PDC World Darts Championship final: Gary Anderson beats Phil Taylor to win his first world title
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 05/01/15 1:00pm
Gary Anderson won his first world darts title by beating 16-time champion Phil Taylor 7-6 in a gripping 2015 PDC World Championship final.
Anderson overcame some horrendous luck with the dart board and an altercation with a spectator to see off 'The Power', who failed to take advantage of key moments in the match.
Taylor missed three darts at double 12 to go 5-3 up in the eighth set and from that moment, Anderson played some scintillating darts.
He roared into a 6-4 lead but Taylor responded in amazing fashion, breaking the Anderson throw to bring the game back to 6-6.
But Anderson held his nerve in the final set to become the king of the world.
Both players used the electric atmosphere inside Ally Pally to their advantage in the early stages. It was a topsy-turvy opener that was eventually nicked by Anderson 3-2 as he hammered home a 121 finish with the last dart finding the middle of the bullseye.
Despite the Scot’s lack of big final experience in comparison to Taylor, it was he that looked the more comfortable in the second leg, breaking the Taylor throw in the first leg with a 76 finish. The set looked to be going Anderson’s way until Taylor found his A-game in the final three legs to break back and then hold his throw and nerve with a dramatic double 10 to draw the game level.
With the game back on throw, Anderson took advantage of having the darts in the third set and had little fuss in seeing off Taylor 3-1 to take a 2-1 outright lead in sets. Anderson’s 180 in the fourth leg - the 604th of the tournament - brought up a new record of 180s hit in a professional darts tournament.
Troubles with doubles
There was serious double trouble for Taylor in the fourth set, missing nine darts at a double. Anderson took advantage and broke with a deadly double 18. The Scot kept his scoring strong, held his throw to land the set and go within four legs of becoming world champion.
Taylor is the 16-time world champion for a reason and any thoughts that the darting phenomenon was under the cosh were quickly crushed as he broke back in the fifth set. Anderson only gave his opponent half a chance but he punished him to maximum effect, whitewashing the Scot 3-0, including a magical 11-dart leg.
The relentless Taylor fight back continued in the sixth set as he produced another whitewash. Anderson did not even get a chance to hit a double, such was the Power’s dominance. The tide seemed to be turning even though, the scores were level at 3-3.
Anderson briefly supressed the Taylor tide by taking the first leg of the eighth set, winning his first leg for six visits, but Taylor hit straight back. The next three legs were won by the Stoke thrower as he finally managed to hit double eight at the first time of asking after fluffing his lines on that number on multiple occasions earlier in the night.
With his nose in front and with the darts, Taylor briefly lost concentration in the ninth set by allowing Anderson to break his throw in the opening leg but his response was immediate, breaking back in the next leg with some powerful scoring. However, Anderson showed huge bottle with a well-timed 180 and a brave double eight to level the match up after Taylor missed three darts at double 12 to take a 5-3 lead. Instead, it was 4-4.
The tenth set was full of drama. It all started with Anderson looking set for an opening 180 but his third dart knocked the first two out and he scored zero. The extraordinary moment caused the officials to change the board at the end of the set.
With Taylor breaking the throw, Anderson then hit single 18 when he was after a double one and was clearly rattled by a spectator in the crowd, who had shouted as he was about to release the dart. Anderson used his anger to his advantage though as he ran off the final three legs despite being 2-1 down to take a sensational 5-4 lead.
Anderson was soon just one set away from the crown after confidently dispatching 'The Power' to take a 6-4 lead. Anderson mimed to his girlfriend 'it's finished' as he walked off the stage in the mini-break.
Taylor perhaps was told of Anderson’s confidence backstage, and came out all guns blazing to crucially break the Anderson throw with a stunning leg of darts. He hit eight perfect darts before missing the double 12. He did not mess about with the remaining darts, easing to a 3-0 leg victory to get back to within one leg.
The tension was unbearable in the 12th set but the only man it did not seem to affect was Taylor, who produced some incredibly cool darts to level the game again at 6-6. Anderson did have a sniff at 170 for the match but although he hit the first treble, he missed the next by a whisker. From there, Taylor strode up and nonchalantly hit double eight to take the match to a decider.
It looked as though Anderson would be on the ropes in the final set but he regained his composure and started to pepper the treble 20 bed again. Taylor lost his focus and Anderson took full advantage, winning the World Championship with a double 12.