Pipe cleans up in Championship League
JUSTIN PIPE enjoyed a dream debut in Championship League Darts with victory 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, and after entering in Group Two his success 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 by winning four of his seven league games in the round-robin phase of the event, taking victories over Kevin Painter, Adrian Lewis, Simon Whitlock and Mark Webster.
Having finished third in the league table, he made amends 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 ten 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.
Pipe, though, 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 seal 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.
"It's a fantastic debut and I'm really pleased - I couldn't be happier," said Pipe. "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."
Pipe will face Simon Whitlock in the first round of the World Grand Prix on October 8, 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."
Taylor's defeat followed his semi-final exit in Group One, and although he won £3,100 on the day it also means that he will return for Group Three on Thursday.
The world number one won six of his seven league games to top the table on 12 points, and saw off Adrian Lewis 6-3 in the semi-finals to gain revenge for his loss to the World Champion at the same stage 24 hours earlier.
Group One runner-up Lewis and Jenkins - who won five of his seven matches as he celebrated his 49th birthday - will also return on Thursday for Group Three, alongside new European Champion Simon Whitlock and world number four Gary Anderson, who both missed out on the play-offs for a second successive day.
Kevin Painter and Mark Webster were both eliminated in their first day in this year's event, with Welshman Webster suffering a nightmare with his doubles as he lost all seven league matches.
Ronnie Baxter, Mark Walsh and debutant Dave Chisnall will enter the fray in Group Three, with play commencing at 10.30am.
Championship League Darts is screened exclusively live worldwide through LIVEPDC.TV and a series of 50 bookmakers' websites worldwide, which are detailed at www.pdc.tv.
Championship League Darts
Group Two Results
Board One Board Two
Phil Taylor 6-0 Adrian Lewis Justin Pipe 6-3 Kevin Painter
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Mark Webster Gary Anderson 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Kevin Painter 3-6 Phil Taylor Adrian Lewis 5-6 Justin Pipe
Simon Whitlock 4-6 Terry Jenkins Mark Webster 5-6 Gary Anderson
Kevin Painter 4-6 Gary Anderson Phil Taylor 6-4 Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock 3-6 Justin Pipe Adrian Lewis 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Gary Anderson 2-6 Phil Taylor Kevin Painter 6-5 Mark Webster
Adrian Lewis 1-6 Simon Whitlock Justin Pipe 5-6 Terry Jenkins
Justin Pipe 5-6 Gary Anderson Terry Jenkins 6-4 Phil Taylor
Mark Webster 1-6 Adrian Lewis Simon Whitlock 6-3 Kevin Painter
Terry Jenkins 1-6 Kevin Painter Adrian Lewis 6-4 Gary Anderson
Mark Webster 1-6 Justin Pipe Phil Taylor 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Mark Webster Gary Anderson 0-6 Terry Jenkins
Justin Pipe 2-6 Phil Taylor Kevin Painter 3-6 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 6-3 Adrian Lewis Terry Jenkins 4-6 Justin Pipe
Phil Taylor 5-6 Justin Pipe
Group Two League Table & Prize Money
Pl W L Won Lost Leg +/- £Won Pts Total £Won
Phil Taylor 7 6 1 40 19 +21 £2000 12 £3100
Terry Jenkins 7 5 2 35 27 +8 £1750 10 £2150
Justin Pipe 7 4 3 36 30 +6 £1800 8 £3000
Adrian Lewis 7 4 3 30 30 0 £1500 8 £1800
Gary Anderson 7 4 3 30 34 -4 £1500 8
Simon Whitlock 7 3 4 29 32 -3 £1450 6
Kevin Painter 7 2 5 28 36 -8 £1400 4
Mark Webster 7 0 7 22 42 -20 £1100 0