Darts: Taylor leaves Manley without leg to stand on

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The Independent Online

Phil Taylor completed the latest chapter of his remarkable odyssey through the darts world when he raced to his 10th world title with a spectacular 7-0 demoliton of the hapless Peter Manley in Purfleet, Essex, last night.

The 41-year-old proved his complete mastery of his sport during the tournament, dropping just two sets on his way to the title. He also set the highest three-dart average in world championship history ­ 111.21 in the second round.

Taylor, who earned a cheque for £50,000 for his success, actually looked slightly tense on his way to the oche but his throwing arm did not waver as he charged through the opening set. Manley made a confident start with a maximum in the opening leg but Taylor then took over and reeled off the first three.

Manley had chances to gain the initiative in the second set with shots at doubles in the first two legs, but Taylor's finishing helped him to a 3-1 success. The Stoke thrower had found his range and a 104 checkout put him firmly in control before a 13-dart finish sealed the next set.

His opponent offered some resistance in the fourth by winning the third leg but Taylor finished with an 11-darter for a 3-1 success. Taylor then dropped just three legs as he strolled the last three sets.

Manley initially refused to shake Taylor's hand after his defeat but it did not sour the moment for long. In fact, Taylor was quick to praise his opponent ­ who did eventually return to offer his congratulations. "I am a little bit gutted for Peter because he's a worthy finalist who played well all week," Taylor said.

As the final arrows were thrown in Purfleet, theEmbassy world championship got under way at Frimley Green, Surrey where John "Boy" Walton launched the defence of his title with a 3-0 victory over the four-time semi-finalist, Andy Fordham. The top seed lost only one leg as he kept checking out clinically.

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