SCOTLAND’S Gary Anderson was delighted to “beat the best” as he won his first PDC World Championship title after a 7-6 win over 16-time champion Phil Taylor in a thrilling finale at Alexandra Palace.
Anderson, who grew up in Musselburgh, showed tremendous mental strength to shrug off losing nine of ten legs after going 3-1 up, a no score and shouts from the crowd at 4-4 to collect dart’s richest prize.
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Taylor eased past old foe Raymond van Barneveld in the last four and was favourite in what was his 20th world final.
However, struggling to hit doubles in the bottom corner coupled with heavy scoring from Anderson meant it was the Scot who left with the trophy and £250,000 first prize.
“Me and Phil have had some battles over last five or six years. He’s won a lot of them, but I’ll take my win now,” said the Eyemouth-born thrower as he lifted the Sid Waddell trophy.
“Phil is the best, he always will be the best – even 100 years from now – so that makes winning this against him that bit more special.”
Anderson showed few signs of nerves early on with a double 20 rounding off a 120 finish. The two traded legs, but Anderson the last laugh in the opening set, hitting bull to go one up.
Taylor took the second set, although he needed three throws at the double 10 to level it.
Anderson won the first leg of the third before extending his lead to 3-1.
Taylor then stormed back winning six straight legs to level the match before taking the lead.
Anderson was desperate to halt Taylor’s run and a vital 180 in the fifth game put him in prime position to take the set against the throw, but a miss on the bull let Taylor back in.
Taylor missed three throws on double 12 as Anderson hit double eight, to make it 4-4.
Anderson knocked out his opening two trebles of the set with his third to register a no score before he grew frustrated with a spectator who he felt was shouting out of turn.
Two legs down Anderson showed heart to take the set. The 40-year-old threw his 60th 180 of the tournament before going 6-4 ahead and one set away from victory.
Taylor was one away from a nine-darter at the start of the 11th before winning the set 3-0.
At two each Anderson had a chance to see out the match, but he could not finish as Taylor levelled to make it six each.
Anderson took the opening game of the decider, before Taylor again missed three double 16 before the Scot hit double 18.
Anderson hit a 180 to start the third leg before missing bull for victory. Left with 25, he hit one then double 12 to see out the match and complete a remarkable victory.
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