Champ Powers on with tribute to beaten Wes

Phil Taylor and Wes Newton
Phil Taylor and Wes Newton

Reigning champion Phil Taylor produced one of his finest performances on the Winter Gardens stage to defeat Fleetwood’s Wes Newton 16-5 in the quarter-finals of the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay last night.

Reigning champion Phil Taylor produced one of his finest performances on the Winter Gardens stage to defeat Fleetwood’s Wes Newton 16-5 in the quarter-finals of the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay last night.

The 11-time winner came back from 4-1 down to average over 108, his best in the tournament so far, and set up an all-Stoke semi-final against Andy Hamilton tonight.

World No.8 Newton took the early advantage in an inspired opening but Taylor followed a 150 checkout with a brace of 128 finishes to take the lead before winning nine straight legs in storming to victory.

Last night’s other remaining last-eight tie saw James Wade defeat Raymond van Barneveld 16-11 to set up a clash with World Champion Adrian Lewis in tonight’s other semi.

World No.1 Taylor paid tribute to rising star Newton, saying: “Wes is setting a good standard at the moment and he’s getting better and better. He doesn’t miss and you have to play well to beat him.

“I’m delighted with that. I’m not starting brilliantly but it’s going well after that and I’m playing maybe as well as I can,” added The Power

Newton said: “I’m obviously very disappointed but I gave it my all.

“It’s starting to get on my nerves a bit that Phil seems to play at his very best against me, but I’ve got to take the positives from that because perhap he does it for a reason, and maybe I’m bringing the best out in him.

“I will keep plugging away and hopefully get the better of him one day. I’ll regroup now and get ready for the European Championship now.

“It’s been a good step forward for me. I’ve come into this tournament and won a couple of games in Blackpool at last.”

Newton won the opening leg on double 16 and hit the same bed to double his lead with an immediate break of throw.

After hitting a 180 in the third, Newton missed the bullseye for an 84 finish in a bid to move further clear as Taylor opened his account with a 66 checkout.

The duo traded maximums in the fourth, and after Taylor missed the bull Newton finished double top for a fine 11-dart leg, and then took the fifth to move 4-1 up at the first break.

He also hit a 180 in the sixth leg, but was left waiting on 40 when Taylor took out 150 before the reigning champion piled in a 128 finish in the next and a 14-darter to draw level.

Taylor then hit another 128 finish to take the lead for the first time, despite a fourth 180 of the game from Newton, and landed a 180 and double ten to edge 6-4 up.

Newton hit back well in the 11th, with Taylor hitting a 174 to leave 32 but being denied a dart at the double as Newton finished 72 on double six to win his fifth leg.

However, Taylor asserted his dominance with a clinical 64 finish before breaking in a key 13th with a 71 checkout after trading 180s with Newton, and double 18 gave him a 9-5 cushion.

He added a 12-darter win his tenth leg, and also produced an 11-dart finish which featured a 180 and a 96 checkout.

Taylor then hit the double 16 bed in five of the final six legs, with none being over 13 darts as he stormed through.

Van Barneveld shared the opening 14 legs against Wade, who pulled clear in the final stages with some clinical finishing, notably on his favoured double top.

Hamilton, who had claimed the last of 16 Players Championship qualifying places just to get into the World Matchplay, beat Scottish pair Gary Anderson and John Henderson to reach the last eight.

He looked set to crash out to Simon Whitlock when the Australian ace led 15-8 in the afternoon session, but he incredibly won nine successive legs in arguably the greatest comeback in the 18-year history of the World Matchplay. Whitlock missed five match darts at double top across three legs.

Welshman Mark Webster led 4-1 and 6-2 in his bid to claim a place in the semi-finals of a second successive major tournament but Lewis hit finishes of 118 and 110 in hitting back to take the win 16-12.