Phil Taylor coasted to his 13th world title tonight by whitewashing Peter Manley in the final of the Ladbrokes.com World Championship for the second time in five years.
‘The Power’ repeated the 7-0 victory he achieved against Manley in 2002 with an awesome display although his opponent, unlike their previous meeting at Purfleet’s Circus Tavern, stayed on stage this time to shake his hand.
After being taken to a deciding set by Wayne Mardle in the semi-finals last night when well below par it was thought Taylor may have been drained for the £100,000 (€145,536) showdown, but instead he was back to his very best.
As soon as the 45-year-old won the opening leg of the match against the throw and followed up with a maximum 170 checkout the writing was on the wall for Manley, who was also beaten 6-2 by Taylor in the 1999 final.
One dart at double top captured the first set and although the fifth seed won both legs in the next in which he threw first, it was not enough to draw level as Taylor clinched it with another single attempt at double top.
A 12-darter against the throw set Taylor on the way to a 3-0 advantage, although Manley broke back before the Stoke master extended his lead to 3-0 by pinning double eight first time.
Taylor earned the break in the next with a 103 finish that put him more than halfway towards another title and while Manley kept alive his chances of winning set five with a 105 checkout, his hopes were short-lived as the world number two moved further ahead with a double 16.
The resolve of ‘One Dart’ was now broken and Taylor put himself on the cusp of victory in dominant style, a double eight making it 6-0, before he wrapped it up with a brilliant 98 checkout on double 12.
Taylor was joined on stage after his triumph by Justin Hawkins, lead singer of rock group The Darkness with whom he filmed a video last year.
“It’s unbelievable to have come through a field of 64 of the best players I’ve seen for a long time,” said Taylor, who has been beaten only four times since he started contesting World Championships in 1990.
“To reach the final was breath-taking and to beat Peter Manley was hard work because he’s a quality player. I had to set my stall out because I saw him practising before the match and he was scoring and finishing brilliantly.
“He blew away the field on his side of the draw, and I had to treat him with the utmost respect.
“I wasn’t 100% sure if I would win tonight, because I was worried about Peter. But I just kept concentrating and telling myself to keep solid.”
Manley, who had improved with every match before the final and recorded a whitewash of his own against qualifier Wayne Jones in the last four, thought he had left his best form behind.
“I think I peaked too early,” said the 43-year-old Carlisle-based professional.
“But I’m chuffed to bits to be runner-up in the World Championship.
“If Phil had played the way he did last night it would have been close.
“But that’s the difference – Phil showed his class and can do it time after time, whereas I do it occasionally. It was like walking into a brick wall.”