Robbie King in action at the International Pro Darts Showdown Series in Brisbane.
Robbie King in action at the International Pro Darts Showdown Series in Brisbane.

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor wins first leg of Pro Darts Series

PHIL "The Power" Taylor has shown he is still a force to be reckoned with, by winning the first leg of the inaugural International Pro Darts Series Showdown in Brisbane.

Taylor was unstoppable on the second night of action at a sold-out RNA Convention Centre, defeating Victoria's Rhys Mathewson 7-0 in the semi-final, Aussie favourite Simon Whitlock 7-4 in the semi-final before demolishing fellow Stoke-on-Trent local Andy Hamilton 7-0 in the final.

The 16-time world champion was in sublime form all night but nothing was as good as his last-eight victory over the unfortunate Mathewson.

The Aussie had played brilliantly to beat American Johnny K the night before but he had no answer to Taylor's brilliance.

The 57-year-old, who lost to Rob Cross in the world championship final just over a week ago, rolled back the years in a dominant display which had echoes of his performances at world championships in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Last leg of final v A Hamilton

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Taylor was quick out of the gun, firing two 180s and a 121 before finishing the first leg in 11 darts before Mathewson could even take a breath.

The veteran averaged 127 over the first four legs before finishing with an average of just under 112.

It was spine-tingling stuff for the capacity audience, who had all come to see their hero.

Taylor was not quite as dominant against Whitlock in the semi but was still good enough for a 7-4 victory.

While Taylor was setting the world alight, Hamilton was having his own great night, fighting back from 6-3 down against Kyle Anderson to win 7-6 in the last-eight clash.

Hamilton, a former world championship runner-up and Taylor practice partner, was then too good for Gold Coaster Robbie King in the semi-final, to set up an all-Stoke decider.

Taylor once more proved that he is far from retired, with another top-class display to leave his fellow Brit clutching at straws.

The first leg is over, now it's on to the Gold Coast, with the English 1-0 up in darts' battle of the Ashes.

Phil Taylor was unstoppable at the International Pro Darts Series Showdown.
Phil Taylor was unstoppable at the International Pro Darts Series Showdown.


Australian darts legend Russell Stewart hailed the Showdown Series an unmitigated success after a sellout second night at Brisbane's RNA Convention Centre.

Stewart, who lost in the quarter-finals to Gold Coaster Robbie King, 7-2 on Thursday night, was the man who flew the flag for Australian darts through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The now 57-year-old said he was privileged to be invited on to the four-week tour which also heads to the Gold Coast next week before moving on to Townsville and Mackay.

Stewart also said the series, run by News Corp, was a great concept.

"This is fantastic," he said of the series. "This is what we need.

"I don't know if it will take off. Australian crowds are funny with darts but I have noticed that's changing.

"I'd say 20-30 years ago if you had a night of darts in this arena, you would be lucky to have the bottom half filled in.

"But we now see that all the arena is going to be filled and that would not have happened all those years ago.

"We can do it now, mainly down to people like Simon (Whitlock) on TV, doing well in the PDC and getting in the Premier League.

"So we are all up at 4am seeing how he and the other Aussies are going to do.

"I hope this series goes well for everyone."