Darts: Historic achievement can help Taylor bounce back in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Echo: BOURNEMOUTH BOUND: Darts legend Phil Taylor BOURNEMOUTH BOUND: Darts legend Phil Taylor

PHIL Taylor is hoping his latest history-making achievement can help kick-start his Betway Premier League Darts season when he meets Adrian Lewis at the Bournemouth International Centre tomorrow.

The 16-time world champion had begun the Premier League Darts season with an unexpected – and unprecedented – whitewash against reigning champion Michael van Gerwen in Liverpool a week ago.

The 53-year-old Stoke legend then lost in the first round of the opening UK Open Qualifier on Friday to youngster Keegan Brown – but bounced back by reaching Saturday’s semi-finals before hitting an amazing two nine-dart finishes as he went on to win Sunday’s third qualifier.

His first came in the last 16 as he swept aside Andy Hamilton, before sealing a 6-2 victory over Lewis in the final with his second perfect leg of the day.

Taylor’s pair of nine-darters saw him create more history as only the second time in the sport’s history where a player has achieved two perfect legs in the same event – matching his own landmark in the 2010 Premier League Darts final against James Wade.

And, having had a six-week break and a change of darts between his World Championship exit to Michael Smith in December and the Premier League’s opening night, Taylor admitted that his results in Wigan were an ideal confidence boost ahead of the clash with Lewis in Dorset.

“The weekend was great for me,” admitted Taylor. “It was brilliant to win Sunday’s qualifier but the weekend as a whole did me the world of good.

“To play in three tournaments was really good match practice, and to top it off with two nine-darters was the icing on the cake.

“I’m working hard with my new darts and it can take a bit of time to settle sometimes, but this shows that I’m going in the right direction.

“I’m looking forward to playing Adrian again tomorrow. He knows what he’s up against!”

Taylor’s clash with Lewis is one of five to be held tomorrow night at the BIC, as the tournament’s longest-serving venue hosts its ninth Premier League event.

Raymond van Barneveld, who hit a nine-darter in the first Premier League Darts night in Bournemouth back in 2006, opens the event against Wes Newton, before newcomers Dave Chisnall and Peter Wright then face off.

2011 Premier League Darts champion Gary Anderson then plays world number three Simon Whitlock, and world champion Michael van Gerwen – the reigning Premier League Darts champion – faces Scotland’s Robert Thornton.

A small number of tickets remain available from the BIC by calling 0844 576 3000 or online via www.bhlivetickets.co.uk.

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