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.

Taylor, Barney, Wade are the early favourites for the 2009 PDC World Darts Championship

On December 10, 2008 by

The draw for the 2009 PDC World Darts Championship has taken place and once again all eyes will be on Phil Taylor to win the tournament for the first time since 2006.

The 13-time World Champion hasn’t won the big prize in either of the last two seasons and that isn’t exactly the norm! In 2007 he was part of arguably the greatest darts match in history and without a doubt the best one that I’ve ever seen. After going 3-0 up on Raymond van Barneveld, the Dutchman went away at the break and came back firing on all cylinders.

The tie went down to the final sudden death leg and after Barney went and won the throw, Taylor threw a 180 and looked very much in command only for his rival to respond in kind with a 180 of his own. Barney missed a double top for the title but would return to the board with three darts for all the marbles and only needed the one.

Last year Taylor was just not at the races throughout the whole competition and didn’t make the latter stages of the competition. He though is the huge odds on favourite already at 4/7 with SkyBet and only Barney (7/1) and James Wade (7/1) are even within touching distance if you go by where the punters are putting their money.

The tie of the first round is clearly between former BDO World Champion Jelle Klassen and former PDC #1 Colin Lloyd. This will get the tournament off to a good start and also there is a chance for a woman to make the first round proper. Anastasia Dobromyslova is in the preliminary round and should she win that match then she will compete in the television stages of the tournament.

The tournament is live and exclusive on SkySports from the 19th December with the final on Sunday 4th January.

Taylor powers his way to Grand Slam of Darts title

On November 24, 2008 by

Phil Taylor once again stood there on a Sunday lifting a trophy and grasping a rather large winners cheque. This time it was £100k and he was yet again acclaimed as the Grand Slam of Darts Champion.

The Power is without a doubt the best darts player on the planet, no-one can surely argue with that statement but the question is whether his dominance of the sport is killing or helping. When Raymond van Barneveld moved over to the PDC from the BDO everyone was excited to see them go at it. However Barney’s form has dipped and he looked pretty dire in his quarter-final with Terry Jenkins despite having darts at a double in the final leg!

Since the 2007 World Championship Final on New Years Day 2007 – Barney hasn’t been the darts player everyone expected him to be. The other big name has been local boy James Wade who has been extremely consistent over the past 18 months or so.

However despite Taylor’s dominance – he hasn’t actually won the World title in two years. Barney won in 2007 and John Part is the current title holder. However Taylor is still the brand name and the face who is synonymous with the sport. The Barney-Taylor rivalry needs to keep going because without them – the sport really lacks exposure and that heavyweight battle.

Barney blitzed by The Power in Dublin

On October 13, 2008 by

Phil Taylor beat his old adversary Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 to win the Sky Poker Grand Prix final in Dublin on Sunday. The Power was big favourite going into the clash but Barney came out firing and finished the opening leg with a 133 finish and everyone was sensing yet another cracking duel between the pair.

With no fewer than 18 World Title’s between them – it is the match-up that the fans and the television companies always want to see in the final. Barney has been out of competitive darts for three months following an operation and seemed to be back to his best following a storming run to the final, which saw him defeat Alan Tabern, Adrian Lewis, Colin Lloyd and Mervyn King.

The Power had an easier route to the final with Ronnie Baxter, Colin Osbourne, Andy Hamilton and Terry Jenkins feeling the force of The Power – with only Andy Hamilton even managing to claim a set!

Barney seemed to start strong and with the double in rule in place for this tournament, it was the Dutchman who was hitting the early doubles with most regularity. He peppered the double 16 with his first dart whilst Taylor often needed more than one to hit double tops. However Taylor was the one who had the treble twenty in check as he scored heavier and would go on to hit eight more ton eighties than his opponent.

With the sets even at two we looked set to have a barnstormer of a match ahead of us but The Power put the hammer down to runaway with a 6-2 victory. The scoreline did Barney a disservice as he played better than it suggests but still, he wasn’t up to the challenge.

I hope this is the start of Barney’s resurgence back to the top of the game as Darts is better when these two are both at their peak.

Taylor vows to play on until 2012

On May 29, 2008 by

Taylor believes he can keep playing for another five years and that there is still room for improvement in his game.

At 47 years old and with a record 13 world championships under his belt Taylor has had a difficult season winning only the Premier league title.

On BBC one’s Inside sport he said: "I’m definitely going to give it five years.

"I’m getting back to being really competitive again. I’m going to try to be better than I ever was."

Taylor wins Premier League title

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Taylor won his fourth successive title after his win on Bank Holiday Monday.

Despite a poor start losing his first three matches Taylor emerged the victor claiming the £100,000 prize over rival James Wade.

"I’m absolutely over the moon, it’s a massive tournament," Said Taylor

"You have to be at the top of your game for three or four months, so it means a great deal."

Taylor had an average of 112 during the tournament.

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Random blog post

On April 28, 2008 by

Random blog post