What another great night of darting drama at the O2 on finals night of The McCoys Premier League!
Both semi-finals and the final itself were very close run affairs with all the results resting on a moment of brilliance or the failure to take an opportunity when it presented itself. In the end it was the ability of Phil Taylor to find that “power surge” at the crucial time in his matches that delivered the coveted title and the bumper winner’s cheque of £150,000.
Mr T was the first to admit that his scoring average was well below his norm and that, because of this, he was always vulnerable. Yet, try as they did, neither James Wade nor Simon Whitlock could land the killer punch when it mattered.
In the semi-final James stood toe to toe with Phil so that the scores were seven legs apiece when Mr T delivered what, to all intents and purposes, was the killer blow – a finish of 149. James never had the chance to recover.
His opponent in the final was Simon Whitlock who had had to battle extremely hard to gain the better of a terrier-like Andy Hamilton. Whitlock had to come from behind but crucially his confidence was given a huge boost when he hit his first televised 9 dart finish in the 13th game.
I was convinced, and said so on TV prior to the final that, if Simon could average just over a ton, and, with Phil not showing his usual form, the title was there to be won.
Whether it was nerves, or having to play twice on the night, Whitlock was all at sea in the early games and Taylor went into a 7 – 2 lead, needing only another three games for the title. But, amazingly “The Wizard” got back to level terms at 7 legs all and, astonishingly, had a chance to take the lead but missed the double.
This was the wake-up call Phil needed and we all know that if you don’t take the very few chances you get against him, “The Power” will prevail. And so he did.