On the second day of the World Championship it still was cold.but at least the press room had warmed as much that when working the fingers didn't freeze. As the second day of the World Championship was characterised by a certain Phil Taylor I first thought I should write something about him. But what can you write about the legend Phil Taylor not everybody knows already? So I decided to honour him with some of the picture I took of him over the years.
The second evening of the World Championship started with the first preliminary round match between Japanese Seigo Asada and Australian Gordon Mathers. It was an entertaining match - not really high class but on a solid level though you anyway can't any longer say that the preliminary round matches have a horrible standard. Asada who is already experienced on the big stage of the Alexandra Palace in the end prevailed 2:1.
When I returned to the press room, it had filled up. Not only the crowds are attracted by Phil Taylor's appearances. That it was quite full showed already during the walk-on of the next match. Dimitri van den Bergh and Stephen Bunting to be sure would not have attracted as much attention so to be sure the match deserved it. Both van den Bergh and Bunting showed really good performances and van den Bergh's performance was as outstanding that Barry Hearn himself granulated him on it after the match. Bunting to be sure would have beaten a lot of players on this day but he nevertheless had no chance despite a 170 finish -
one of the highlights of the match. Van den Bergh won 3:1 and should he be able to produce such performances consistently he to be sure will have a bright future in the sport of darts.
After the match I didn't dare to leave the photographers platform though it took some time till the Phil Taylor match stared. But my hard fought place where I almost couldn't put both feet on the ground and felt other people's elbows all the time would to be sure been taken in no time. So I waited together with other press and the already celebrating crowd. First on was Chris Dobey who looked a little bit intimidated. And than he arrived, Phil "the Power" Taylor in the first match of his last World Championship. He soon was 2:0 in the lead but Dobey started to settle and suddenly it got difficult for Taylor. This young player just didn't fear him any longer and his game lost the tension. It didn't really happen any longer for Taylor but he managed to get first over the finishing line..Luckily! Would he have lost everybody would have been very disappointed. So only all the press people were disappointed who waited in the press room because Phil Taylor never turned up.
But the evening was not over yet though when I went back into the press room no photographer was around any longer and a lot of the crowd had left as well. So I could get the pool position on the photographer's platform and had time and room to take a few walk-on and match pictures. It looked nobody was really interested in the match of the usually so celebrated newcomer Rob Cross though he showed the already "normal" good performance. But it was not a completely one-sided match as Seigo Asada played his part in it. The clear 3:0 result for Cross doesn't tell the whole story. As one of the last I left the now almost empty press room. Not even the possible after match interview of Cross seemed to tempt the press people.
It was still cold and for the first time this winter I really needed my gloves. Especially the strong wind was disagreeable. Tomorrow would be the first long day of the World Championship and already at 11.30 a.m. the final of the JDC World Championship would begin which I didn't want to miss.