European Championship - day four, semi-finals and final review
Phil Taylor's record breaking year continued with an 11-3 victory over Steve Beaton in the European Championship final at the Claus Event Center in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands.
Taylor has now claimed all the PDC's major ranking titles and the £50,000 winner's cheque means he has won over £600,000 in prize money in 2009 alone - and he almost capped his latest win in perfect style, missing a dart at double 12 to win the final leg with a nine-darter before taking it out for his second 11-dart leg of the final to defend the title he won last year in Frankfurt.
"I'm delighted with that win as it was really hard work," said Taylor, who had earlier defeated Jelle Klaasen in the semi-finals by the same score.
"Obviously finishing with the nine-darter would have been perfect but Steve never gave up, and even after missing the nine-darter he hit me with a 180 that is probably the best one I've seen in my career - when your backs against the wall like Steve's was, to hit 180-ton-180 like that shows real bottle."
The world number one stormed to victory after claiming seven legs on the trot to go 9-1 up in the contest, but he was quick to pay tribute to Beaton who claims a spot in the Grand Slam of Darts through his runners-up performance which came after his first tournament win in eight years at the Players Championship in Nuland last weekend.
"Steve has got his will to win back and he believes he can win tournaments now - it's a different Steve Beaton and he looks like he's enjoying his darts which is important," said Taylor.
"It's great to play against people like Steve as it tests your ability and takes you to limits."
Beaton picked up the £20,000 cheque which was rich reward after coming through a thrilling final leg decider in the semi-finals against James Wade, and sent out a warning that he was not finished there.
"I want to be there with the rest of them," said Beaton, who climbs to 19th on the Order of Merit after his strong showing.
"I've got my little notches next to the ones I want to beat.
"I'm over the moon with how the week has gone - I've qualified for the Grand Slam and I'm moving back up the table and I want to be back in the top 16.
"Phil's 140 checkout in the fifth leg was a killer but that's what winners do and even I have to say it would have rounded off the tournament if Phil had taken out the nine-darter."
Taylor pounced early to take control in the match after Beaton missed a double on his throw and Taylor moved 2-0 by holding his throw in the second leg.
The Warwickshire man held in the third leg but it was then that Taylor began his unstoppable charge to the title, starting with two 180s in an 11-dart leg and then the 140 checkout in the fifth leg to move 4-1 in front.
Consecutive 13-darters followed as Beaton missed a big number on a 78 checkout and Taylor was scoring heavily with five straight legs with three scores of 100-plus and notching his sixth maximum in the tenth leg to go into the break 9-1 up.
Beaton responded after the break by holding his throw twice but Taylor had moved to within one leg of victory and almost gave the crowd a dream finale - punching in a 180 followed by a 177 before skimming the wire outside double 12 - and with Beaton breathing down his neck by leaving 41 from his nine darts, Taylor returned to take out 24 and with it successfully defend his title.
Semi-finals and final results
Phil Taylor 11-3 Jelle Klaasen
Steve Beaton 11-10 James Wade
Phil Taylor 11-3 Steve Beaton
PHIL TAYLOR 11-3 JELLE KLAASEN
Phil Taylor stormed into the final of the 2009 European Championship with a commanding 11-3 semi-final victory over Jelle Klaasen in the Netherlands.
The defending champion followed his 118.14 average from his earlier quarter-final victory over Gary Anderson with a 109.36 average, firing ten 180s in total - with six of them coming in a devastating burst where he won nine legs on the trot.
Taylor was on for a nine-darter in the opening leg after starting with two 180s but settled for an 11-dart break of Klaasen's throw.
The Dutchman fired back though as Taylor missed four darts to hold his throw and Klaasen punished him to level.
Klaasen moved 2-1 in front with an 11-dart leg of his own but Taylor continued his dominant form by winning the next six legs to go into the break 8-2 in front.
Taylor extended that winning streak by three further legs to move within one of victory before the Dutchman clawed one leg back but Taylor was throwing for the match in the 14th leg and started it with his tenth 180.
Klaasen did have a chance to take out 54 but squandered two darts at a double and Taylor moved into the final.
STEVE BEATON 11 - 10 JAMES WADE
Steve Beaton reached his first major final since 1996 with a thrilling final leg victory over James Wade in the second semi-final to meet defending champion in the final of the 2009 European Championship.
Beaton led 10-7 before Wade won three legs on the trot to take the game into a deciding leg but Beaton kept Wade at bay with two ton scores early to and although Wade applied some pressure with a 140 and 122 leaving him with 20, Beaton took out double five to meet Taylor in the final.
Both players held in style in the opening two legs with Beaton checking out 109 only for Wade to take out 128 on the bull.
That was the first of five legs in a row for Wade, with the world number two recording a ten-dart leg to break and go 2-1 up and a 120 checkout two legs later saw him break Beaton once more and move 4-1 ahead.
The in-form Beaton broke straight back thanks to three ton-plus scores and held his throw to trail 4-3 and then won the last two legs before the break to level the match at 5-5.
A 50 checkout on their return took Beaton in front and he made it four on the bounce to go 8-6 in front.
Steve opened up a three-leg lead before Wade fired a 13-dart leg and after Beaton held to move within one leg of victory, Wade produced his hat-trick of legs to take it to a 21st leg - although Wade missed two at double ten to give Beaton the chance to take out 60 for the match.
He missed two darts at tops and Wade returned to force the decider, which Beaton edged to move into the final and qualify for the Grand Slam of Darts.
Copy courtesy of Anthony Leaver, PDC
Picture courtesy of Lawrence Lustig, PDC