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Phil Taylor Crowned European Champion For The Fourth Time

(credit: Lawrence Lustig/ PDC)
Phil Taylor produced a memorable display of darts to win his fourth consecutive European Championship title, defeating Adrian Lewis 11-8 with a 109 average.
 
The Power saw off his protégé in a tense final thanks to a crucial break of throw in the 18th leg, with Taylor popping in a 180 before taking out 164 to move 10-8 ahead.

Both men hit two 140s in the next leg, but it was Taylor who was first to the double and hit double ten to claim the £50,000 winner's cheque with a 109.29 average.

"It's a great feeling and a great end to a fantastic event," said Taylor. "The crowd were unreal and stuck behind the players throughout. The atmosphere has been brilliant. Adrian's semi against Raymond was one of the best I've ever seen - he's had a tougher day than me to get to the final.

"I'm looking forward to having a great holiday now and this trophy is down to 30 years of dedication," added the World number one.

Lewis was on a high after winning a thrilling semi-final against Raymond van Barneveld, clinching a place in final with a 121 checkout against the throw in a deciding leg after hitting a nine-darter in the 17th leg before the Dutchman battled back.

"This is the best atmosphere I've played in and I hope we come here again," said Lewis. "Phil was fantastic and thoroughly deserved the win. The 121 to win the semi was better than the nine-darter really but I've had a great weekend here and I'm full of confidence going into Dublin and beyond."

Lewis jumped 2-0 ahead in the final but was pegged back to 3-3 by the Power and the Stoke pair continued to trade blow-for-blow with Taylor winning the bull before the match looking all the more crucial as they found themselves level at 8-8, before Taylor's crucial 18th leg.

Earlier in the evening, Lewis pipped Van Barneveld in a final-leg decider of a pulsating semi-final that had it all. A nine-darter in the 17th leg from Lewis saw him move to within one leg of the match, but he missed a dart in the 18th leg to clinch it and six more darts in the 20th leg as the tension became almost unbearable. The momentum and the darts belonged to Van Barneveld, but with the Dutchman sitting on 24, Lewis took out 121 to reach the final.

Taylor and Whitlock had a lot to live up to and it was the World number one who prevailed as the Australian struggled on his doubles.

Taylor took the opening two legs before Whitlock registered, but when the Power moved 5-1 ahead, Whitlock had missed darts to win three of the legs. An 11th dart leg from Taylor made it 6-1 before Whitlock stopped the rot to take the eighth leg, but again, Taylor powered away from the Australian with three more legs to move within two of the final. Whitlock finally strung consecutive legs together, but with 14 missed darts at doubles during the match he found it hard to keep up with Taylor, who joined Lewis in the final with a 13-darter and a sixth break of throw.

The final
Phil Taylor 11-8 Adrian Lewis

Semi-finals
Adrian Lewis 11-10 Raymond Van Barneveld - ADRIAN LEWIS HITS NINE-DART FINISH
Phil Taylor 11-4 Simon Whitlock

Quarter-finals
Adrian Lewis 10-8 Kim Huybrechts
Raymond van Barneveld 10-8 James Wade
Phil Taylor 10-7 Paul Nicholson
Simon Whitlock 10-6 Peter Wright

AS IT HAPPENED - semi-finals and final

ADRIAN LEWIS v RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
0-1 Van Barneveld off and running with a 180 from his first visit in a 15-dart leg.
1-1 Lewis levels with a solid throw.
1-2 Second 180 from Van Barneveld, Lewis has the first dart at a double but he misses double 14 for a 121 and Van Barneveld holds with a 13-darter.
2-2 Brilliant response from Lewis with a 150 checkout.
3-2 Lewis follows that with his first 180, a 140 leaves him with 41 and Van Barneveld out of sight. Lewis misses seven darts for the leg, Van Barneveld misses double 12 for a 138, Lewis then hits double one at the third attempt.
4-2 A 177 from Lewis leaves 24 and he takes a third consecutive leg.
5-2 Van Barneveld almost seals an 11-darter, Lewis leaves 62 and Van Barneveld misses three more at double 16, Lewis let's him off the hook, but Van Barneveld misses three more, eight in total, and Lewis does punish him for a double break of throw.
6-2 Lewis takes 12 darts to leave tops and hits double ten for five on the trot.
6-3 Van Barneveld stops the rot with a 60 checkout
7-3 After a second maximum, Lewis misses tops for a 160 checkout, he busts when he returns to take it out but it matters not as he takes a four leg lead into the second break.
7-4 A 156 finish from Van Barneveld straight after the break
8-4 Van Barneveld looks for 170 to top the 156, but only manages the first 180 and Lewis holds.
8-5 A 25 checkout from Van Barneveld keeps him keen.
8-6 And he's more than keen now as he breaks the Lewis throw after the World Champion misses a dart for a 76 checkout.
8-7 Fifth 180 for Van Barneveld who misses two darts for the leg, Lewis misses the bull for a 90 checkout and Van Barneveld closes the gap further.
9-7 Lewis hits his fourth 180 and a 12-darter comes with a fluid 99 checkout.
10-7 Fifth 180 from Lewis puts Van Barneveld under pressure, and he's on a nine-darter. The treble 20 is in, as is the treble 19 - and he nails the double - ADRIAN LEWIS HITS A NINE-DARTER.
10-8 But it's not over as Lewis misses tops to win, Van Barneveld has tops to break, hits the wrong bed but adjusts brilliantly.
10-9 Van Barneveld checks out 68 to hold.
10-10 Lewis opens the door on more than one occasion but Van Barneveld can't capitalise - Van Barneveld needs 154 but cannot take it. Lewis misses three for the match though. But he hits tops going for big 20 and misses two at double 16. Three more missed by Lewis and Van Barneveld levels the match.
11-10 Lewis responds with his seventh 180, Van Barneveld on a 161 - leaves 24. Lewis on 121 - and he hits it!

PHIL TAYLOR v SIMON WHITLOCK
1-0 Taylor first on the scoreboard with a break despite Whitlock hitting the first maximum.
2-0 Taylor misses three darts for two in a row but Whitlock cannot respond with two missed darts at tops, Taylor hits double 14 at the fourth attempt.
2-1 Whitlock in the board with double 16.
3-1 Taylor misses double 16 for the leg but Whitlock cannot pressure him and he returns to close with ease.
4-1 Taylor hits his first maximum and is the first to miss tops for the leg - but comes back to take a three leg cushion into the break.
5-1 Whitlock has now missed darts to win three legs, Taylor takes out 96.
6-1 Taylor takes out 90 now to put five legs between them.
6-2 Taylor misses double 11 for a 142 checkout and Whitlock breaks.
7-2 A 177 from Taylor puts him right in the leg, he leaves 32 behind, Whitlock couldn't take out 140 and Taylor has his five leg cushion back.
8-2 Taylor misses two at double 16 and but Whitlock cannot manage 108 and Taylor is 8-2 up at the second break with his fifth dart at double 16.
9-2 Whitlock's double trouble continues with three more missed for the 11th leg and Taylor pinches it.
9-3 Whitlock's fourth 180 puts him in the leg and Taylor misfires, but again the Australian misses a double. Taylor left on 120 but cannot take it out and Whitlock does win one back.
9-4 Taylor misses two darts at double eight for his tenth and Whitlock bites back to hold.
10-4 Taylor hits double 16 for a 64 checkout to move within one of the match.
11-4 When Whitlock needed a solid leg he cannot find it and Taylor takes the darts, Taylor leaves tops with Whitlock not on a finish, and he takes that out to reach the final against Adrian Lewis.

The final
PHIL TAYLOR v ADRIAN LEWIS
0-1 Taylor misses two darts for the leg and Lewis takes 121 out on the bull.
0-2 Bull again for Lewis for 130 - misses. Taylor on 119, leaves 60 back. Two more missed doubles from Lewis but then two more missed doubles from Taylor, Lewis takes it.
1-2 11-darter from Taylor after hitting the first 180 of the match
1-3 Lewis hits his first 180 - his 26th of the tournament - misses two at tops for the leg but comes back and takes it.
2-3 Taylor with an 80 checkout to bounce back.
3-3 Another Taylor 180 sees the Power break Lewis' throw
3-4 Taylor misses four darts for the leg and Lewis takes out 102 to break back.
4-4 Both men hit 180s but it was Taylor's that was decisive, leaving 24 which he takes out at the first attempt.
5-4 Taylor holds to lead for the first time in the final
5-5 Lewis misses a dart for 121, but Taylor is on a bogey behind. Lewis misses two at double 16 but nails double eight to level at the second break.
6-5 Taylor with a 180, Lewis responds with a 171, but Taylor takes out 121 to slam the door.
6-6 A great 134 from Lewis leaves 73, Taylor puts the pressure on but Lewis takes it out.
7-6 Taylor takes out 83 on the second dart.
7-7 Rough break for Lewis as his second dart plugs into the first; Taylor steals the darts and leaves 134. Lewis responds to leave 79 - Taylor leaves tops but Lewis wins a key leg on double 11.
8-7 52 checkout from Taylor on the second attempt at tops.
8-8 Lewis leaves 56 from 101, Taylor leaves 44 with a 140 but Lewis takes it out.
9-8 Taylor hits a 13-darter to nudge in front.
10-8 Massive moment in the match - Taylor hits a 180 then takes out 164 and suddenly he is throwing for the title.
11-8 Lewis fires back at Taylor though; two 140s gives him a chance to break with 98 with Taylor left with tops. Lewis cannot take it and Taylor hits double ten to win his fourth European Championship title.
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Phil Taylor Crowned European Champion For The Fourth Time

Phil Taylor produced a memorable display of darts to win his fourth consecutive European Championship title, defeating Adrian Lewis 11-8 with a 109 average.

Read more »