- Grand Slam of Darts
Taylor champion after edging Lewis in a record-breaking classic
A typically ruthless performance from Phil Taylor saw the world No. 1 win his fifth Grand Slam of Darts title after crushing Robert Thornton 16-6 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
The big occasion seemed to get to Thornton, who missed bull and eight darts at doubles in the very first leg to let Taylor take an early lead.
In typically ruthless fashion, The Power didn't allow his opponent a sniff, storming 5-0 ahead before Thornton hit the game's first 180 to get off the mark.
Taylor shifted through the gears, and although Thornton added five more legs to his score, it proved mere consolation as the world No. 1 took the £100,000 first prize.
Earlier in the day, Taylor and Adrian Lewis put on an astonishing darting performance in a semi-final tie that saw the most 180s ever hit in a PDC darts match - 32 in total - as both players gave the crowd a devastating display of tungsten.
The Power hit two 12-darters to move into a 2-0 lead, but Jackpot hit back with three straight legs to move ahead at the break.
The pair continued to trade 180s, including three back-to-back maximums in the 10th leg as they went into the second interval level at 5-5.
World champion Taylor produced a world class 167 finish to move ahead, but it did not faze Lewis who hit 170 before finish 32 to lead once more.
With both players averaging over 112 after 15 legs, Taylor went on the assault and produced a clinical array of finishing which punished Lewis. Perhaps the difference between the Stoke pair was Lewis' inconsistency on the doubles, but the two-time world champion looked to restore the fire in his game when facing a 160 finish.
Lewis wired double top after hitting both required trebles, leaving Taylor to step up facing the same finish. This time there was no mistake, as the 16-time world champion threw a last dart at tops which knocked the stuffing out of his former protégé.
From there, it appeared to be one way traffic as Taylor finished four legs to move within one of the final - Lewis stopped the rot to keep his hopes alive, but Taylor took out a 14-darter to book his place in the final with a 16-9 victory.
"I think the game against Adrian was the best I've ever played - and I think Adrian would say the same," Taylor said.
In the other semi-final, Thornton produced a superb performance to defeat Scott Waites 16-9 and earn his first-ever Grand Slam final appearance.
The Scot raced into a 4-1 lead at the first break, before the BDO world champion hit back with a superb spell of tungsten, just missing double 12 for a nine-dart finish.
As a result, Waites seized momentum to move back within one leg but Thornton recovered well, hitting a 111 finish on his way to victory.
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