Betfair World Matchplay Semi-Finals

July 29 2012

PHIL TAYLOR and James Wade will clash for a fourth time in the Betfair World Matchplay final on Sunday night following their semi-final triumphs over Ronnie Baxter and Terry Jenkins in Blackpool.

Reigning champion Taylor remains on course to win his 13th World Matchplay title and to equal his own record of five straight victories after defeating Baxter 17-10 in their last four encounter.

Taylor won the game's opening six legs without reply, hitting a 180 in each leg, and also led 8-1 before Baxter hit back to trail just 8-6 with five successive legs.

However, a miss from Baxter to reduce the gap to one leg proved costly as Taylor regained his touch, and he hit two 11-dart finishes in the second half of the contest before sealing victory with a 118 checkout.

"It's fantastic to be through," said Taylor. "Ronnie made me work hard there and I'm glad in a way that I got such a good start because I was getting a bit nervous when he came back.

"I was expecting Ronnie to come out firing because his confidence was high and he was brilliant in the quarter-finals, but I managed to get on top of him early on.

"He came back really well and took some superb finishes out, so it was a massive relief to finally get the winning double."

Earlier, 2007 champion Wade defeated Terry Jenkins 17-15 in a see-saw thriller which saw the left-hander come from 4-1 and 11-9 down to take victory, hitting six ton-plus finishes along the way.

The pair were locked at 15-all as they set up a dramatic finale, but Jenkins missed six darts to take the lead and Wade seized his opportunity to reach the decider.

"It's great to be in the final," said Wade. "Terry's a real battler and it was hard work, so I'm delighted to have come through that.

"I thought I was a little bit flat in patches - and in some parts I was great and in other parts I was awful. Terry had a couple of weak patches too which let me in, and there were some desperation checkouts there.

Phil Taylor - Betfair World Matchplay semi-finals (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)"I'll need to make sure I'm more focused on Sunday. I know what I can do and I'm ready for it, I've been practising hard and it's paying off."

Sunday's final will be a repeat of the pair's previous World Matchplay deciders in 2006, 2008 and 2011, with Taylor having taken victory in all three games.

"James has been exceptional this week and he had a fantastic game with Terry," added Taylor. "I'm proud of him and I think he'll play superbly tomorrow.

"He's showed his grit and determination and he's doing everything right this week, so it's all set up for a great game."

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Betfair World Matchplay
Semi-Finals
Terry Jenkins 15-17 James Wade
Phil Taylor 17-10 Ronnie Baxter
Best of 33 legs, games must be won by two clear legs

MATCH INFORMATION
JAMES WADE 17-15 TERRY JENKINS

JAMES WADE won through to his fifth Betfair World Matchplay final with a thrilling 17-15 semi-final victory over Terry Jenkins at the Winter Gardens on Saturday night.

The 2007 champion continued his wonderful success story in Blackpool with a fine performance to win a see-saw contest, hitting six ton-plus finishes and twice coming from behind to book his place in Sunday's showdown.

Jenkins played his part in a breathless contest, leading 4-1 early on and winning five successive legs to take an 11-9 advantage, but missed six doubles to lead 16-15 to allow Wade in to make his move and take the final two legs.

Jenkins made the early running by winning four of the opening five legs, despite Wade landing four maximums in as many legs to kick off the contest - with both players trading 180s in the opening leg, which the Ledbury man won on double ten.

Wade levelled on double five, but Jenkins finished 85 to win the third leg, broke in the fourth following four missed doubles from the left-hander and took out double ten to lead 4-1.

Wade finished 88 on double seven to hit back, and after Jenkins hit double ten the left-hander produced a sensational 164 finish to pull back to 5-3.

Two misses from Wade allowed Jenkins to finish 100 and win a sixth leg, but the world number three found another gear to reel off six successive legs to move into the lead.

The run included checkouts of 103, 127 on the bull and 107, as well as a 14-darter as he moved into a 9-6 lead, but two missed doubles allowed Jenkins to hit back on tops.

Jenkins then finished 87 and then followed a 180 with double top to level at nine-all, before taking the lead with a crowd-pleasing 96 finish, hitting single 20, double 18 and double top.

Wade then saw three darts at double 12 land agonisingly just outside the wire as Jenkins moved two legs clear by winning his fifth successive leg.

Wade took out 130 to hit back, and then landed a 180 and tops to level at 11-all before firing in a 144 checkout and double ten to lead 13-11.

Jenkins posted a 180 and double top to cut the gap and finished 98 on double 12 to level, only to miss his chance to move back ahead as Wade posted double ten to move into a 14-13 advantage.

Tops from the left-hander pushed him two legs clear, only for Jenkins to again hit back - finishing double ten in successive legs.

He was also first to a finish in the 31st leg, but missed six darts to lead, and Wade seized his opportunity, taking out tops to break throw and hitting a 180 and double six to seal the win.

Leg-By-Leg
1-0 - Both players land 180s in the opening leg, and Jenkins finishes double ten to get off the mark.
1-1 - Wade lands another maximum and recovers from three missed doubles to return and land double five.
2-1 - Wade posts his third 180, but Jenkins finishes 85 on double 16 to hold throw.
3-1 - Jenkins takes the game's first break of throw, with Wade hitting yet another 108 but missing four darts at double top and ten to allow him in on double top.
4-1 - Double ten for Jenkins sees him lead by three legs.
4-2 - Wade finishes 88 on double seven.
5-2 - Double ten from Jenkins sees him win his fifth leg.
5-3 - Jenkins lands a maximum, but Wade takes the leg in style with a brilliant 164 checkout.
6-3 - Wade is punished for missed doubles to break throw as Jenkins finishes 100 in two darts.
6-4 - Wade posts double ten to take his fourth leg of the game.
6-5 - Jenkins is first to a finish but misses five darts to take the leg as Wade steps in to finish 103 on tops and break throw.
6-6 - Wade pins double 18 to level the contest.
6-7 - Wade finishes 127 on the bull to win his third successive leg and break throw again.
6-8 - Jenkins misses double 12 to take out 96 and Wade finishes 107 on double 18 to continue his charge.
6-9 - Wade wins his sixth successive leg by taking out double 18 for a 14-darter.
7-9 - Wade misses double 13 and double four, and Jenkins breaks on tops to win his first leg in seven.
8-9 - Wade leaves 24, but Jenkins takes out 87 in two darts to pull back to just one leg behind.
9-9 - Jenkins levels with his third successive leg, hitting a 180 and tops to square the game.
10-9 - Wade is again left waiting on a double as Jenkins hits the front, finishing 96 with single 20, double 18 and double top.
11-9 - Wade misses three darts at double 12, with all landing agonisingly on the wire to allow Jenkins to win a fifth straight leg on double top.
11-10 - Wade finishes 130 on double five to hit back.
11-11 - Wade lands a 180 and finishes tops to level.
11-12 - Wade takes out 144 for his sixth ton-plus checkout as he regains the lead.
11-13 - Double ten from Wade moves him two legs clear.
12-13 - Jenkins opens with a 180 and lands tops to hit back once again.
13-13 - Jenkins fires in a 98 finish on double 12 to square the game.
13-14 - Jenkins lands his fifth maximum of the game but is punished for his missed doubles as Wade takes out double ten.
13-15 - Wade moves two legs away from victory by hitting tops.
14-15 - Jenkins hits his sixth 180 to leave 47 after nine darts, and lands double ten with his fifth dart to win the leg.
15-15 - Wade opens with a 174 but misses two darts at tops to punish a miss from Jenkins at the same bed, with the Ledbury ace returning to hit double ten - with his third dart - to level.
15-16 - Jenkins is first to a finish, but misses six darts at doubles across three visits to allow Wade in on tops to break and move a leg away from the win.
15-17 - Wade opens with a 180 and secures victory on double six to reach his fifth Betfair World Matchplay final in seven years.

Match Stats

Terry Jenkins

15-17

James Wade

38

100+

46

27

140+

24

6

180

6

31.04

Ave1

32.48

93.12

Ave3

97.45

100

High Finish

164,144,130, 127,107,103

6

Breaks of Throw

7

15/43 - 35%

Finishing %

17/40 - 43%


PHIL TAYLOR 17-10 RONNIE BAXTER
PHIL TAYLOR remains on course to win an incredible 13th Betfair World Matchplay title following a 17-10 win over Blackpool's Ronnie Baxter, who came from 6-0 down to give the reigning champion a fright in their semi-final.

Taylor looked set to cruise to victory when he won the game's first six legs without reply, hitting a 180 in each leg as he took command.

Baxter, though, cut the gap to 8-6 at one stage before Taylor regained his range, hitting two 11-dart finishes in the second half of the contest as he set up a fourth World Matchplay final against James wade.

Taylor started the game superbly, hitting a 180 with his second visit to the oche before finishing 114 to take the first leg with an immediate break of throw.

He finished double 16 for the second leg before breaking Baxter's throw again after the 1998 finalist missed double 16 for a 143 finish, before an 11-darter pushed Taylor into a four leg lead.

Taylor continued his strike rate of a 180 in each leg as he took the fifth on tops, and added double two to move into a 6-0 lead.

Baxter landed double eight to get off the mark in the seventh, but Taylor landed another maximum and a 109 finish to take the next and landed tops to move into an 8-1 advantage.

He missed three darts to win a ninth leg as Baxter hit double eight to win his second leg, and he also finished 97 and 92 - with a superb bullseye finish - amongst winning five straight legs as he cut the gap to 8-6.

Baxter also had a chance to pull back to within a leg, but missed one dart at double eight as Taylor stopped his run by finishing double ten, and a bullseye-double 16 combination saw the reigning champion move 10-6 up.

Baxter finished 110 to take the next leg, but Taylor repeated his 82 finish and then took out double 16 to move 13-7 up.

Baxter hit a 180 and tops to win his eighth leg, and after Taylor took out another 11-darter he finished 103 to pull back to 14-9, although Taylor moved two legs away from the win by hitting tops.

Taylor posted his tenth 180 of the game in the 25th leg, but double 16 from Baxter kept him in the hunt as he pulled back to 15-10, but he would be left waiting on a finish in the next two legs as the Stoke great hit tops and finished 118 to complete the triumph.

"It's fantastic to be through," said Taylor. "Ronnie made me work hard there and I'm glad in a way that I got such a good start because I was getting a bit nervous when he came back.

"I was expecting Ronnie to come out firing because his confidence was high and he was brilliant in the quarter-finals, but I managed to get on top of him early on.

"He came back really well and took some superb finishes out, so it was a massive relief to finally get the winning double."

Taylor is bidding to equal his own record of five successive World Matchplay wins as he seeks his 13th Winter Gardens title on Sunday, with his clash against world number three Wade a repeat of three previous finals in Blackpool.

"James has been exceptional this week and he had a fantastic game with Terry," added Taylor. "I'm proud of him and I think he'll play superbly tomorrow.

"He's showed his grit and determination and he's doing everything right this week, so it's all set up for a great game."

Baxter's run to the last four saw him reach this stage for the sixth time in the World Matchplay, and will also see him return to the top 16 of the PDC Order of Merit after he earned £25,000 this week.

"I'm pleased to have got this far after what's happened in the last 18 months, and to get to the semi-finals again is fantastic.

"I know I can push on from here, and I'll put this defeat behind me now. I've had a good week but someone had to lose, and unfortunately it was me tonight.

"At the start I just couldn't find my range but I got a few legs back. The second half of the game was pretty even, and when I was 15-10 down I thought I could have been 13-12 up, but Phil hit some good scores and some good finishes."

Leg-By-Leg
1-0 - Taylor lands a 180 and finishes 114 to take the opening leg.
2-0 - The reigning champion lands another maximum and hits double 16 to take the second leg.
3-0 - Taylor posts a third 180, but initially misses doubles to allow Baxter a shot at 143 - but the local hero misses double 16 to get off the mark and Taylor hits double two.
4-0 - Taylor lands his fourth 180, and finishes 41 for an 11-darter to move four legs clear.
5-0 - The number one seed adds a fifth 180 in as many legs, and takes out 65 on tops to win his fifth successive leg.
6-0 - Taylor opens with a sixth 180 and finishes double four to continue his superb start.
6-1 - Baxter hits double eight to win his first leg of the game.
7-1 - Taylor posts yet another 180, and finishes 109 on tops to regain his six-leg lead.
8-1 - Taylor lands tops to take out 80 and continue his charge.
8-2 - Baxter misses the bull to take out 167, but returns to land double eight to win his second leg after Taylor misses three darts at tops.
8-3 - Double four from Baxter sees him win his third leg.
8-4 - Taylor misses tops and Baxter finishes 97 to break throw.
8-5 - Taylor is again off-target, this time on double 16, and Baxter finishes double five to reduce the gap to three legs.
8-6 - Baxter wins his fifth successive leg, finishing 92 with a superb bullseye.
9-6 - Baxter misses a dart at double eight to reduce the gap further, and Taylor hits double ten to win his first leg in six.
10-6 - Both players land 180s, but Taylor takes out an 11-darter by finishing 82 with a bullseye, double 16 combination.
10-7 - Taylor misses two darts at double six and Baxter finishes 110 to hit back.
11-7 - Taylor lands double eight for a 13-dart finish.
12-7 - Taylor again takes out a bullseye-double 16 combination to finish 82.
13-7 - Double 16 sees Taylor move four legs away from the win.
13-8 - Baxter hits a 180 to leave 41 and lands tops to reduce the gap.
14-8 - Taylor produces a superb 11-darter, hitting 180, 139 and 132 before finishing double 16.
14-9 - Baxter finishes 109 on double 16 to hit back.
15-9 - Taylor takes out tops to move two legs away from the final.
15-10 - Taylor opens with his tenth 180 of the game, but Baxter hits double 16 to reach double figures in legs won.
16-10 - Taylor moves a leg away from the win by landing tops.
17-10 - Taylor finishes 118 on tops to secure his place in the final.

Match Stats

Phil Taylor

17-10

Ronnie Baxter

31

100+

33

16

140+

22

10

180

2

34.46

Ave1

30.84

103.39

Ave3

92.53

118,114,109

High Finish

110,103

6

Breaks of Throw

3

17/31 - 55%

Finishing %

10/21 - 48%


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