Taylor sets up Barney clash
Old rivals to renew acquaintance in Dublin on Sunday
Last Updated: 10/10/09 11:29pm
Rivals: Van Barneveld and Taylor
Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will meet once again in Sunday's Skybet World Grand Prix final after both comfortably came through their respective semi-finals in Dublin.
Dutchman Van Barneveld defeated Andy Hamilton 5-2 before Taylor claimed victory over Terry Jenkins by the same scoreline.
Defending champion Taylor averaged 99.76 on Saturday and made a sensational start, producing legs of 10 and 11 darts as he went two sets to the good.
The first was won thanks to a 180 and 96 finish, with Taylor's 10-darter, only the second of the week, coming in the second set - scores of 160, 140 and 177 to leave double 12.
An 11-dart finish allowed Taylor to take that set without reply but Jenkins pulled the third set back with a maximum and then tops after his opponent had missed three darts.
Jenkins took an early lead in the fourth but Taylor took it 3-1, once again producing an 11-dart finish.
There then followed a much closer set but it was Taylor who won it, taking the deciding leg with a 146 finish after Jenkins missed nine opening doubles.
Jenkins took the sixth set without reply and then prompted thoughts of a comeback after the pair traded the opening two legs of the seventh.
However, Taylor then hit double ten, before a seventh maximum and double four enabled him to secure victory.
"It was really hard work and I'm relieved to get through that," Taylor said. "Terry was dead and buried after the first two sets but he came back at me and kept on fighting.
"He's a great player but he let me in at the end and I had to finish him off.
"I'm excited to be playing Raymond again and hopefully I can keep the title. Andy Hamilton had Raymond under pressure in their semi-final and I've got to do the same in the final."
Earlier, van Barneveld produced a resilient display to see off Hamilton, who pushed his opponent all the way.
Hamilton took advantage of a slow start from van Barneveld to win the first set 3-1, with the Dutchman posting a 180 and a 90 checkout to win his only leg as his opponent's accuracy on double 16 edged him ahead.
Van Barneveld hit back with a 14-darter in the opening leg of the second set, with a 118 finish and then a double top allowing him level the match.
The third set went to a deciding leg, which van Barneveld took by opening with a 152 before hitting double 16 for a 109 finish.
Hamilton hit a 180 early in the fourth set and eventually took it to level the match after his opponent missed four darts to level for 2-2.
The fifth set proved crucial, with van Barneveld taking an early lead and eventually taking it 3-1 - Hamilton guilty of missed opportunities to punish the Dutchman's own mistakes.
Van Barneveld took the sixth set having been 2-1 down before two maximums allowed him to take control of the seventh - victory being sealed with a double five.