Taylor admits nerves on return to the big stage

By Phil Lanning

PHIL TAYLOR admitted he was “s******g himself” despite a comfortable win over bitter old rival Peter Manley.

The oche legend returned to the big stage Circus Tavern to beat Manley 3-1 in the World Seniors Championship.

It was like a tungsten time warp as Taylor, 61, walked into the packed Tavern to the sound of ‘I’ve Got The Power’.

Taylor had won three world finals over Manley in 1999, 2002 and 2006 – the last two 7-0 – and the latter with Manley storming off without shaking his hand.

This time ‘One Dart’ did take a set but Taylor won yet again and admitted: “It was hard work, I was struggling. I was trying too hard. I was nervous and s******g myself. 

“I was honestly dead nervous. It’s more fun now. Even though we both wanted to win. He’ll be gutted now, thank god!

“I can tell everyone who has paid for a ticket and watching us on TV, I’m trying my socks off. I’ve got to relax a bit. I’m pushing my darts too much, I’m willing them to be in.”

Now Taylor faces another old world final opponent Kevin Painter in the quarter-finals today (Sat). He beat ‘The Artist’ in a sudden death in 2004, in one of the greatest finals in history.

Painter smashed Wayne Warren with an impressive display but Taylor quipped: “I don’t think anyone watches Kevin Painter games. This Taylor’s on fire. I’ve got to get ready for him.”

Taylor lost the opening leg to Manley but hit the first 180 of the match in the next then finished with 82 to show that he still is a fierce player. However Manley took the opening set.

But then it was just like old times with The Power rolling back the years to take complete control and take the next three sets for victory with an average of 81.

Former three-time BDO world champ Martin Adams produced a wonderful five ton-plus finishes to beat Richie Howson 3-2 – claiming victory with a classy 153 checkout.

‘Wolfie’ had previously hit 157, 156, 150 and 136 as he came back from 2-1 down to take the win.

He said: “It’s a tough finish 153 but I thought I’d go for it anyway. I must admit I’ve been very lucky with my finishing tonight. 

“I’ve had the howling for quite a number of years now and the biggest howls I’ve ever had was at Lakeside – and it was the year I wasn’t playing – I was just a pundit!

“I have a problem with my calf muscle. It can be very painful and I’ve had to throw some darts tonight, usually loose ones, when it’s really starting to get to me. I have to rest it.”

Robert Thornton cruised through to the quarter-finals of the World Seniors Championship, dropping just one leg to Trina Gulliver. 

The Ayrshire ace reeled off eight legs on the bounce in a 3-0 win and will now face either John Lowe or Dave Prins.

He said: “I felt comfortable all night. We know what Trina can do on a dartboard and I just wanted to cross that line and get the win. 

“I can win it, I hope so. But you can’t look any further than your next game.”

Images by Taylor Lanning.