sport

Taylor powers past Nicholson

Phil Taylor cruised into the semi-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts with a 16-7 win over Paul Nicholson in Wolverhampton on Saturday.

The Geordie-born Australian rarely looked likely to repeat his victory over Taylor in the UK Open after the world No 1 raced into a commanding 8-1 lead.

Nicholson did not help his cause when he missed five darts to break in the opening leg, and Taylor took the second with a clinical 11-darter.

Nicholson got on the board in the fourth leg, but he continued to pay the price for sloppy finishing as Taylor reeled off the next four.

Nicholson, again relishing the relentless banter from the crowd, did rally briefly from 9-2 down to win three legs in a row, but Taylor responded to take the next three.

An 11-dart finish from Nicholson extended the match to a 23rd leg before Taylor capped another dominant win with a 13-darter to finish with a three-dart average of over 104.

"It was a good game and I really enjoyed it," said Taylor. "Paul's got a lot of bottle and he kept coming back at me, even though he wasn't playing as well as he can.

"I'm over the moon to still be in the running and it would be special to win this title back on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to playing Adrian in the semi-finals because he's having a good tournament so far and getting back to his best."

Adrian Lewis cruised into the semi-finals for the first time after an emphatic 16-5 thrashing of Mark Webster.

The world champion backed up his solid scoring with some clinical finishing, hitting 16 of his 26 attempts at a double while posting a three-dart average of over 100.

The game looked in the balance at 5-3 until Lewis, who nailed a 152 checkout in the sixth leg, won eight of the next nine legs to roar into a 13-4 lead.

Webster took out 108 to briefly threaten a fightback, but Lewis took the next two legs and sealed an impressive win with a superb 128 checkout.

"I switched off when I got ahead against John Part on Friday but I learned my lesson and didn't ease up this time," said Lewis.

"I started a bit slowly with my scoring but I was hitting my doubles and I kept Mark under pressure.

"I know I'm in good form and as long as my finishing is good I know that I'll hit the scores. My finishing hasn't let me down and I feel confident."