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Simon Whitlock was denied a double comeback in the McCoy’s Premier League Play-offs, after the Australian, who hit a nine-dart finish in his semi-final triumph over Andy Hamilton, was denied victory by Phil Taylor in the final.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

‘The Wizard’ came back from 4-1 down to win 8-6 in his last four clash with ‘The Hammer’, in which he produced a moment of pure magic, when he achieved the fabulous feat of a perfect leg, sending the O2 Arena’s 10,000 strong crowd into raptures.

Whitlock looked like he might produce an even more remarkable turnaround when he won five consecutive legs, to draw level with ‘The Power’ after trailing 7-2 in the final. But Taylor halted Whitlock’s charge and won the last three legs to take the coveted crown.

“It’s a bit disappointing in the end,” said Whitlock, who will now turn his attentions to next month’s UK Open in his quest for a first PDC major title.

“I had a shot to go 8-7 up but Phil deserved to win. I’ve had a fantastic Premier League season. Phil is a worthy champion.”

Taylor, who was crowned Premier League champion for the sixth time, hailed the performance of his opponent.

He said: “Simon came back at me. He’s a real fighter. I hit him has hard as I could but he kept coming back and hitting me harder. It was a very hard final to win.”

James Wade had earlier given ‘The Power’ an almighty scare, when he ran Taylor agonisingly close in the semi-final.

‘The Machine’ was undone by a brilliant 149 checkout from the world number one, when the pair where tied at 6-6, with Wade on throw in the race to eight.

Whitlock almost produced the exact same finish in the final, but just missed double 16 to take an 8-7 lead.

James Hubbard came away from London’s O2 a happy man, after beating Michael van Gerwen to be crowned PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion.

The 19-year-old produced an impressive performance to take the title and £10,000 prize money.

By Chris Murphy

See Simon Whitlock and James Wade in action in Grimsby on Friday 1st June / Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday 2nd June

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