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Taylor Regains Championship League Title

(credit: PDC)
The 2011 Championship League Darts title was claimed by Phil Taylor, with the Power landing a nine-dart finish before beating Paul Nicholson in the final

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Phil Taylor claimed Championship League Darts glory for a second time, following up his earlier nine-darter with a 6-1 defeat of Paul Nicholson in the Winners Group Final.

Taylor, the 2008 champion who has lost in the final of the internet-streamed event for the last two years, regained the trophy in style with a 113.71 average against Nicholson thanks to a terrific display at Crondon Park GC in Essex.

The 51-year-old - who hit a nine-darter during his league stage win over Mervyn King earlier in the day - dominated from the start, winning the first two legs in 13 darts courtesy of double 16 before taking the third leg in 12 darts.

Nicholson got off the mark in the fourth on tops, after Taylor had missed the same bed, but the world number one was swift in securing victory.

He moved 4-1 up with a third 13-dart finish of the game, broke Nicholson's throw once more in 12 darts and finished a 14-darter to seal his triumph - earning £10,000 as champion in addition to £12,400 prize money he had won during the event.

Taylor had won all seven league games during a brilliant league phase of the event, which included a nine-dart finish during a 6-3 win over Mervyn King, before defeating Steve Beaton 6-1 in the semi-finals.

The victory saw Taylor win a fourth successive major title, following up his World Matchplay, European Championship and World Grand Prix wins since July, as he continues his return to dominating the sport.

"I'm absolutely over the moon," said Taylor, who was defeated by James Wade in the 2010 final. "I've loved every minute of the event this year and to hit a nine-darter today as well as win the final makes it extra special.

"All the players love this event, it's great for us and that shows in the quality of darts which we had throughout the tournament, not just in the Winners Group.

"The scoreline in the final looks lopsided but I knew that I had to keep on top of Paul and finish him off because he never gives up, and I really enjoy playing him. The players like Paul are pushing me and it's given me a new lease of life this year.

"A year ago I was putting myself under pressure, I was losing and people were talking about me, but I wanted to start enjoying the game again and not put myself under pressure, and that's showing now.

"I've won back the World Grand Prix title and now I've won back this, and the next aims are the Grand Slam of Darts and World Championship.

"I'll be trying my socks off to win both events and if I can win the Grand Slam next month it will be a brilliant way to build up to the World Championship."

Nicholson had finished third in the league stage behind King, but followed up victory over the 2008 runner-up in their final league match with a 6-3 semi-final triumph.

Nicholson pocketed £5,000 as runner-up in addition to £14,900 that he won during the tournament, having competed in Groups Two and Three as well as the Winners Group for the first time.

King totalled £15,650 from the tournament after winning four of his league matches on Thursday to finish second behind Taylor.

Beaton, meanwhile, lost to Taylor in the semis for a second successive year, but had finished fourth after winning his final three league matches - overcoming a nightmare start to edge out Mark Walsh, Gary Anderson and Dennis Priestley on Leg Difference.

Simon Whitlock finished bottom of the Winners Group with just one win on Thursday, although having earlier competed in six groups he ended the event with £18,750 in prize money.

The Australian had also achieved a nine-dart finish, during group five, but never recovered from losing his first three games in the Winners Group.

A total of £175,600 was paid out during the 2011 Championship League Darts, which featured 29 of the PDC's top stars.
 
Winners group final table
Phil Taylor (Q) 7 7 0 42 22 +20 £4200 14pts (Winner)
Mervyn King (Q) 7 4 3 33 26 +7 £3300 8pts
Paul Nicholson (Q) 7 4 3 32 27 +5 £3200 8pts
Steve Beaton (Q) 7 3 4 28 31 -3 £2800 6pts
------------------------------------------
Mark Walsh 7 3 4 29 33 -4 £2900 6pts
Gary Anderson 7 3 4 28 33 -5 £2800 6pts
Dennis Priestley 7 3 4 26 35 -9 £2600 6pts
Simon Whitlock 7 1 6 28 39 -11 £2800 2pts
 
 
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Taylor Regains Championship League Title

The 2011 Championship League Darts title was claimed by Phil Taylor, with the Power landing a nine-dart finish before beating Paul Nicholson in the final.

Read more »