Darts: Nine-dart finish propels Lewis to maiden title

Phil Taylor was only here as a spectator, but the legend of the greatest player in history lived on as his former protégé, Adrian Lewis, won the Professional Darts Corporation's Ladbrokes.com World Championship for the first time here last night. Lewis, another product of the Potteries hotbed that has produced a succession of world-class players, beat Scotland's Gary Anderson 7-5 in a final of the highest quality.

Like his former mentor, Lewis comes from Stoke-on-Trent, which is where Eric Bristow also made his home. The 25-year-old has long been recognised as a potential world champion and claimed the sport's biggest prize in spectacular fashion. Lewis hit the first nine-dart finish in a world championship final as well as 20 maximum scores of 180, which took his tournament total to a record 60.

Lewis climbed to No 2 in the world rankings with his win and will bank a winning cheque for £210,000, including a £10,000 bonus for the nine-dart finish. However, he admitted that most of the prize money would be spent on settling his tax debts. "I owed a lot of money, but now I can pay it off," he said afterwards. "It's a big weight off my mind. I was obviously feeling the pressure all the way through the tournament, but winning this will get myself clear."

Anderson had been the most consistent performer over the whole tournament and had been hoping to equal Taylor's record as the only player to finish every match with a three-dart average in excess of 100. On this occasion, however, his final figure stood at 98.86.

The 40-year-old Scot admitted that on occasions he had been put off by the noise of the crowd, who were mostly supporting his English opponent. Nevertheless Anderson still hit 10 maximum 180s to take his tournament tally to 58, which equalled the previous record.

The match got off to an extraordinary start. Anderson, having opened up with 140, hit a 104 check-out to take the first leg, only to be swept aside by a torrent of high scores from Lewis.

Two maximum 180s helped Lewis to level the set with an 83 check-out, but that proved to be only an appetiser for the dish he served up in the next leg as seven treble 20s, a treble 19 and a double 12 took him to the first nine-dart finish in the history of world championship finals. A smiling Anderson raised a glass of water in congratulations, in response to which Lewis planted a kiss on his cheek, having done the same 24 hours earlier to Prince Harry, who had hugged him after watching his semi-final victory.

By the time Lewis had won the next leg to take the first set, his three-dart average stood at an astonishing 123. When he checked out on 100 to win his sixth leg in a row and take the second set it seemed that Anderson might get blown away, but the Scot responded in magnificent fashion to take the third set 3-0 after successive check-outs of 130 and 136.

When Anderson levelled the match at 3-3 it seemed that the momentum had swung his way, but Lewis wrested it back again to lead 6-3. This time, however, it was the turn of the Englishman to wobble as Anderson reduced the arrears to 6-5. Lewis, nevertheless, quickly rediscovered his touch to take the last leg 3-0, completing victory on his third attempt at double 11.

Taylor admitted that he had a lump in his throat as his former protégé took the prize. "I couldn't be more proud of him if he was my own son," Taylor said. "It was a great final and I can't say enough about the pair of them."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power