Lewis hits the Jackpot again
Adrian Lewis retained his PDC World Championship crown with a 7-3 win over Andy Hamilton at Alexandra Palace.
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 20/02/12 12:42pm
Adrian Lewis retained his PDC World Championship crown with a 7-3 victory over Andy Hamilton in the final at Alexandra Palace.
'Jackpot' followed in the footsteps of Eric Bristow and Raymond van Barneveld as he successfully defended the title the year after winning it for the first time.
He was, however, pushed hard by fellow Stoke thrower Hamilton, who fought gamely throughout but was never quite able to get his nose in front.
'The Hammer' twice pegged back his opponent to leave honours after the opening four sets, though neither was able to find the same form they had shown in their semi-final triumphs over Simon Whitlock and James Wade.
Lewis recovered from losing the opening leg to reel off three on the spin, clinching the first set impressively when he took out 122 on the bull.
The second then saw both unable to hold their throw until the fourth leg, Hamilton finding the target with double six to get back on terms.
It seemed in the third set Lewis was going to move through the gears, including a superb attempt at a nine-darter that saw him only denied when he narrowly missed double 12. In the end it took him 11 to win the leg, with double eight then clinching him a 2-1 lead.
Hamilton showed he too could find his best when needed, checkouts of 147 and 105 giving him the fourth set by a 3-1 scoreline. He should then have gone ahead for the first time but missed a chance to take the fifth set, allowing Lewis to sneak in and clinch it with a 12-darter.
When a 104 finish in the sixth set doubled his advantage, Lewis must have believed he'd done enough to break the resolve of his rival.
Hamilton, to his immense credit, kept going, sweeping through the seventh set in a hurry to raise hopes of a second great come-from-behind triumph, having battled back from 5-3 down to defeat Whitlock in the last round.
But Lewis took the next on double 11 - the same out-shot that clinched him the crown 12 months ago - and then responded superbly when 0-2 down in the 10th set.
Third time lucky
Although he missed his first two opportunities to clinch the match, it proved to be third time lucky for the 26-year-old when he landed double 20, ending a final that had fallen short of the lofty standards seen on the same stage just 24 hours earlier.
"It's not quite sunk in yet. I take everything on the chin and have a busy year ahead. This is (title) number two and I'll have a lot more," said Lewis, who had to come back from two sets down to beat Nigel Heydon in the first round before then rallying from a 5-1 deficit against Wade in the early hours of Monday morning.
"The fightback against James Wade last night won me the tournament. I believed in myself."
Asked how many times he could win the world title, he replied: "At least 10."
Hamilton, who received £100,000 as runner-up, was not too downhearted after the defeat - he had begun the event as a 200-1 outsider.
"It's been a great week for me," he told Sky Sports. "I wanted to win the final so badly but I'm happy to be here.
"Keep watching me. Next year I'll be back again and hopefully I'll be winning it then."