Darts: Taylor equals record

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The Independent Online
Phil Taylor won his fifth world title last night to equal the record set by his close friend Eric Bristow.

The 36-year-old Taylor, arguably the finest player of all time, beat Yorkshireman Dennis Priestley by six sets to three in an absorbing Red Band World Championship final in Purfleet, Essex, that lasted nearly two- and-a-half hours.

Bristow, who Taylor beat in a close-run semi-final yesterday, won the official Embassy World Championship five times between 1980 and 1986, while Taylor won two Embassy titles and now the Purfleet championship three times running.

Taylor broke down in tears following his final dart and after collecting the sport's biggest-ever prize cheque of pounds 45,000. "Eric first sponsored me on the darts circuit in 1987 and he nearly beat me yesterday,'' Taylor said.

Priestley, who won the Purfleet title in 1994 by beating Taylor, won the first two sets but Taylor got his act together to win four sets running to go into a 4-2 lead.

It should have been 5-2 but Taylor missed three successive double 16s to win the seventh set before Priestley hit back with a magnificent check- out of 160 to bring the score back to 4-3. However Taylor held his nerve to win the next two sets for a momentous victory.