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Scott Waites Makes Remarkable Comeback to Win Grand Slam Final

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Lustig/PDC

SCOTT WAITES defeated James Wade 16-12 to win an incredible Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts final, coming from 8-0 down in claiming the £100,000 title at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Waites made up for his defeat to Phil Taylor in last year’s final with a thrilling fightback to claim the biggest win of his career.

The joiner from Halifax will return to his day job at 8am on Monday, having left Wolverhampton £100,000 richer following a brilliant week at the Grand Slam of Darts.

He had overcome Steve Beaton 16-9 in Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals, and produced one of the sport’s finest comebacks to claim the prestigious trophy.

“It’s absolutely incredible,” said Waites. “When I went 8-0 down I just wanted to get back into the game and make the scoreline respectable.

“But when I got closer to James I started to believe I could win it – but it’s not sunk in yet and probably won’t for some time. It feels so good to be called the Grand Slam of Darts champion.”

Despite Waites opening the match with a 180, the first of three in as many legs, it was Wade who made the early running, hitting double top to break in the first leg, a 107 finish in the third and a 110 checkout in leg five.

A pair of double tops moved Wade 7-0 up in a stunning start, with Waites twice punished for missed doubles as the left-hander took complete control.

He also won the eighth on double ten to extend the lead further before Waites finally got off the mark on double 12.

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Waites hit a 180 and double 18 to break in the tenth, before taking the next three to pull back to 8-5.

Wade slowed the fightback with a 90 finish, only for Waites to hit double top in the next and a 13-darter before checking out 68 to incredibly reduce the gap to just one leg.

The world number two landed a 180 and double ten to take the 18th leg, and after Waites missed the bull in the next a 97 finish saw him edge away again at 11-8.

Wade, though, missed three darts at double 12 in the next as Waites began a run of six successive legs which saw him grasp control, following up finishes of double 18 and double 16 with a superb 121 checkout to level.

Wade missed two darts to steal the next as Waites recovered from twice wasting his chance to land double four and move 12-11 up, before landing double nine in the next and a 180 in moving three legs clear.

Wade finished 70 to stem the tide, but a ninth 180 of the game in the next from Waites left him double eight, and he would then follow another maximum by hitting the same bed to complete a remarkable triumph.

“James’ finishing was phenomenal from the start – I hit three 180s and was 3-0 down!” Waites added. “When I won a leg and then another and five on the bounce I thought ‘I can get back in this game’.

“I had to keep plodding away and I didn’t change my style. I started to hit my doubles straight away and the next thing I knew I was level.

“Then I got in front and just wanted to stay in front, and then I wanted to hold my throw and get to the winning double. To do a comeback like that in front of a live audience and on TV is unbelievable – I still can’t believe it.”

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