sport

Anderson edges out Taylor

Gary Anderson beat Phil Taylor 6-5 in the final of Saturday's Players Championship darts event in Crawley.

It was the Scot's fourth PDC ProTour win of 2014 and came on a day which saw Dave Chisnall and Michael van Gerwen both record nine-dart finishes.

Anderson, whose partner Rachel is expecting their first child next week, defeated James Hubbard, Marc Dewsbury, Conan Whitehead and Joe Murnan to win through to the last eight, where he edged out Adrian Lewis 6-4.

He then survived four missed match darts from Christian Kist before winning their semi-final in a deciding leg and then claimed victory in a high-quality final against Taylor.

Taylor broke in the opening leg with a 14-darter, only for Anderson to level before hitting a 180 in a 13-darter to move 2-1 up.

The Scot then missed the bull for a 170 finish as Taylor levelled with a 13-darter of his own, and the pair traded the next two before another 13-dart finish moved Anderson 4-3 up, as he landed another maximum.

The pair then hit 171 scores in the next before Taylor finished 146 for a 12-darter to level, before both hit 180s as Anderson took out double eight to lead 5-4.

Taylor finished 109 to send the game into a decider and left himself 102 in the final leg, only to see Anderson check out 104 on double 12 to complete the win, claiming the 10,000 first prize.

"Winning's becoming a habit again this year and it's a great habit to have," smiled the Scot afterwards. "I always enjoy playing Phil and it was a great final, and I'm delighted to have come out on top this time.

"I'm climbing back up the rankings and I've got the fire in my belly again. I'm enjoying my darts at the moment, but I've knuckled down this year and I'm getting the results.

"My doubles are coming back and I hit bucketloads of 180s today, which was great for me."

Taylor continued his own return to top form with a fine day of darts, defeating Keegan Brown and Kurt Parry in his opening two games before seeing off Andy Hamilton 6-2 in the third round.

He then won an extraordinary last-16 tie against Van Gerwen, who hit a nine-dart finish in taking the match to a deciding leg and averaged 114 only to see his rival take out a 116 finish to claim victory.

Taylor then defied a 111 average from Terry Jenkins to win their quarter-final 6-4 before averaging 106 himself to see off Nigel Heydon in the semis, only to fall just short in the decider.

Van Gerwen's perfect leg against Taylor came after an earlier nine-darter from Chisnall, who achieved the feat as he came back from 5-1 down to defeat Mark Walsh 6-5 in the second round.

Chisnall later lost to Wade in the last 32, with the seven-time major winner progressing to the quarter-finals before going out to Kist, whose run to the semi-finals was his best display since joining the PDC circuit in January.

Sunday will see a second Players Championship tournament in Crawley, with a further 50,000 in prize money on offer.