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Friday, October 24, 2008

TAYLOR POWERS TO VICTORY

Phil Taylor claimed victory in the inaugural Championship League Darts final with a 7-5 win over Mervyn King.

The 13-time World Champion swept through the eight-man field at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex in the Winners Group, sitting unbeaten after seven league games and winning through the play-offs.

Only Mark Dudbridge took a point from Taylor in the league phase with a draw in the final round of matches, before the Stoke legend defeated Alan Tabern 6-4 in the semi-finals and came from 3-2 down to defeat King 7-5 in the final.

Taylor claimed a total of £20,050 in the tournament, having won £3,350 in taking victory in Group One, £6,700 in prize money in the Winners Group and an additional £10,000 as the champion.

"I'm over the moon," said Taylor. "It's a fantastic competition and will get bigger and bigger.

"The players have loved it, it's good money for everyone and has been exciting to play in - as today showed.

"I let Mervyn in a bit in the final and he's a great player, who has climbed fast up the rankings and earned his place in the final.

"He missed a couple of doubles and I managed to step in and hit some crucial finishes at the right time."

King picked up £5,000 as runner-up, in addition to £5,300 in winning legs during the day to take his tournament earnings to £15,700.

Walsh finished second in the league phase with four wins and two draws from his seven matches, but went down to King 6-5 in a thrilling semi-final.

Walsh took his earnings to £15,350 in the event, which was played over nine days and screened exclusively live on the internet through www.bet365.com and www.ladbrokes.com.

Adrian Lewis failed to reach the Winners Group despite six successful league days which earned him £15,250, whilst the total prize money paid out in the event was more than £175,000.

Andy Hamilton, who finished seventh in the Winners Group, won £11,950 in five days competing in the event, while Tabern (£11,900) and Mark Dudbridge (£10,900) also topped £10,000.

Taylor's win meant that there would be no new qualifier from Championship League Darts for the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts, giving ITV Wildcard Qualifier runner-up Colin McGarry a place in the tournament.

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