Phil Taylor claimed an eighth World Series of Darts title, and a seventh in Australia as he overcame Peter Wright 11-8 in the final of the inaugural Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters.
Taylor, who has only ever been beaten once in Australia began the final in nervy fashion, missing three darts in the opening leg to break the Wright throw.
The pair traded holds of throw until the sixth leg of the match, where Taylor missed double 19 for a 158 checkout before Wright took out 81, finishing seven, double 17 and then double 20 for a break.
The next three legs saw Wright miss a total of twelve darts at doubles, allowing Taylor to gain control of the match.
Wright then produced another ‘double-double’ finish in the 11th leg to close the gap to one, as once again he took out 81, this time going nine, double 18, double 18.
’Snakebite’ was unable to capitalise though as Taylor then broke again to open up a three leg advantage, with the score at 8-5.
With Taylor looking set to seal the title, Wright then produced a fightback of his own, winning the next three legs to level the score at 8-8.
Once again though, the Scot could not regain the lead as Taylor broke the throw to move in to a 9-8 advantage.
A 112 finish and then another break of throw sealed the win for the 16-time World Champion who spoke of his delight after the final.
“I love it over here in Australia, the crowd are brilliant and I’m loving every minute of it,
“I’ve not got many tournaments left in me so I want to win as many as I can before I call it a day,” said Taylor.
“I’m so proud to see the sport growing in this part of the world, I’ve been lucky enough to see it all over the years, but we never believed it would get this big,
“Barry Hearn has done such a brilliant job and here’s to many more years of this sport getting bigger and bigger,” added the 57-year-old.
Earlier in the night ‘The Power’ had overcome his second Australian opponent in as many nights as he defeated Simon Whitlock 11-4 to reach the decider in Melbourne.
Taylor produced a run that saw him win nine of the last 11 legs to seal the victory including an superb 144 finish to seal the victory.
An average of 93.97 and an impressive 57.89% success rate on his double attempts was more than enough for the Englishman to overcome and out of sorts Whitlock.
Wright booked his place in the final of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters with an 11-4 win over Daryl Gurney at the Hisense Arena.
The Scot took full control of the encounter during the first five legs, taking a commanding 4-1 lead, including a 101 checkout.
Despite hitting no 180’s during the match, Wright still managed to average 95.27, mainly thanks to some solid finishing. Wright pinned 55% of his attempts at doubles as he sealed a spot in the decider.
It was a fourth World Series final for the Scot, who despite not being able to get over the line on this occasion is vey confident ahead of the next event in Perth.
“I’ve got to learn from these defeats, I will come back stronger and next week in Perth that title is for me,” said Wright.
The sixth World Series of Darts event of 2017 takes place on August 25-27 at the HBF Stadium in Perth, as eight of the world’s best players take on eight qualifiers at the Perth Darts Masters.
Sunday August 20 (7pm local time)
Peter Wright 11-4 Daryl Gurney
Phil Taylor 11-4 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 11-8 Peter Wright
Best of 21 legs