TAYLOR EDGES OUT JENKINS IN BETVICTOR WORLD MATCHPLAY THRILLER AS WADE, WHITLOCK ANd PIPE PROGRESS
Phil Taylor's bid to win a 14th BetVictor World Matchplay title continued with a dramatic 14-12 second round win over Terry Jenkins on Tuesday night, as he was joined in the quarter-finals by Justin Pipe, Simon Whitlock and James Wade.
Taylor has not tasted defeat on the Winter Gardens stage since losing to Jenkins in the 2007 semi-finals, and the pair again enjoyed a classic duo which the Ledbury ace - a two-time runner-up in Blackpool - threatened to win.
Taylor had led 9-5 at one stage, with his average peaking at 110 during a thrilling opening, only for Jenkins to win five successive legs to move 10-9 up.
He also led 11-10 and sent the game into a tie-break at 12-all, only to miss three darts to move a leg away from the win as Taylor pounced, breaking throw on tops to put himself 13-12 up before hitting two 174s in a 12-dart finish as he edged through.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have come through that," admitted Taylor. "It was probably the best winning leg I've played, to hit two 174s in that situation. Terry came back superbly because I'd got him at 9-5; it was all over and anybody else would have buckled. He dug in and came back, and I let it get to me a little bit because it was a bit of a shock for me and I didn't expect Terry to go in front. He made it a fantastic game and he's showing that's the way he can play after not being on top form for about a year. He's on his way back again. We were nicking legs from each other and a ton was a bad score in the end. I was thinking I might be going home tomorrow but I had to dig deep and take advantage when he made a mistake."
Taylor now plays Taunton's Justin Pipe in Thursday's opening quarter-final, after the number nine seed won through to the last eight for a second successive year with an equally dramatic 13-9 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld earlier on Tuesday.
Van Barneveld looked set to put himself into the last eight of the event when he hit back from 7-4 down to win five successive legs and take command of a classic match.
Pipe - who had earlier hit checkouts of 170 and 129 on the bullseye - clawed back level at nine-all by winning the next two legs, before hitting double one to regain the lead at 10-9.
The Taunton thrower then took his tally of 180s to seven for the match as in a run of legs of 14, 14 and 13 darts to claim a precious quarter-final berth.
"It's probably the best win of my career," said Pipe, who will also jump above van Barneveld to eighth in the PDC Order of Merit following the victory. "Raymond's such a legend and a great ambassador so it's brilliant to beat him. When he got in front of me I had to play one leg at a time and stay focused. To win six legs in a row against Raymond is amazing because he's so tough to beat. I'm in my second consecutive quarter-finals in the World Matchplay and it's an amazing achievement for me - but I want to go all the way."
The other quarter-final will see James Wade - the 2007 champion - take on Simon Whitlock in a clash of the players seeded fourth and fifth for the 400,000 pound event.
Wade came from 6-3 and 8-5 down to claim a brilliant 13-8 win over Scottish ace Gary Anderson, whose record of not yet winning past the second round in Blackpool continued.
Anderson had hit finishes of 121 and 120 as he took command in the game, but Wade won seven successive legs as he turned a three-leg deficit into a 12-8 lead - with a superb 11-darter putting him into a lead which he would never lose as he went on to seal victory with a 69 checkout.
"I had to come back to beat John Part in the first round and this was always going to be another battle," admitted Wade. "I did a good job tonight and I'm really happy to be through. I knew that if I held in there when Gary got ahead of me that I'd get my opportunities, and I took them well. My games keep getting harder and I'm looking forward to playing Simon on Thursday now; he's a different player to Gary and I'll have to improve."
Whitlock, meanwhile, also had to come from behind before he claimed a 13-10 victory over Kevin Painter to reach the last eight for a third time in four years.
The Australian trailed 3-1 and 6-5 to Painter, who hit five 180s in the first half of the contest only to see Whitlock win four successive legs to swing the game in his favour at 9-6.
Painter threatened to hit back, taking out 122 at one stage, but Whitlock followed an earlier key 96 finish by taking out 91 to seal the victory.
"I'm over the moon," said Whitlock. "That was such a tough game - Kevin's a warrior who's been around for so many years and he's a legend.
"I've watched him play for the last 20 years and I'm very happy to win that match. There was a big moment in the 14th leg where Kevin missed and I levelled to go to seven-all, and I knew that was my chance."
|102.64||6||14/37||Taylor ||14:12|| Jenkins||96.04||9||12/36|
|96.25||7||-||Wade ||13:9|| Anderson||93.37||2||-|