TAYLOR & KING TO CLASH IN SEMIS AS ANDERSON & FARMER PROGRESS
PHIL TAYLOR and Mervyn King will clash in the semi-finals of the Players Championship Finals on Sunday evening, with Gary Anderson and newcomer Steve Farmer to clash in the other last four encounter at the Doncaster Dome.
Taylor continued his bid for a second Players Championship Finals title continued with a fine display as he averaged 103 in defeating Wes Newton in the quarter-finals.
The world number one led 5-0 before Newton threatened a fightback, but a timely 104 checkout helped Taylor to end the Fleetwood ace’s hopes.
He will take on 2010 Players Championship Finals runner-up Mervyn King in the last four, after he booked a semi-final place with a 9-7 win over Terry Jenkins.
King had come from 5-2 down to win his previous two matches, but this time allowed a 5-1 advantage to slip as Jenkins wrestled himself into a 7-6 lead – only for King to win the final three legs and progress.
In-form Gary Anderson overcame a slow start to defeat Andy Smith 9-5 in their quarter-final, with the Studley thrower hitting a ten-dart finish on his way to a 5-4 advantage.
Anderson, though, reeled off five successive legs to claim victory and create a semi-final against Farmer, the Telford ace who defeated Colin Lloyd 9-5 in the other last four game.
Lloyd shared the first ten legs with Farmer, but paid for missed doubles in three successive legs as the newcomer moved 8-5 up before hitting a fifth 180 in sealing the biggest win of his career.
The semi-finals and final of the £250,000 tournament will be played on Sunday evening and streamed live in PDCtv at www.pdc.tv, with the champion taking home £60,000.
Players Championship Finals
Mervyn King 9-7 Terry Jenkins
Wes Newton 3-9 Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson 9-5 Andy Smith
Steve Farmer 9-5 Colin Lloyd
Evening Session (7pm)
Gary Anderson v Steve Farmer
Mervyn King v Phil Taylor
best of 19 legs
Best of 25 legs
MERVYN KING 9-7 TERRY JENKINS
MERVYN KING won a see-saw battle with Terry Jenkins to book his place in the semi-finals of the Players Championship Finals with a narrow 9-7 triumph.
King had come from 5-2 down to win his previous two matches, but this time allowed a 5-1 advantage to slip as Jenkins wrestled himself into a 7-6 lead – only for the 2010 runner-up to win the final three legs and progress.
King made a sensational start to leave Jenkins reeling, hitting a 180 and double 16 to take the opening leg before producing finishes of 83, 119 and 88 as he moved 4-0 up.
He also missed the bull for a 170 checkout in the fifth leg, as Jenkins followed an earlier 180 with double ten to stem the tide.
King finished 56 in two darts to take a 5-1 lead, before Jenkins took the next three legs, including checkouts of 100 and 86, to pull back to 5-4.
King edged the tenth leg on tops, but missed double 11 for a 124 finish in the next as Jenkins took out 81 and then 76 to level.
The Ledbury ace then posted a 180 for a third successive leg before double ten put him ahead for the first time at 7-6.
Double eight from King saw him level before he hit the same bed to regain the lead at 8-7.
Jenkins gave himself the chance to force a decider, but missed the bullseye and a dart at double four to give King his chance to secure victory, which he took on doble top.
“I like to entertain but I’m not making it easy for myself,” said King. “I didn’t score as well as I wanted to but I’m really pleased to get the win because Terry is playing really well.
“I let it slip a little bit when I got into the lead, but a lot of that was due to the way Terry played and he deserved to go 7-6 up.
“I’ve got to up my game if I’m going to win but I’ll give it my all tonight.”
PHIL TAYLOR 9-3 WES NEWTON
PHIL TAYLOR stormed into the semi-finals of the Players Championship Finals in Doncaster, defeated Wes Newton 9-3 to set up a last four clash with Mervyn King.
The 2009 Players Championship Finals winner remains on course for his second win in the £250,000 tournament, after averaging 103 in seeing off in-form Newton.
Taylor took the first five legs without reply before Newton hit back to 7-3, but the world number one took out a killer 104 before hitting a 180 in sealing victory.
“My finishing was the key and it seemed that every time I went for tops I hit it,” said Taylor.
“Wes probably out-scored my but I’m still getting used to my new darts. I’m trying to improve and getting back to my best.”
Newton hit a 180 in the opening leg, but Taylor hit double two to get off the mark and double 18 to break in the second.
Taylor then checked out 67 to win the third, despite another maximum from Newton, before double eight and double top gave him a five-leg lead.
Newton got off the mark with a fine 12-darter, which included a 180, and after Taylor replied with a 121 finish he also posted a maximum in winning a second leg on double eight.
The next two were shared with double one finishes as Newton cut the gap to 7-3, but he could only wait on 28 in the 11th leg as Taylor finished 104 on tops.
If that was a blow, Taylor then produced another killer punch with his first 180 of the game before landing double 12 to complete a comprehensive victory.
Taylor meets King in the semis on Sunday evening, and added: “I love playing Mervyn and it will be a good scrap. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a nine-darter because we’ll push each other.”
GARY ANDERSON 9-5 ANDY SMITH
SCOTTISH ace Gary Anderson overcame stiff resistance from Andy Smith before sealing a semi-final spot in the Players Championship Finals with a 9-5 victory.
Smith matched the World Championship finalist blow for blow during the opening ten legs of an enthralling clash, but paid for missed doubles late on as Anderson won five successive legs to take victory.
Smith made an ideal start with a 180 to open the match, taking the first leg on tops before Anderson replied on double ten.
The third went Smith’s way with a brilliant ten-darter, with scores of 180, 140 and 145 setting up double 18 as he edged 2-1 up, only for Anderson to power in a 130 checkout for the fourth.
Anderson missed two darts to break in the next as double eight put Smith back in front, while the Scot took the sixth on double four before beraking for the first time on tops for a 4-3 lead.
Smith immediately hit back on double 16, and defied a 180 from the Scot to take out double 18 for a 5-4 advantage.
Anderson levelled on tops in the tenth, and picked up another key break in the next, with Smith missing two darts at double 12 to allow him in on double ten.
Anderson hit a 180 and a 98 finish to finally secure a two-leg lead at 7-5, and after three missed doubles from Smith in the next he took out 73 in two darts to move a leg away from the win.
Smith battled to get back into the match with scores of 180 and 140 in the next, with Anderson landing a maximum in reply and punishing his opponent for bursting 11 by hitting single 17 instead of three, with the Scot wrapping up the win on tops.
“He came out all guns blazing and hit a few 180s but slipped away at the end and I took my chances,” said Anderson. “I’m over the moon with my game this week and I’ll be doing my best in the semis.”
STEVE FARMER 9-5 COLIN LLOYD
STEVE FARMER picked up the biggest victory of his career, defeating Colin Lloyd 9-5 at the Players Championship Finals to win through to his first major semi-final.
The Telford star followed up his previous victories over Mark Walsh and Colin Osborne by taking the final four legs without reply against Lloyd.
Farmer will now take on Gary Anderson on Sunday night for a place in the final, as he bids to claim the £60,000 first prize and his maiden major title.
After the pair shared the opening four legs, Farmer picked up the first break in the fifth on double top – following a missed double 16 from Lloyd – before double 12 put him 4-2 up.
Farmer then hit a maximum in the seventh, but saw one dart at double ten for a 140 finish miss as Lloyd posted double 16.
Farmer finished 91 on double 16 to lead 5-3, but Lloyd brilliantly won the next by following a 180 with a 124 checkout.
He then punished three misses from Farmer to break in the tenth and level the game, only to then see four darts to regain the lead miss their target.
Farmer capitalised on double two and also won the next two after further misses from Lloyd, and landed his fifth maximum of the match in leaving 53 as he sealed the win on double ten.
“It’s the biggest win of my life,” said Farmer, who won his maiden Players Championship last September. “It’s been a fantastic year for me, and it’s a dream to be in the semi-finals.
“Colin has beaten me 6-0 before and I knew I’d have to play well to defeat him. It’s going to be a really tough game again against Gary and I’m looking forward to it, but there’s no pressure on me and hopefully I can win.”