Latest: Rob Cross denies Phil Taylor a fairytale finish by claiming first World Championship

Update 9.58pm: Newcomer Rob Cross has claimed his first World Championship title with a win over retiring darts legend Phil Taylor, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Phil Taylor with Rob Cross after a missed chance for 9 darter. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Phil Taylor with Rob Cross after a missed chance for 9 darter. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Taylor has played his last ever professional darts match, conceding to Cross who won with a 7-2 lead.

Former electrician Cross wins a cheque for £400,000 and a spot in the world's top four.

Cross paid tribute to Taylor, saying it was his dream to play against the legend.

"I feel great, but I got to say I won my first world title, but it's about him departing. It was my dream 15 years ago to play this guy and now I played him - absolutely phenomenal," he said.

"I was born in 1990 when Taylor won his first world title. What he's done for the game, I hope he has a happy retirement and I wish him all the best."

Update 9.49pm: Phil Taylor claims second set in final pro darts match

Phil Taylor has won a second set in his final professional match, reducing Rob Cross's lead, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Is this the beginning of Taylor's comeback?

Cross now leads 6-2.

Update 9.37pm: Rob Cross maintains lead against Phil Taylor and inches closer to World Championship title

Rob Cross holds a 6-1 lead against Phil Taylor in Taylor's final professional match, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Taylor hit his ninth maximum, but missed the bullseye for a 161 finish. Cross got a 93 checkout.

If Cross wins one more set he will win a World Championship title.

Update 9.28pm: Phil Taylor trails behind as Rob Cross claims five sets

Rob Cross denied Phil Taylor a second set by claiming his fifth, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

RobCrossin action during day fifteen of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Rob Cross in action during day fifteen of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Cross needed 84 and nailed it with two darts to win the sixth set.

Cross is averaging 109 as he moves into a four set lead.

Update 9.14pm: 'The Power' fights back briefly but Cross claims fourth set

Rob Cross leads Phil Taylor 4-1 in the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Taylor missed a D18 by a hair for a 153 finish, allowing Cross to make a 14-darter and claim another set.

Can Taylor make a comeback?

Update 9.04pm: Phil Taylor rallies to win first set in final darts match

After big checkouts from newcomer Rob Cross, Phil Taylor took back control to win his first set of the night, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Taylor's whitewash set started with 151 in the first leg and he got 80 in just two darts.

The score is currently 3-1, in favour of Cross.

Update 8.58pm: Phil Taylor unable to put brakes on Rob Cross who takes 3-0 lead

Phil Taylor finished first on 150 and scored 38 to leave 112, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Cross required a 153 checkout to clinch his third set and it proves no problem.

Update 8.49pm: Rob Cross doubles his lead over retiring Phil Taylor

Rob Cross has scored a 167 to win his second set and double his lead against Phil Taylor the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Cross produced his highest finish in the championship and remains 2-0 in the lead.

Cross is playing in his first world final, while Taylor is playing in his 21st before retirement.

Update 8.36pm: Rob Cross takes opening set after breaking Phil Taylor's throw

Underdog Rob Cross has taken the opening set after breaking retiring darts legend Phil Taylor's throw, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

He is currently in the lead in the William Hill World Darts Championship.

Update 8.23pm: Watch Phil Taylor's electrifying entrance ahead of final darts match

Darts legend Phil Taylor has embarked upon his final walk-on at Alexandra Palace, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

Taylor stopped for selfies and autographs with fans along his route as 'I've Got The Power' echoed around the arena and lights flashed dramatically.

Moments earlier, the crowd chanted that there was "only one Phil Taylor.

Earlier 7.29pm: Darts legend Phil Taylor wins pre-match bull-up

Phil Taylor has the chance to end his illustrious career in perfect style when he faces Rob Cross in the final of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace tonight.

The 16-time champion won the pre-match bull-up and he has given the throw to Cross.

Taylor ensured he would make his swansong in the New Year’s Day showpiece with a 6-1 semi-final win over provisional-round qualifier Jamie Lewis on Saturday.

The 57-year-old from Stoke, who has won this title 14 times and the BDO version twice, will retire after the tournament.

In stark contrast to veteran Taylor, Cross is contesting his first world final after beating defending champion Michael van Gerwen 6-5 in a remarkable semi-final.

Cross, in his first season as a professional, took advantage of uncharacteristically poor finishing from the Dutchman and held his nerve in sudden death.

Latest: Rob Cross denies Phil Taylor a fairytale finish by claiming first World Championship

Phil Taylor's final match begins at 8pm with the first to seven sets crowned the champion. Follow updates here.

- Digital Desk

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