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Taylor scrapes into quarter-finals

ESPN staff
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Taylor was far from his best © PA Photos
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Phil Taylor scraped past Paul Nicholson to book a spot in the World Grand Prix quarter-finals at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

Taylor raced out of the blocks, winning the first set without reply, before Nicholson found his rhythm and took the second to a deciding fifth leg.

It proved a dramatic affair as Taylor missed an astonishing ten darts at double-20, double-10 and double-five, before Nicholson sealed it with a double-10.

Taylor eased the third set 3-1 before a closely-fought fourth which saw Nicholson miss three chances to take it to a decider. Taylor won the match with a brilliant third dart to double-eight to claim the victory.

"I don't know what to say, really," Taylor told Sky Sports. "I couldn't click.

"There are no excuses really, I just didn't play very well - apart from the final dart, which was one of the best I've ever thrown."

Taylor will face Gary Anderson in the quarter-finals, after the Scot edged Wes Newton 3-2.

Newton took a one-set lead before Anderson stepped up his game to take the second and third. But a superb 180-101 finish from Newton took the match to a deciding set, which Anderson won in 3-0 thanks to 14-, 14- and 15-dart legs.

Elsewhere, two-time champion James Wade twice came from behind to beat Connie Finnan 3-2.

Wade was sluggish throughout and it took Finnan missing bull to let him back in the game late on. Finnan was unable to finish from 99, allowing Wade to win the match from 91, ending on double-ten.

And Australian Simon Whitlock sealed his place in the quarter-finals for the first time in Dublin after seeing off Ronnie Baxter in straight sets.

"The game probably wasn't as comfortable as the scoreline says," said Whitlock. "Ronnie missed a lot of doubles to win legs there and I took advantage."

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