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Walsh Strikes Back With Win Over Taylor

MARK WALSH gained revenge for Saturday’s defeat to Phil Taylor with a 6-4 victory in Sunday’s Players Championship final in Derby – while Wayne Mardle narrowly missed out on snatching an automatic place in the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship by reaching the semi-finals.

Walsh had been defeated 6-3 in Saturday’s final by Taylor, but took home the £6,000 winner’s cheque a day later with a fine display at the Moorways Leisure Centre.

The win gives Hertfordshire ace his third PDC ProTour victory of 2010 – and also his third at the Derby venue, which is fast becoming a favourite for the world number ten.

Walsh defeated Arron Monk, Jelle Klaasen and Dave Ladley to reach the quarter-finals, where he whitewashed Kevin McDine.

Walsh then showed his battling qualities to come from 3-1 and 4-3 down to defeat Wayne Mardle 6-5, hitting a 13-dart finish in the deciding leg, with a 177 setting up double 12 for victory.

He continued that form against Taylor in the final, recovering from an early break from the world number one to win four successive legs in taking a 5-1 lead – hitting finishes of 140, 121 and 104 along the way.

Taylor landed double ten to win the seventh, and finishes of 124 and 68 with Walsh waiting on a double kept the game alive.

But Walsh, with the advantage of throw, was first to a finish in the next and, although he initially missed two match darts, landed double four to take victory.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Walsh. “Derby’s a venue I seem to do well at for some reason and I’ve done it again, but it’s just brilliant to beat Phil in a final.

“I’ve had a really enjoyable weekend and I love the challenge of playing Phil, but overall I’m very pleased to be playing well again after losing a bit of form this summer.”

Taylor’s defeat means he was denied a weekend double at the Moorways Leisure Centre, but he will head to the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts on Friday in good form after claiming £9,000 prize money over the two days.

He defeated Louis Blundell and Dennis Smith in the opening two rounds, and a 6-4 win over Wes Newton was sandwiched between whitewashes of Terry Jenkins and Simon Whitlock as he powered into the final.

There was further drama during the final Players Championship of 2010, with players battling for qualifying places in both the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship and February’s Players Championship Finals.

Mardle’s run to the semis was his best performance in a ranking event since June 2009.

Having defeated Roland Scholten, Jamie Caven, Tony Eccles and Denis Ovens to reach the quarter-finals, he raised hopes of dramatically ousting Joe Cullen from the 16th qualifying place for Alexandra Palace.

He would have needed to go on and win the event to do so, and a win over Robert Thornton increased those chances, only for Walsh to deny him in the semis.

Mardle will now join Nick Fullwell and Dave Ladley in Monday’s PDPA Qualifier as players compete for the one remaining place in the World Championship in a knockout event in Derby.

Meanwhile, Eccles held on to 32nd place in the Players Championship Order of Merit to win a place in the Players Championship Finals ahead of Paul Nicholson – who won this year’s event but will miss out on the chance to defend his title in Doncaster after suffering a narrow defeat to Wes Newton in the last 32.

Players Championship 37
First Round
Simon Whitlock (1) Bye
Darren Johnson 6-2 Lionel Sams
Stephen Hardy 6-5 Steve Hine (32)
Aodhagan O’Neill 6-2 Andy Pearson
Kevin Painter (16) 6-1 Anton Liscsey
Chris Iedema 6-1 Andy Relf
Dennis Priestley (17) 6-2 Mark Tiller
Robert Alford 6-1 Jamie Atkins
Vincent van der Voort (8) 6-2 Gary Eastwood
Michael Barnard 6-0 Paul Williams
Steve Evans 6-5 Justin Pipe (25)
Peter Manley 6-4 Ian Lever
Adrian Lewis (9) 6-0 Steve Grubb
Ken MacNeil 6-1 Ryan Herrington
Mick McGowan 6-5 Steve Brown (24)
Nick Fullwell 6-0 Mareno Michels
Wes Newton (5) Bye
Tony Ayres 6-4 Chris White
Paul Nicholson (28) 6-3 Ken Dobson
John Part 6-3 Matt Padgett
Mark Webster (12) 6-2 Mark Jones
Dave Smith 6-3 Peter Hudson
Barrie Bates (21) 6-2 Bill Davis
Mark Frost 6-0 Jon Archer
Phil Taylor (4) Bye
Louis Blundell 6-1 Gary Blades
Dennis Smith (29) 6-3 Par Riihonen
Andy Jenkins 6-3 William O’Connor
Andy Hamilton (13) 6-3 Martyn Bevan
Darren Webster 6-4 Sam Allen
Terry Jenkins (20) 6-0 Steve Perkins
Ian White 6-1 Jim Leighton
Gary Anderson (2) Bye
Kevin McDine 6-1 Steven Pearson
Brendan Dolan (31) 6-4 Nigel Birch
Joe Cullen 6-4 Kevin Harris
Alex Roy 6-5 Alan Tabern (15)
Mark Stephenson 6-3 Mark Lawrence
Mark Dudbridge (18) 6-4 Martyn Turner
Peter Wright 6-4 Paul Rowley
Mark Walsh (7) Bye
Arron Monk 6-2 Michael van Gerwen
Jelle Klaasen (26) 6-2 Matt Clark
James Barton 6-1 Dean Allsopp
John MaGowan 6-4 Ronnie Baxter (10)
Michael Smith 6-4 Terry Temple
Chris Thompson 6-1 Richie Burnett (23)
Dave Ladley 6-1 Colin Monk
Jamie Caven (6) Bye
Wayne Mardle 6-5 Roland Scholten
Tony Eccles (27) 6-2 Andy Pearce
Ian Jopling 6-5 Jimmy Mann
Denis Ovens (11) 6-3 Adrian Gray
Mark Hylton 6-5 Andy Fulton
Steve Farmer (22) 6-4 Kevin Dowling
Wayne Atwood 6-1 Tom Martin
Colin Lloyd (3) Bye
Geoff Whitworth 6-1 Mike Roberts
Robert Thornton (30) 6-2 Brian Startin
Darren Latham 6-2 Phillip Hazel
Wayne Jones (14) 6-4 Mark Jodrill
Steve Maish 6-4 Scott Burnett
Steve Beaton (19) 6-0 Simon Burt
Kirk Shepherd 6-2 Norman Fletcher

Second Round
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Darren Johnson
Stephen Hardy 6-1 Aodhagan O’Neill
Kevin Painter 6-3 Chris Iedema
Dennis Priestley 6-4 Robert Alford
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Michael Barnard
Steve Evans 6-5 Peter Manley
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Ken MacNeil
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Mick McGowan
Wes Newton 6-0 Tony Ayres
Paul Nicholson 6-5 John Part
Mark Webster 6-4 Dave Smith
Barrie Bates 6-5 Mark Frost
Phil Taylor 6-1 Louis Blundell
Dennis Smith 6-3 Andy Jenkins
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Darren Webster
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Ian White
Kevin McDine 6-5 Gary Anderson
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Joe Cullen
Mark Stephenson 6-5 Alex Roy
Mark Dudbridge 6-5 Peter Wright
Mark Walsh 6-4 Arron Monk
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 James Barton
Michael Smith 6-2 John MaGowan
Dave Ladley 6-5 Chris Thompson
Wayne Mardle 6-4 Jamie Caven
Tony Eccles 6-5 Ian Jopling
Denis Ovens 6-5 Mark Hylton
Wayne Atwood 6-4 Steve Farmer
Colin Lloyd 6-1 Geoff Whitworth
Robert Thornton 6-1 Darren Latham
Wayne Jones 6-2 Steve Maish
Steve Beaton 6-1 Kirk Shepherd
Losers £200

Third Round
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Stephen Hardy
Dennis Priestley 6-1 Kevin Painter
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Steve Evans
Nick Fullwell 6-0 Adrian Lewis
Wes Newton 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Mark Webster 6-2 Barrie Bates
Phil Taylor 6-2 Dennis Smith
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Kevin McDine 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Mark Dudbridge 6-1 Mark Stephenson
Mark Walsh 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Dave Ladley 6-3 Michael Smith
Wayne Mardle 6-3 Tony Eccles
Denis Ovens 6-1 Wayne Atwood
Robert Thornton 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Steve Beaton 6-3 Wayne Jones
Losers £300

Fourth Round
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Dennis Priestley
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Nick Fullwell
Wes Newton 6-2 Mark Webster
Phil Taylor 6-0 Terry Jenkins
Kevin McDine 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Mark Walsh 6-5 Dave Ladley
Wayne Mardle 6-2 Denis Ovens
Robert Thornton 6-5 Steve Beaton
Losers £500

Quarter-Finals
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Vincent van der Voort
Phil Taylor 6-4 Wes Newton
Mark Walsh 6-0 Kevin McDine
Wayne Mardle 6-4 Robert Thornton
Losers £1,000

Semi-Finals
Phil Taylor 6-0 Simon Whitlock
Mark Walsh 6-5 Wayne Mardle
Losers £1,500

Final
Mark Walsh 6-4 Phil Taylor
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

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