The Power claimed a second tournament win in as many months after beating Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright 11-8 in the final of the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters last weekend. As the result suggests, the game was not a close one despite Wright holding the world number three spot.
The score was the same result as when the pair met in Blackpool last month. That was the night Taylor won his 16th and final World Matchplay crown, making it quite the farewell season for the Stoke-born legend. With recent results, Taylor is looking like his former self more and more each week, meaning additional trophies between now and the season’s end should not be dismissed.
Taylor strong all weekend
His form was apparent throughout the weekend, first eliminating Aussie star of the future Corey Cadby 10-9 on Saturday before dropping another Aussie, Simon Whitlock, 11-4 at the semi-final stage.
Daryl Gurney had overcome his match with world number two Gary Anderson for a third successive time, met his end when he came up against Peter Wright, who had beaten Michael Smith in the Quarter finals.
It all meant that Wright, the UK Open champion, lined up as the short odds favourite against World Matchplay champion Taylor in the final, which for the first 16 legs was tight enough to read 8-8.
57-year-old Phil Taylor then moved up several gears on Wright, despite Snakebite landing an impressive seven 180s to Taylor’s 0. At 47, the Scotsman is ten years younger than his rival but couldn’t keep up with the pace as Taylor took down the next ten legs straight, averaging 98.88 and achieving a double rate of 40.74% and earning yet another title.
A look ahead to Perth
Taylor is now at a best price of 7/2 at betway to win again this weekend as the action relocates to Perth on Australia’s western coast. Taylor, who has previously won four times in Australia — twice before in Perth and now twice in Melbourne — clearly enjoys taking his game Down Under and with Taylor in such great form has to be in consideration once again.
Beaten Melbourne finalist Peter Wright should again be Taylor’s closest challenger, but his tendency to drop crucial doubles will continue to blight his progress until it’s addressed. Snakebite joins Taylor at 7/2 at betway.
The same bookmaker is also showing a decent 16/1 on Aussie starlet Corey Cadby, while Simon Whitlock, who will receive the benefit of home support, can be picked up for 14’s with Bet365.
The favourite at Bet365 with odds of 5/2 — although heaven knows why — is Gary Anderson, who despite being number two in the world looks increasingly soft at the moment. He has failed to capitalise on the absence of Michael van Gerwen in recent tourneys. Instead, The Power — in his retirement year — has stepped up and in his current form is well worth sticking with again this week.