Darts: Taylor takes title in fine final

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Phil Taylor beat Dennis Priestley 6-4 in a magnificent match to retain the Vernons Pools World Championship at Purfleet, Essex, yesterday.

Priestley had thrashed Taylor 6-1 in this tournament's first final two years ago and yesterday he stretched Taylor in a match lasting two hours and 13 minutes.

Priestley had 15 maximum 180s against 10 by Taylor, and the Yorkshireman also had a better average - 33.82 per dart to 32.84. He also had 34 180s during his five matches in the tournament, a record.

But, despite these statistics, Taylor made the vital thrust when he won the fifth set to go ahead for the first time in the match at 3-2. That proved decisive. Taylor, in fact, could have won the title a set earlier, but he missed a double 20 and a double 10 for a 6-3 victory. He sealed it by taking the 10th set in three straight legs.