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Nic Ladds 2nd Jan 2012 - 11:32

Lewis hits back to shatter Wade's dreams

Adrian Lewis came from 5-1 down to win through to the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship final with a dramatic final-set win over James Wade, and will meet Andy Hamilton in all-Stoke decider at Alexandra Palace on Monday.

Hamilton came from 5-3 down to win a see-saw thriller with 2010 runner-up Simon Whitlock, who took four successive sets to move close to victory only to be overhauled by the Stoke ace.

However, Hamilton's comeback was bettered in the second semi-final by reigning champion Lewis, who produced arguably the sport's best ever fightback when he took five successive sets to turn a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 triumph.

Play was briefly suspended early in the game with Wade two sets up when the pair were affected by a crosswind on stage, with the duo returning following a 20-minute break.

Lewis took the third set, but Wade won nine legs out of the next 11 to move into a 5-1 lead and edge a a set away from the victory with some superb darts.

ewis fought back to level the match with a run of seven successive legs, and then extended the run of winning legs to ten by taking the deciding set 3-0 - sealing an amazing comeback with a stunning 161 checkout.

"This is probably my greatest ever win," said Lewis. "The problems with the draught did affect me for a time, but I think tonight I showed that I'm a true champion.
"I do not want to lose my grip on this trophy. I'm going to get a good night's sleep now, relax, and prepare myself properly before I play Andy in the final."

Hamilton will now compete in only his second major final, with the previous coming at the 2007 Grand Slam of Darts, as he looks to take the £200,000 title on Monday.

"I'm on top of the world," said Hamilton. "To be in the World Championship final means everything to me and I'll be give it all I've got on Monday.

"At 5-3 down I never thought I was going out, I'm a fighter and I had to dig in, and I think I had more fighting power in me at the end.

"If I can perform, concentrate and be solid I can win this. I'm showing that I've got nerve, and I'm in for a fight in the final, but I'm ready for it."

Australian star Whitlock was philosophical following his defeat, having had a six-week break ahead of the tournament when he suffered a broken ankle in October.

"I didn't expect to get past the first round, so to reach the semi-finals is a great achievement," said Whitlock.

"I was told by doctors that I wouldn't play in this tournament, so I'm over the moon to get to the semi-finals and hopefully I'll have a big year in 2012 because I've got my desire back after missing two TV tournaments with the injury.
"I'm obviously disappointed to lose this game but Andy was great and I hope he goes on to win the title now. There's no stopping him when he gets on a roll and he threw brilliant darts."

Ladbrokes World Darts Championship
Semi-Finals
Sunday January 1
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis 6-5 James Wade

Final
Monday January 2 (8pm)
Andy Hamilton v Adrian Lewis
Best of 13 sets

ANDY HAMILTON 6-5 SIMON WHITLOCK
(3-0, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1, 0-3, 2-3, 0-3, 0-3, 3-2, 3-1, 4-2)

ANDY HAMILTON secured a place in his first Ladbrokes World Darts Championship final after overcoming Simon Whitlock 6-5 in a titanic semi-final at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.
The Stoke ace continued his thrilling run in the tournament with another gritty and determined display as he saw off the Australian star to reach only the second major final of his career.
Hamilton had come from 15-8 down to defeat Whitlock 17-15 in the World Matchplay quarter-finals in July held the advantage in the early stages of the contest as he led 3-1.
However, Whitlock then produced some superb darts to take 12 of the next 14 legs in the process of moving 5-3 up and a set away from his second final in three years.
But Hamilton, who was 200-1 to win the tournament with sponsors Ladbrokes ahead of the event, hit back to claim the next three sets and seal an amazing triumph.
"I'm quite emotional at the moment," said a delighted Hamilton. "I worked so hard tonight and I wouldn't be denied.
"My performance wasn't as good as some of the others I've had in this tournament, but I will take it!. I'm so happy to be in the final and I prepared for another fight - this is my chance to achieve my darting dream."
Hamilton, who was impressive in defeating Belgium's Kim Huybrechts in the quarter-finals, hit double eight to take the first leg, before hitting tops at the first time of asking to break throw in the second.
The Stoke ace then took out a 68 finish to take third leg and seal the set to make an ideal start to his first World Championship semi-final since 2007.
Both players held throw in the opening two legs of the second set and the Australian, who triumphed over Gary Anderson in the last eight, hit double top to take the third leg.
Whitlock missed three chances to win the set in the fourth leg, allowing Hamilton take it on double top at the first time of asking.

The deciding leg saw Whitlock hit a 170 score to leave double top, but three missed doubles allowed Hamilton a chance to steal the set.
However, he was just off-target with his attempt at the bullseye for a 2-0 lead, and Whitlock returned to hit double ten to level the match.
Hamilton took the first leg of set three, which featured a 177, but the Stoke man missed a dart at double six to take the second, which Whitlock won on double two.
Whitlock hit a maximum in the next, but Hamilton won the leg with a clinical two-dart 84 finish, before winning the set on double four.
Whitlock hit double eight to win the first leg of the fourth set, and had a chance to take the second, but a missed attempt at bullseye for a 170 checkout proved expensive as Hamilton took out 118.

The Stoke ace then hit back-to-back 12-dart legs, featuring two more maximums, as he took the set and moved 3-1 up in the game.
Both players failed with attempts at bullseye claim the first leg of the fifth set, before Whitlock hit double eight to secure a break of throw.
Hamilton hit his sixth 180 of the match in the next, but Whitlock won the leg with a fantastic 170 checkout to go 2-0 up, and then finished a 13-darter to take the set and reduce the gap to one.
Hamilton broke throw to make a positive start to set six, by landing double top at the first time of asking, before taking out 89 to win the second with a 14-darter.
Whitlock hit back to win the third leg on double eight, before recording a 14-darter of his own to claim the fourth against the throw.
The deciding leg saw Whitlock hit his seventh 180, and that was followed by a 74 finish as he won the set and squared the match at three-all.
The Australian kept up the momentum in the seventh set, as he broke throw to take the first leg, before the second followed with a 13-dart finish.
Hamilton hit a 180 in the third leg, but it was not enough as Whitlock landed double 18 to win his sixth leg in a row and lead the match for the first time.
The 2010 runner-up was now in full cry as he hit a 101 checkout to open the eighth set, before taking the second leg with a 13-dart finish.
The third leg saw Whitlock off-target with two attempts at double 16, but Hamilton was unable to hit the bullseye, allowing him to return and hit double 16 with his first dart to move a set away from the final.
Hamilton held throw to take the first leg of the ninth set, after Whitlock was guilty of wasting four darts at double 16.
Whitlock hit his tenth maximum in the process of winning the second leg, but Hamilton recorded an excellent 130 checkout to take the third.
Whitlock hit double 16 to move a leg away from victory, after both players had traded 180s, before Hamilton hit an excellent 13-dart finish in the deciding leg to take the set and keep the match alive.
Whitlock missed three shots at doubles at the beginning of set ten, but Hamilton was unable to capitalise as he missed two chances of his own to claim the leg as the Australian landed double ten for an early advantage.
Hamilton registered a 115 checkout to take the second, and then won the next by landing double eight with his third dart.
The fourth leg saw Whitlock miss three darts at doubles, which proved costly as Hamilton hit a superb 110 finish to send the match into a deciding set.
Both players held throw in the first two legs of the final set, and Hamilton continued that trend by winning the third on double ten to move a leg away from the match.
Whitlock converted a pressure 68 finish, by landing double 16 with his third dart, before Hamilton hit a 13-darter to lead for the third time in the set.
Whitlock kicked-off the sixth leg with a 180, but Hamilton produced the more consistent scoring, and the Stoke star landed double eight to seal a place in the final.
"I'm on top of the world," said Hamilton. "To be in the World Championship final means everything to me and I'll be give it all I've got on Monday.
"At 5-3 down I never thought I was going out, I'm a fighter and I had to dig in, and I think I had more fighting power in me at the end.

"If I can perform, concentrate and be solid I can win this. I'm showing that I've got nerve, and I'm in for a fight in the final, but I'm ready for it."
Whitlock was philosophical following his defeat, having had a six-week break ahead of the tournament when he suffered a broken ankle in October.

"I didn't expect to get past the first round, so to reach the semi-finals is a great achievement," said Whitlock.
"I was told by doctors that I wouldn't play in this tournament, so I'm over the moon to get to the semi-finals and hopefully I'll have a big year in 2012 because I've got my desire back after missing two TV tournaments with the injury.

"I'm obviously disappointed to lose this game but Andy was great and I hope he goes on to win the title now. There's no stopping him when he gets on a roll and he threw brilliant darts."

 

ADRIAN LEWIS 6-5 JAMES WADE
(1-3, 2-3, 3-2, 0-3, 1-3, 1-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0)

REIGNING Ladbrokes World Darts Champion Adrian Lewis staged arguably the sport's greatest ever fightback as he came from 5-1 down to defeat James Wade 6-5 in a classic semi-final and keep alive his hopes of retaining the £200,000 title on Monday night.

Wade seemed set to cruise into his first World Championship final when he won the game's first two sets before a brief suspension of play, when the pair were affected by a crosswind on stage to win the third, saw play delayed for 20 minutes.

Although Wade won the third set, Wade turned on the style to win nine out of the next 11 legs to assume a 5-1 lead - only to miss one match dart at double 18.
Lewis fought back to level the match with a run of seven successive legs, and after Wade missed one match dart he then extended the run of winning legs to ten by taking the deciding set 3-0 - sealing an amazing comeback with a stunning 161 checkout.

"This is probably my greatest ever win," said a triumphant Lewis, who will now face Andy Hamilton in an all-Stoke final for the £200,000 first prize.

"The problems with the draught coming on to the stage did affect me for a time, but I think tonight I showed that I'm a true champion.
"I do not want to lose my grip on this trophy. I'm going to get a good night's sleep now, relax, and prepare myself properly before I play Andy in the final."

Lewis won the first leg of the match on double top, before Wade converted a 76 finish which was followed by a fantastic 157 as he took the third.
Wade then won the set in the next by hitting double top at the first time of asking, before starting the second set in positive fashion, courtesy of a 96 finish.

Lewis hit back superbly by taking the next two legs with ton-plus finishes of 105 and 130, before Wade took the fourth after Lewis was off-target with three darts at double top for the set.

The decider saw Wade land double ten for the second successive leg to win the set and establish early command of the contest, although play was halted for around 20 minutes as the source of an on-stage draught was identified.
Following the resumption, Wade continued his dominance by winning the opening two legs of set three before Lewis produced a superb 11-darter in the third to kick-start his challenge.

He then levelled in the fourth, hitting a maximum in a 13-darter, before taking out 114 to win the set and halve the deficit.
Wade, though, found another gear himself to power through the fourth set in only 44 darts, finishing 104 and 143 as well as hitting a 14-dart finish to break Lewis' throw in restoring a two-set cushion.
Lewis posted double top to win the first leg of set five, but Wade levelled with an 80 finish before recording a 126 checkout to break throw with a 12-darter.

The number three seed hit double top in the fourth leg to complete a 13-dart finish and win his fourth set to leave Lewis with an increasingly difficult task.
The sixth set began with Wade missing a dart at double top for a 120 checkout, allowing Lewis to hit double five and secure a break of throw with a 14-dart leg.
However, Wade immediately hit back by landing double top to win the second leg against the throw in 14 darts, and that was bettered when he took the third in just 13 darts on double 14.

The fourth leg saw Wade hit double seven to take his third successive set and move 5-1 clear - and only a set away from a place in the final.
Lewis won the opening leg of set seven, but wasted three chances to take the next and Wade capitalised with a successful attempt at double two.

Lewis won the third leg with a 70 finish, before taking the set in clinical fashion by following a 180 by taking out 94 in two darts to keep the match alive.
The world number two maintained the momentum at the start of the set eight by taking out an 85 finish to win the first leg in 12 darts, and then won the second with the aid of a 180.
Wade hit double top to win the third leg and also took the fourth by landing double five with a pressure third dart, after Lewis missed a dart at double top for the set.

The deciding leg saw Wade miss an opportunity at double 18 for the match, and Lewis took out 98 with two superbly placed darts to win his third set and crucially deny Wade a second chance to take victory.
Lewis won the ninth set without reply to reduce the gap to just one set, leaving Wade with something to think about as he took out double top twice and double 19 once.

The tenth set began in amazing fashion as Lewis hit back-to-back maximums to leave the opportunity of a nine-dart finish to repeat the feat he achieved 12 months ago in the final.

That was not to be as Lewis missed a seventh treble 20, and he then missed three darts at doubles before being handed a reprieve when Wade was unable to capitalise with two darts at doubles, returning to hit double one to end a dramatic leg.

Wade was unable to stem the tide as Lewis hit an 81 finish to take the second leg in 12 darts, and he hit double top to send the match into a deciding set.
Lewis made a winning start to set eleven by hitting double top, but a dramatic second leg saw him miss six darts at doubles.

However, Wade was guilty of missing seven chances of his own to level, and Lewis landed double one to move a leg away from the victory with his ninth successive leg.
The pair both hit two 140s in leaving 161 after nine darts in the next, and Lewis completed a remarkable comeback in emphatic style as he hit the showpiece finish.
Lewis added: "I think Andy's been the best player in the tournament so far, but I've won it before and I think I'll turn him over on Monday.

"It will be a great game and I'm pleased for him to have got this far - but friendship goes out of the window when we get on stage!"

 
 
 

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