Taylor and Wright set up World Matchplay final show-down
Phil Taylor took another step towards a sixteenth World Matchplay crown after a 16-9 rout of Adrian Lewis to move through to the final in Blackpool, where he will be joined by Peter Wright after he overcame Daryl Gurney.
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Taylor followed up his 16-6 demolition of Michael van Gerwen in Friday's Quarter-Finals with another vintage display, brushing aside his Stoke rival with a 102.7 average.
The 56-year-old produced a trademark 'power' surge as he stormed clear from 7-7 by claiming ten of the last 12 legs to book his place in a 17th final at the Winter Gardens.
"I did well and I thought it was a good game, and it was tough for both of us," admitted Taylor. "I haven't played like that for a long time to be honest and it's my last day at the Winter Gardens tomorrow so I'm going out with a bang. "Adrian pushed me but I think he felt it towards the latter end of the game. My mindset was to keep him under pressure and I knew he was shattered, so I had to take advantage of him. "It's been lovely this week and this is why it's my favourite, and it means everything to be in the final in my last World Matchplay. I'm happy to be in the final and I'm going to go out there and enjoy it."
After Taylor had opened up with a 14-darter, Lewis reeled off three straight legs - hitting two 180s, a 171 and a 12-darter in the process - to move into a 3-1 lead. Missed doubles in the next three legs, though, allowed Taylor to regain the edge, and though Lewis hit tops to move 5-4 up, a key mid-game burst from 'The Power' proved crucial. Taylor took three straight legs from seven-all to lead 10-7, and though Lewis briefly stemmed the tide with double 12, the number eight seed took out legs of 12 and 11 in a run of five further legs to move 15-8 up. Lewis took out 74 as he hit back, but Taylor converted double eight and double four to win the next two legs and seal his spot in Sunday's show-piece.
Wright battles past Gurney (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)6x5x4x3xWright broke new ground in Blackpool as he advanced to his first Matchplay final courtesy of a tense 17-15 win over Daryl Gurney.
The third seed ended Gurney's challenge at the Winter Gardens despite a slow start which saw the Northern Irish ace lead 3-0 andbet365 > sports > live streaming darts 4-1 before a change of darts from Wright sparked his revival. The Scot reeled off legs of 12, 14 and 14 darts to level, before punishing three misses from Gurney to lead for the first time, and finishes of 65, 80 and 90 took him into an 8-4 advantage. Wright also took out 108 either side of winning legs for Gurney, who failed to capitalise on a total of 16 missed doubles from the UK Open champion in the next two legs, with ten wayward darts of his own allowing his rival back in to lead 11-6. Gurney, though, regained his range on tops, landed two 180s as he won his eighth leg of the contest and then finished double two and double eight to pull back to 11-10. However, Gurney was crucially denied the chance to level as Wright held his nerve on double ten twice in three legs, before tops gave the world number three a 14-11 cushion. Gurney's 118 checkout was followed by a 100 combination from Wright to leave him 15-12 up, but a brace of double 16 finishes from the 31-year-old cut the gap to one leg once more. Wright, though, edged clear again by taking out 71 to move to the brink of victory, with double 12 keeping Gurney's hopes briefly alive before a miss at the bull allowed the Scot to finish 96 and book his place in the final. "I'm over the moon to have reached the final of the World Matchplay - it feels fantastic," said Wright. "I'm one step away now and hopefully I can play better than that and lift the trophy tomorrow. "It was a battle for both of us. Daryl is a fighter and an awesome dart player - he's been playing some fantastic darts - but I'm a very similar person. "I couldn't hit anything and I changed my darts a couple of times. I wasn't on top form but I scraped over the line and I'll take that. I haven't played well all week and maybe I'm waiting for the final. "I've done the hard job to get to the final and now I can relax. It will be fantastic. He's the best player on the planet and he always has been, and I've got a tough game."
BetVictor World Matchplay 2017 Results
Saturday July 29
Semi-FinalsDaryl Gurney 15-17 Peter WrightPhil Taylor 17-9 Adrian Lewis