Pipe smoking in debut
Justin Pipe enjoyed a dream debut in Championship League Darts as he beat Phil Taylor 6-5 in the final.
Last Updated: 27/09/12 8:17am
Justin Pipe enjoyed a dream debut in Championship League Darts with a triumphant performance in Group two of the tournament, as he defeated Phil Taylor 6-5 in Wednesday's final.
Pipe's rise up to 11th in the PDC Order of Merit over the past year has meant he qualified for the £200,000, internet-streamed event for the first time. After entering in Group Two his success also means that he now returns to Crondon Park GC in Essex on November 1 for the big-money winners group.
Pipe, the winner of five ranking titles over the past year, showed his quality in the multi-game format as he won four of his seven league games in the round-robin phase of the event.
This included taking victories over Simon Whitlock, Mark Webster, Kevin Painter and Adrian Lewis.
Having finished third in the league table, he compensated for a narrow 6-5 defeat to Terry Jenkins in the league phase by winning their semi-final 6-4 before edging out Taylor in a deciding leg in the final.
Pipe won the final's first two legs before Taylor took the lead courtesy of three successive double 16 finishes, before he landed double 10 to move 4-2 up.
Pipe punished a miss from Taylor to win the seventh on double 16 before a two-dart 76 checkout moved the reigning Championship League Darts winner a leg away from victory.
However, Pipe took out 78 on tops to hit back and finished double five for a 13-dart leg to force a decider after Taylor missed tops for the match.
Pipe opened the 11th leg with scores of 140, 140 and 125, and hit double 18 for another 13-darter to clinch the win, earning £3,000 prize money on the day and the chance to return for the Winners Group, with a £10,000 first prize and a place in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on offer for the eventual champion.
Pipe said: "It's a fantastic debut and I'm really pleased - I couldn't be happier. My initial aim was just to make the cut, and when I knew I was in the semi-finals I just wanted to push on.
"The game Terry and I had in the league stage was really good, so it was good to beat him and then to beat Phil in the final is fantastic, so I'm chuffed.
"I'll be able to watch the remaining groups with interest and there's no pressure on me now. I can come back for the final day and I know what it's going to be like. I'll prepare really well for the Winners Group, and hopefully do well in that."
In the first round of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix on October 8, Pipe will face Simon Whitlock and admitted: "Simon's hit a good bit of form so I know what I've got to do to beat him.
"Obviously I'm going to miss the practice experience in Championship League Darts, but it was important to take a win away from here and it's a fantastic confidence boost."