Sport

Phil Taylor keeps dream alive after real scare

Taylor, who will retire from competitive darts at the conclusion of the two-week event averaged 96.55 against "Hollywood".

But it was Taylor who advanced to set up a second-round contest with either Justin Pipe or a preliminary round qualifier a week on Saturday and he admitted to being below par. "It's odd, but I've got a few days off now". "He is my heart, my soul and the reason I play darts".

The end may come quickly for Phil "The Power" Taylor, at London's Alexandra Palace.

There was a lot of pressure on me, but to get through Chris Dobey... when they keep on about the future of darts, that's your fella I think.

"I lacked a bit of energy tonight".

Another group wearing Christmas jumpers also wear masks of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor.

The emotion of the entrance showed as Dobey, despite a far-from-impressive start of his own, managed find his doubles and edge 2-1 in front. Dobey won the third before Taylor recovered from 2-1 down in the fourth to win 3-2 and claim the match.

Anderson opened with a 13-dart leg on his way to claiming the first set, despite throwing a number of loose darts, before threatening a tournament record by posting an 11-dart finish and a 10-darter on his way to a 132 average in the second.

Taylor, hunting a 17th world title before retiring, took a 2-0 lead but then saw Dobey come back to 2-1 and have the darts to level, which would have seen him have the advantage going into the decider.

Those who attended the venue on day one saw Michael van Gerwen advance to the second round after defeating Christian Kist in a 3-1 victory.

Belgian Van der Bergh, 23, the world youth champion, treated the crowd to a body popping routine before producing one of the best performances of his career.



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