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David Thompson 19th Nov 2011 - 22:41

Stoke rivals Taylor & Lewis set up Semi-Final!

 

PHIL TAYLOR and Adrian Lewis will clash in the semi-finals of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday afternoon after they progressed safely past Paul Nicholson and Mark Webster at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Three-time Grand Slam of Darts champion Taylor swept aside Nicholson 16-7 to earn his spot in the last four as he bids to regain the £100,000 title.

Taylor led 3-0 and 8-1 before Nicholson hit back, but the 15-time World Champion had too much scoring power as he eased into the semis, which will be played on Sunday afternoon ahead of the evening's final.

"I'm over the moon to still be in the running and it would be special to win this title back on Sunday," said Taylor.

"It will be a hard day but I'm really looking forward to playing Adrian in the semi-finals because he's having a good tournament so far and getting back to his best."

PDC World Champion Lewis - the world number two - had earlier won through to the last four for the first time in the Grand Slam of Darts with a 16-5 win over Welshman Webster.

Lewis had seen John Part threaten a comeback when he pulled clear in Friday's second round, but made no mistake 24 hours later by finishing 62 percent of his chances at a double in a clinical display.

"I started a bit slowly with my scoring but I was hitting my doubles and I kept Mark under pressure," said Lewis. "I know I'm in good form and as long as my finishing is good I know that I'll hit the scores.

"My finishing hasn't let me down and I feel confident, and there's no reason why I can't go on to win the tournament."

The other semi-final features Mark Walsh and Gary Anderson who had enjoyed tougher victories over Ted Hankey and Terry Jenkins respectively earlier in the day.

Anderson will be competing in his third Grand Slam of Darts semi-final as he bids to follow up May's Premier League Darts victory with another major title, while 2005 UK Open runner-up Walsh will be appearing in only his second major semi-final.

Play in the semi-finals begins at 2.30pm, with the final to follow at 8pm on Sunday evening, and all games are the best of 31 legs.

William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Quarter-Finals

Saturday November 19
Ted Hankey 14-16 Mark Walsh
Gary Anderson 16-12 Terry Jenkins
Mark Webster 5-16 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 16-7 Paul Nicholson

Semi-Finals
Sunday November 20 (2.30pm)
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Mark Walsh v Gary Anderson
Best of 31 legs

Final
Sunday November 20 (8pm)

ADRIAN LEWIS 16-5 MARK WEBSTER
ADRIAN LEWIS stormed into the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals with a 16-5 win over Mark Webster at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Saturday night.

The PDC World Champion's best-ever run in the Grand Slam of Darts continued as he progressed to the last four courtesy of a clinical victory, as he hit 62 percent of his chances at a double.

Lewis failed to hit a 180 until the game's ninth leg, which sparked a run which saw him crucially win eight legs out of nine to pull away from 5-3 to lead 13-4.

Webster took out 108 to threaten a fightback, but unlike John Part 24 hours earlier was unable to cause Lewis any headaches as the Stoke ace won three in a row to seal the win.

"I switched off when I got ahead against John Part on Friday but I learned my lesson and didn't ease up this time," said Lewis.

"I started a bit slowly with my scoring but I was hitting my doubles and I kept Mark under pressure. My manager Keith Deller told me to knuckle down and I came out focused and firing.

"I know I'm in good form and as long as my finishing is good I know that I'll hit the scores. My finishing hasn't let me down and I feel confident, and there's no reason why I can't go on to win the tournament."

After Lewis edged the opener, Webster hit a 180 in levelling before the World Champion landed the bull for a 95 checkout in the third.

Lewis then missed the bull in the fourth as Webster levelled on tops, but the world number two took out 104 and a superb 152 to lead 4-2 before punishing misses from the Welshman to take out 80 for a three-leg cushion.

Tops gave Webster the eighth, but Lewis opened the next with his first maximum of the contest as he took out an 11-darter to lead 6-3.

He broke twice in the next three legs and then hit tops for a 13-dart leg to complete a run of five in a row as he moved 10-3 up, although Webster hit back with a 12-dart finish courtesy of an 88 checkout.

Lewis replied with three successive 14-dart finishes to move 13-4 up, before Webster defied another 180 from his opponent to take out 108 to take his fifth leg.

That would be his last chance at a double, as Lewis followed another 14-darter with a 91 finish as he moved 15-5 up, and he sealed victory in style with a 128 checkout.

"I'm disappointed with the scoreline and maybe it didn't reflect the game, but I missed too many doubles early on and Adrian punished me," said Webster.

"I've got to take the positives out of this week and it's another quarter-final appearance for me in a major tournament. I'm ambitious but I've got to be patient too because I'm still learning."

PHIL TAYLOR 16-7 PAUL NICHOLSON
PHIL TAYLOR'S quest to regain the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts title continued as he swept aside Paul Nicholson 16-7 to power into Sunday's semi-finals at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Taylor never looked troubled after taking leads of 3-0 and 8-1 against Nicholson, who was unable to find the form which had seen him defeat the world number one in June's UK Open.

Nicholson had won the pre-match bullseye but handed Taylor the throw in an attempt to win an immediate break, which initially looked set to pay off when he opened with a 180 only to then miss five darts to take the opening leg as Taylor hit double ten to hold.

Taylor then broke with a superb 11-darter, which featured a 180 of his own, before moving 3-0 up courtesy of double 16.

Nicholson hit his second maximum of the game in taking the fourth on double five, landing a pressure third dart after Taylor had hit a 177 to leave 24, but it was the Stoke ace who struck the next blow.

He hit a 180 in a 14-darter to enter the first break 4-1 up and followed that with a 174 score in a 13-dart finish which he ended on double top.

Finishes of double 16 and tops moved Taylor 7-1 up before two misses from Nicholson allowed him in to pull further clear on double five.

Taylor posted another 180 in the next leg, but missed his chance to lead by eight legs when Nicholson stepped in to land double 16.

A 14-darter gave Taylor a 9-2 cushion before Nicholson produced his best spell of the game to win three successive legs, following up a double top finish with a pair of 14-dart checkouts in pulling back to 9-5.

Taylor, though, replied in the same manner with a treble burst of his own, twice hitting double six and once landing double 16 in restoring his advantage at 12-5.

Nicholson hit back with double 16, but Taylor took out 80 and then finished 88 on the bull before a 13-darter, which featured two 180s and a double 16 checkout, moved him to the brink of victory.

Nicholson hit his fourth 180 of the game in an 11-dart finish to hit back, but it was only delaying the inevitable as Taylor posted a ninth maximum and hit double 16 for a 13-darter to complete the triumph.

"It was a good game and I really enjoyed that," said Taylor. "Paul's got a lot of bottle and he kept coming back at me, even though he wasn't playing as well as he can.

"I'm over the moon to still be in the running and it would be special to win this title back on Sunday.

"It will be a hard day but I'm really looking forward to playing Adrian in the semi-finals because he's having a good tournament so far and getting back to his best."

Nicholson admitted: "The week as a whole has been good but tonight didn't go to plan, unfortunately it wasn't my time.

"I still enjoyed the game and I've learned a lot this week, which I can take on now to the Players Championship Finals and World Championship next month."

 

 
 
 

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