Taylor destroys Barney to take 14th World Title

On January 5, 2009 by

Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor is once again on top of the darting world following a 7-1 demolition of Raymond van Barneveld in the PDC World Darts Championship Final last night in front of 2,500 fans at the Alexandra Palace.

Taylor produced a World Record 3 dart average of 110.94 and despite a pretty impressive 101.18 performance by Barneveld, the Dutchman just couldn’t compete and missed crucial doubles in the 4th and 5th sets that would’ve made it competitive.

Barneveld came into the final on the back of a quite wonderful nine-dart finish in his quarter-final against Jelle Klassen. However he was unable to recapture that form and although he played at a standard that probably would’ve beaten anyone else, Taylor is just that much better than everyone else at the moment.

The now 14-time World Champion had been in stunning form throughout the competition and justified his odds on status even at the outset of the tournament. He never looked in trouble in any of his matches dispatching of Steve Grubb, Michael van Gerwen, Kevin Painter, Co Stompe and Mervyn King en route to the final, dropping just three sets on the way.

Barneveld had taken a much harder route to Sunday’s final with Ronnie Baxter in particular giving him trouble. The man from Blackpool had three darts for the match but missed bull and two darts at double sixteen in the sudden death leg to hand victory to the World #2.

This was indeed ‘the dream final’ but it never matched up to the game in 2007. Phil Taylor upped his average by over 10 and even though Barney took a tiny step forward, that was the difference between these two men on this night.

Taylor and Barneveld are the class of the field but Taylor is by far the most consistent. He is a heavy scorer but is also confident on the doubles, this is where Barney fell down but I am sure that this great rivalry will have more chapters to write over the coming months and years.

Fordham Faced ‘Certain Death’

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Darts is widely known as the domain of the working class, beer-swilling, fat guy. The sport is one of only a handful that can be enjoyed simultaneously with six pints of beer and a packet of pork scratchings.

The stereotype is damaging the sport, however, and when a competitor begins to buckle beneath the weight of his lifestyle, media moguls start blaming the myriad associations and governing bodies that are supposed to be taking care of their athletes.

Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham weighed thirty-one stone when he collapsed at the Darts World Championship in 2007. He attributed his goliath size to a lifetime of binge drinking on the pub circuit and a diet that consisted largely of takeaways and enough trans-fat to make an elephant sick.

The player was recently quoted as saying: "The doctors told me if I carried on drinking I would be dead within 10 years. It is just one of those things you don’t think will happen to you. It is always someone else."

After a failed stint on TV’s Celebrity Fit Club, Andy recruited the expertise of top London physician, Dr John O’Grady, who has since helped the Englishman shed over seventeen stone.

However, unfortunately for Andy, his liver, despite showing signs of improvement, is beyond repair and will eventually need to be replaced.

Expert predictions show that only a small minority of people on the liver transplant list show any sign of recovery following extensive abuse but Andy, despite languishing in the depths of alcoholism for decades, has thankfully found his place within that margin.

Andy has been described as an inspiration for anybody who is hoping to change his or her lifestyle. The Viking began his return to the professional darts circuit on the 4th of December 2008 but has made it clear that the days when his dressing room quickly came to resemble the interior of a bottle bank are long gone.