reached the last eight for the first time thanks to a 13-8 win over BDO world champion Stephen Bunting. Anderson also took a 5-0 lead but there was no dramatic comeback for Bunting.

"Blackpool stage I usually have a nightmare up there but that was a lot better," Anderson said. "I've just got back to the old days when I stop caring about anything and just get up there and throw darts. Everyone worries about who you've got next but you've got to beat the best players to win anything in darts so we'll just see when I get back up there and just play darts."

Anderson will take on Adrian Lewis in a mouth-watering quarter-final, after the two-time world champion fought to a 13-8 victory over Mervyn King in the final match of the night.

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