Power surges: Taylor sets up final date with Van Gerwen after on-stage clash with Van Barneveld in semi-final
08:03 GMT, 31 December 2012
Phil Taylor survived a fightback and an angry confrontation with one Dutchman on Sunday night but he will have to overcome the genius of another if he is to lift a 16th world title.
The Power’s eventual 6-4 semi-final victory over his one-time nemesis Raymond van Barneveld was a display of initial clinical efficiency which drifted into nervous hesitancy and a final eyes-bulging stand-off between the pair who required security guards to maintain an uneasy peace.
Taylor will need to add flamboyant brilliance if he is to beat Michael van Gerwen, judging by the heights reached by the 23-year-old in his 6-4 triumph over James Wade.
Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle
Clash: Taylor and Van Barneveld go head to head as they leave the stage
Taylor said: ‘Michael’s talent is the
best I’ve ever seen, even better than me at my peak. I’ve been studying
Michael’s game and he doesn’t even seem to look at his target. I’m
going to do everything on the dart board I can to beat him. I can’t beat
him playing like that.
'Nothing went on, none of us wanted to lose that. He was brilliant there. He stuck in there.
'I said to Raymond backstage, “there's nobody in this room who's a
bigger fan of you than I am”. We're not going to fall out about
anything. It's forgotten. It's done.'
He's done it! Taylor celebrates his win
Mixed emotions: Taylor reacts as he misses a dart to win the match
Taylor admitted all had not gone
exactly to plan, saying: 'The crowd seemed to get behind him a bit. I
think the crowd wanted another Michael van Gerwen-James Wade match.
'I'm full of cold. I've got a
temperature. I'm shattered. I'm taking energy sweets. I should have gone
to the doctors to get some antibiotics. I'm trying anything to keep my
Titanic tussle: Taylor and Van Barneveld go head to head
Fightback: Van Barneveld came back to scare Taylor
'I've got a day off on Monday. I'm going to lie in bed most of the day. I'm shattered.'
Taylor displayed sustained scoring
power as he feasted upon the doubts in Van Barneveld’s head, checking
out 141 and 111 in successive legs. In the end it was sheer
determination not to go more than two years without a world title for
the first time in his career which carried him through.