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Legends Fall as Taylor and Barneveld end PDC World Championship Pursuit

2010-PDCChamps-Webster2

PHIL TAYLOR and Raymond van Barneveld were sensationally knocked out of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship in Saturday’s quarter-finals, as Mark Webster and Gary Anderson ensured that there will be a new name on the trophy on Monday night.

Taylor’s bid for a 16th World Championship title, and third in succession at Alexandra Palace, came unstuck when he lost 5-2 to in-form Webster in their last eight clash.

Webster had lost 6-0 in last year’s semi-finals, but the former Lakeside Champion showed his improvement since then with a brilliant display to defeat the legendary 50-year-old.

“It’s a great win, probably the biggest of my career,” said Webster, who now plays Adrian Lewis in Sunday’s semis.

“I’m not surprised that I’ve won, I genuinely believed I could do it. I got involved in a scrap and came out on top, and I enjoyed it.

“I took my chances and I’m over the moon but I’ve got to go and beat Adrian now otherwise this was a waste of a win. “

Taylor had shared the game’s first two sets, but Webster won three of the next four to take a 4-2 lead before edging the seventh in sealing victory.

2010-PDCChamps-Taylor5

“Mark was the better player, without a shadow of doubt, and his bottle was brilliant,” said Taylor. “His finishing was very good and he has to take that into the semi-finals now.

“He’s got better and better throughout the year. He’s comfortable in the World Championship and he’s got the bit between his teeth.”

Taylor added: “In practice I felt good but I was just pushing the darts the wrong side of the wire.

“My preparation wasn’t the best but I’ve got a lovely grandson now and came second in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and I’ll be back next year.

“It’s about going back and preparing properly now because other players are making the most of my form. I can put my head down for the next 12 months and it’s a challenge for me, but I’ll be back.”

Earlier in the night, five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld – whose most recent title came in 2007 – suffered a 5-1 loss to Gary Anderson, who continued his brilliant form during the event.

Anderson had averaged over 100 in each of his three previous matches, and repeated the feat against the Dutchman, who won the first set but could offer little against a barrage from the Scot.

2010-PDCChamps-Anderson3

Anderson hit ten 180 and a ten-dart finish in setting up a semi-final on Sunday night with Terry Jenkins, who defated Wes Newton 5-4 in the last eight.

“I was a bit worried after losing the first set as my darts were dropping quite low,” admitted Anderson. “After taking the second set it gave me confidence and I played well from then.

“Terry’s a real battler and he’s always at you, and he showed that today against Wes Newton. I’m expecting a really good game from him but I’m looking forward to the semis.”

With Lewis defeating Vincent van der Voort 5-2 earlier in the day, the results mean there will be a new winner of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship trophy, with all four previous winners now knocked out.

Gary Anderson has been installed as the new tournament favourite with sponsors Ladbrokes.com, who have Adrian Lewis and Mark Webster at 11/4 and Terry Jenkins the 12/1 outsider.

After lost his coveted crown, Taylor has already been installed at 7/4 to win back the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship next year.

Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
Quarter-Finals
Afternoon Session
Wes Newton 4-5 Terry Jenkins
Adrian Lewis 5-2 Vincent van der Voort

Evening Session
Gary Anderson 5-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 2-5 Mark Webster

Sunday January 2
Semi-Finals (7.30pm)
Terry Jenkins v Gary Anderson
Mark Webster v Adrian Lewis

GARY ANDERSON 5-1 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
(1-3, 3-1, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1)
GARY ANDERSON produced one the finest performances of his career to crush Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

From a set down, the Scotsman dropped just five legs to the five-time World Champion and ended the game with a three-dart average of 102.75, his fourth successive ton-plus average of the event.

Anderson will now take on Terry Jenkins on Sunday for a place in the final, as both players bid to claim a maiden World Championship title.

“I was a bit worried after losing the first set as my darts were dropping quite low,” admitted Anderson. “After taking the second set it gave me confidence and I played well from then.

“When Raymond won the first set he gave a big celebration and it fired me up. If he had just hit his double and walked off the stage, he probably would have battered me 6-0, and that pushed me on a little bit.

“It’s the first time in the tournament that I’ve been behind but it proves to a lot of people that I can fight back. I stuck in and pulled it back.”

Van Barneveld, who came from behind to defeat Colin Osborne in round three, started of the match impressively with a 13-dart finish to win the first leg against the darts.

The Dutchman won the second leg by hitting double five, although only after missing ten previous attempts at doubles.

Anderson won the next leg by hitting double 16 and then hit the first 180 of the game in the fourth leg, but van Barneveld stepped to the oche and hit a 110 finish to win the set and open an early lead.

Anderson started the second set in incredible fashion with back-to-back maximums to leave himself with the opportunity of hitting the first nine-dart finish of this year’s competition.

Any thoughts of achieving the feat were ended when Anderson’s seventh attempt at a treble 20 fell into the single one, although the leg was still won in ten darts to give the Scotsman confidence.

Anderson won the second leg by hitting double five but missed one dart at double ten for a 140 checkout in the next, which van Barneveld took with a 68 finish.

With the fourth leg in the balance, Anderson hit a superb 174 to leave double 18, and duly hit the double at the second attempt to win the set and level the match.

Anderson, who took out Andy Smith in the third round, hit double to win the first leg of the third set after van Barneveld was off-target with an attempt at the bullseye.

Anderson won the second leg in 14 darts and then hit back-to-back 180s to leave the chance of a nine-darter for the second time in the match.

Again, the Scotsman’s seventh dart fell into the single one, but he recovered to win the leg in 11 darts to wrap up a second successive set.

Anderson hit a maximum in the process of making a winning start to the fourth set, and then hit double top to win the next leg – his sixth in a row.

Van Barneveld briefly stopped the rot by taking the third leg with a 12-dart finish, but Anderson won the next by hitting double top at the first time of asking to increase his lead to 3-1.

The five-time World Champion made a positive start to set five by breaking throw with a 94 finish after Anderson was guilty of missing three darts at double ten.

Anderson replied with a 102 checkout to win the second leg, and recorded a 13-dart finish in the next for a 2-1 lead.

Van Barneveld held throw to win the fourth leg by taking out 64, but Anderson won the decider with a 73 finish to seal the set and move three clear of his opponent.

Anderson rocketed towards the finishing line by hitting 66 to first leg of set six, and a 13-darter put the Scotsman one leg away from victory.

Van Barneveld continued to fight and showed true champion qualities to win the third leg with a ten-darter, but Anderson confirmed victory in the next with a clinical two-dart 84 finish to end a fabulous performance and set up Sunday’s date with Jenkins.

“The last time I played Terry was in the Grand Slam and he beat me on that occasion, but it was a great game,” said Anderson.

“Terry’s a real battler and he’s always at you, and he showed that against Wes Newton. I’m expecting a really good game from him but I’m looking forward to the semis.”

MARK WEBSTER 5-2 PHIL TAYLOR
(3-2, 2-3, 3-0, 3-1, 1-3, 3-1, 3-2)
MARK WEBSTER produced the greatest performance of his career to end the hopes of reigning champion Phil Taylor 5-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

Webster’s win avenged a 6-0 thrashing to Taylor in last year’s semi-finals and he will now take on Adrian Lewis on Sunday night for a place in the final.

Defeat for Taylor ended a 16-match unbeaten run at Alexandra Palace which had given him the past two World Championship titles, as former Lakeside Champion Webster held his nerve for the biggest win of his career.

“This is obviously the most memorable performance of my career, said Webster. “Phil missed doubles to let me in which is unlike him.

“The first set was pretty crucial for me. I was very nervous coming out, and I managed to nick that set which important in the final outcome.

“I got involved in a scrap and came out on top, and I enjoyed it. I took my chances and I’m over the moon but I’ve got to go and beat Adrian now otherwise this was a waste of a win.”

Taylor won the opening leg of the contest against the darts courtesy of a 64 finish, but Webster immediately broke back by hitting double top to level.

Webster managed to win the third leg after Taylor uncharacteristically missed six darts at doubles, but the world number won the fourth with an impressive 103 finish.

The deciding leg saw Webster hold advantage of throw and he managed to hit double 16 for an 86 checkout, with Taylor waiting on a two-dart finish, to take an early lead.

The start of the second set saw Taylor miss four darts at doubles, but Webster could not capitalise on the chance and missed two darts of his own, allowing the Stoke great to return to hit double four.

Both players hit maximums in the second leg but Webster won it with a 13-dart finish and then took the third after Taylor was off-target with five darts at double 12.

Taylor managed to win the fourth leg against the darts with a 14-darter and then claimed the decider by hitting a pressure double three with his third dart to take the set and level the match.

Webster, who defeated Mark Hylton in the last 16, held throw at the start of the third set and then won the second leg with a superb 13-dart finish.

The Welshman was then clinical in the third leg with a 101 checkout to take the set and establish a 2-1 lead.

Webster kept up the momentum at the start of the fourth set as won the first leg against the darts with a 14-dart finish and the second with a 72 checkout before Taylor managed to take the third on double 20.

The fourth leg began with Webster hitting a maximum and he followed that with a 174 to leave the chance of a nine-darter, although like many other players so far in the tournament he missed the treble 20 with his seventh dart.

He did go on to land double top for a 15-dart finish which secured the set and gave the Welshman a 3-1 advantage.

Webster won the opening leg of the fifth set in the same manner, but Taylor replied to win the second with a 13-dart leg.

Taylor hit his fifth 180 of the game in the third leg and punished three missed doubles from Webster by stepping in to hit double eight.

Taylor, who defeated Peter Wright to reach this stage of the competition, then recorded a 68 finish, completed on double four with his third dart, to win the set and reduce the deficit.

Webster hit an excellent 121 checkout, completed on the bullseye, to win the opening leg of the set six, and then landed double five to take the second after Taylor just missed the bullseye.

The defending champion won the third leg with a superb 11-darter after his opponent had kicked off the leg with a maximum.

Taylor hit a maximum of his own in the next, but was off-target with a dart at the bullseye and Webster clinically took out 72 in two darts to leave the world number one needing to win the final three sets to avoid defeat.

Taylor began the seventh set impressively with a 126 checkout to take the first leg and then won the second with a 15-darter.

Webster defied a maximum from Taylor to win the third leg by hitting double ten with his third dart, and then took the fourth with an impressive 14-dart finish.

Taylor battled to stay in the game with his ninth maximum of the match, but a missed dart at double 11 proved costly as Webster completed a 61 finish on double top to confirm a fabulous win.

“Mark was the better player, without a shadow of doubt, and his bottle was brilliant,” said Taylor. “His finishing was very good and he has to take that into the semi-finals now.

“He’s got better and better throughout the year. He’s comfortable in the World Championship and he’s got the bit between his teeth.”

Taylor added: “In practice I felt good but I was just pushing the darts the wrong side of the wire.

“My preparation wasn’t the best but I’ve got a lovely grandson now and came second in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and I’ll be back next year.

“It’s about going back and preparing properly now because other players are making the most of my form. I can put my head down for the next 12 months and it’s a challenge for me, but I’ll be back.”

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