Grand Slam cruise inevitable when Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor takes oche
The living legend that is Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor takes on Robert Thornton in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts – which is live on Sky Sports – and can further enhance his reputation in the sport by winning with a 6.5-leg handicap at odds of 8/13.
Taylor beat former protégé and fellow Stoke native Adrian Lewis in an incredible semi-final that saw records tumble left, right and centre.
A phenomenal 32 180s were thrown in the clash – a new PDC high-watermark – and the Potteries pair’s combined average also set a new bar.
Lewis’ average was actually higher than his old mentor’s, but Taylor hit the majority of his doubles and checked out on 167 and 160 during the match, eventually triumphing 16-9.
Thornton beat Scott Waites by the same score in the other semi-final and claimed in an interview afterwards that he did not mind who he faced in the Grand Slam decider, while admirably managing to keep a straight face.
The Scot has a relatively good record against Taylor, having beaten the 53-year-old five times in their last 10 meetings, including in the final of the 2012 UK Open.
However, Taylor exacted revenge on his 46-year-old foe with a four sets to nil defeat later that year on his way to a 14th world title and has won 14 of their last 19 encounters.
The Power battled Lewis and James Wade in the last two rounds, much higher calibre of opponents than Waites and Tony O’Shea, who Thornton saw off in the quarter-finals.
Both players won their respective semis 16-9, which was also the score the last time they played a first to 16 legs match in the final of the Players Championship back in 2009.
At 8/1, that seems an enticing score to bet on.