Wade downs nine-dart Taylor
Left-hander first man to qualify for Championship League winner's group
Last Updated: 16/09/09 10:01am
Wade: First man through
Phil Taylor hit a nine-darter in the opening group of the Championship League darts, but James Wade beat him in the final to qualify first for the winners group next month.
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Wade started the day by beating Taylor in the opening fixture of the first group in the tournament, and ended the day in the same way - with a 6-4 success in the final putting him through to the winners group.
It was a deserved victory for Wade, who missed out on the final group last year, as he won six of his seven matches in the group, with a tight 6-5 defeat against Adrian Lewis his only loss.
After a 6-5 victory over Mervyn King in the semis, Wade planted two 121 finishes to take control of the final, while back-to-back 180s put him on a nine-darter although he failed to follow Taylor's example and complete the perfect leg.
A final 100 checkout gave Wade a 6-4 win and the first place in October's final group at the first time of asking, along with £3,250 in prize money.
"I'm delighted to get through," said Wade. "I was disappointed last year when I lost out in two groups and missed the Winners Group so it's a relief to qualify this time.
"Just winning the group today was tough because of the quality of players, but to then win the semi-finals and final too is brilliant."
'The Power' was unbeaten as he took the title last year, but he lost to Wade in his very first game, and later was beaten by King 6-4, although his nine-darter whilst beating John Part illuminated the early stages.
It was a seventh televised nine-darter for Taylor, even though the event at Crondon Park in Essex was only available online, and it was later followed by a 6-3 semi-final success over fellow Stoke thrower Lewis.
Whilst Wade moves on to the final group, Taylor, King and Lewis will try again on Wednesday in another long day of league action, but Part and Ronnie Baxter were eliminated after winning just one match each.
Colin Lloyd and Alan Tabern also return after finishing fifth and sixth, while double world champion Dennis Priestley will enter the event in Group Two, alongside Andy Hamilton and Mark Walsh - who both won groups in last year's event.
You can watch all of the group two action only online, so long on to skysports.com from 11am on Wednesday to watch the darts LIVE through the Sky Bet player.