Friday | 18/01/2013

Year in, year out the standard of darts at the PDC World Darts Championship just keeps going up a notch – with that just played at Alexandra Palace in London the best yet!

The players are thriving on the crowds, the crowds are flocking to town to see the greatest players in the world of darts strut their stuff - and they are not being let down.

From the outset to the final there was drama. In the preliminary games we had qualifiers like Max Hopp, the sixteen year old German sensation, and Jani Haavisto, who gave Gary Anderson a fright.

There were Nine dart legs from Dean Winstanley and Michael Van Gerwen, ( MVG ) who nearly had two back to back - something that has never been seen before. And we may never see anyone get that close again, as MVG just missed the double 12 for two perfect legs in a row.

The best match ever played at Ally Pally in my opinion took place when MVG met the two times and reigning champ Adrian Lewis in the quarter final.

Michael looked in unstoppable form but Lewis refused to wilt under the pressure. Both players were hitting maximums for fun and doubles at will. Adrian Lewis had entered the championships lacking any kind of form and, even though he lost this match after missing two darts at double twenty, he will feel he did himself justice.

I had the pleasure of commentating on this match and it was an absolute delight to be involved.

The final between Michael Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor was supposed to be the old guy handing over the baton and watching the younger man run riot to cement his place as the best player in the world right now.

But Phil Taylor doesn't know how to surrender. The grit and determination he possesses is quite incredible, the unflappable self belief in his ability is bewildering.

Michael over the last six months had proved that he was the man to take over from “The Power” when he decides to call time on his outstanding darts career. The time isn't upon us yet.

The final was one way traffic for the first half, Taylor hanging in there whilst Michael was hitting the doubles that we all thought might cause him trouble.

Then in the seventh set MVG missed his chance to move 5-2 up and scupper Phil's plans to become champion of the world for the sixteenth time.

The rest is history, as they say. Taylor hit his double to go 3-4, then “The Power” moved into overdrive and proceeded to punish the young Dutchman for every mistake, eventually running out a 7 sets to 4 winner and claim the most coveted prize in darts for the sixteenth time.

Bad news for the rest of the darting world followed - Taylor announcing he will continue playing for the next three years at least!

Well done to Scott Waites on winning the Lakeside World Championship. A deserved winner, the former Grand Slam Champ and World Master finally got his hands on the big one. Commiserations to Tony O’Shea who once again had to settle for second place.

A mention has to go the Richie George, son of Bobby. What a performance in reaching the semi final at his first attempt! A bright future in our sport beckons.

Hope you all have a wonderfully successful 2013!