Phil Taylor Wins Inaugural Champions League Ahead Of Dublin Grand Prix
A busy week’s worth of top darts action gets underway in Dublin this Sunday as the World Grand Prix begins. All of the big names are in the hat and the first round draw was made this week, allowing us to take a look at the order of play before we call a winner.
Phil Taylor Wins Champions League
First, a quick note on last week’s first ever Champions League of Darts. In a sensational final, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor blew Michael Van Gerwen off the oche as the sixteen-time world champion recalled the form of his younger years.
Mighty Mike has been the best in the world for some time now, taking down tourney after tourney. However, perhaps because it was the inaugural event, Taylor was inspired to relive the glory days and (as we suggested) was too good to turn down at 5/1.
The event, live on the BBC, took place over two days at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena with Taylor and MVG meeting twice along the way. Taylor emerged victorious on both occasions, first winning 10-4 in the group-stage, then 11-5 in the final on Sunday.
In truth, Taylor, 56, had looked near-invincible all weekend; feeding off the crowd, winning all five matches and dropping only 19 legs throughout the whole event.
Taylor and MVG were seeded in the same group and as such avoided each other until Sunday’s trophy match. Instead they faced and defeated James Wade and Gary Anderson respectively i to set up the final everybody was hoping for.
Taylor set the pace, taking an early 4-1 lead, before MVG began the short-lived fight back, pulling it back to 6-3. The Power, though, responded magnificently using an 11-darter to move 7-3 up.
The break in play after ten legs did little to slow Taylor down or recharge his rival as the match sailed away in the Englishman’s favour. The Power quickly finished a 114 on double 17, sealing the title and the £100,000 winner’s cheque as well as being crowned the first ever winner of the event.
World Grand Prix: order of play in Dublin
The running order for this year’s Grand Prix was announced this week, giving us an idea as to what we can expect when the usual suspects return to the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on Sunday.
Defending champion Robert Thornton will be in action on the opening night as will Raymond van Barneveld and current world champion Gary Anderson. The event, live on Sky Sports 3 at 7pm, will begin with Australian Kyle Anderson looking to out throw Spaniard Cristo Reyes, which will be followed by Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts taking on Ian White.
Later in the evening, Scotland’s Thornton faces former BDO world champion Stephen Bunting before Anderson’s game with Jamie Caven prior to Barney’s match.
As for the betting, third seed Adrian Lewis is a surprisingly generous 18/1 which, with each way bets paying half of the odds for a top two finish, represents good value with Jackpot more than capable of making the final. Betway are laying 9/2 on Taylor to continue his return to form in the outright betting, while the best you can take on MVG at 5/4 at SkyBet. Personally, I’m looking at Anderson who is due a win and, at 11/2 with Betway, is a worthwhile punt.
Full order of play
Sunday October 2 – 1st round
- Kyle Anderson v Cristo Reyes
- Ian White v Kim Huybrechts
- James Wade (6) v Terry Jenkins
- Gerwyn Price v Benito van de Pas
- Adrian Lewis (3) v Jelle Klaasen
- Robert Thornton (7) v Stephen Bunting
- Gary Anderson (2) v Jamie Caven
- Mervyn King v Raymond van Barneveld
Monday October 3 – 1st round
- Dave Chisnall v Robbie Green
- Mick McGowan v James Wilson
- Mensur Suljovic v Daryl Gurney
- Michael Smith (8) v Alan Norris
- Joe Cullen v Simon Whitlock
- Phil Taylor (4) v Steve West
- Michael van Gerwen (1) v Steve Beaton
- Peter Wright (5) v Brendan Dolan
Tuesday October 4 – 2nd round
- James Wade (6)/Terry Jenkins v Gerwyn Price/Benito van de Pas
- Robert Thornton (7)/Stephen Bunting v Ian White/Kim Huybrechts
- Gary Anderson (2)/Jamie Caven v Kyle Anderson/Cristo Reyes
- Adrian Lewis (3)/Jelle Klaasen v Mervyn King/Raymond van Barneveld
Wednesday October 5 – 2nd round
- Michael Smith (8)/Alan Norris v Joe Cullen/Simon Whitlock
- Peter Wright (5) v Brendan Dolan v Dave Chisnall/Robbie Green
- Phil Taylor (4)/Steve West v Mensur Suljovic/Daryl Gurney
- Michael van Gerwen (1)/Steve Beaton v Mick McGowan v James Wilson
Thursday October 6
- Quarter-Finals x 4 (TBA)
Friday October 7
- Semi-Finals x 2 (TBA)
Saturday October 8