James Wade produced a brilliant run to his fifth Blackpool final in seven attempts, before eventually being edged out by Phil Taylor in the Betfair World Matchplay on Sunday evening.
‘The Machine’ pushed Taylor hard in a close run affair but was unable to prevent ‘The Power’ from clinching the £100,000 title for the thirteenth time, with the world number one running out an 18-15 winner.
“I have practised hard for weeks but I wasn’t in full flow tonight,” said Wade, who triumphed at The Winter Gardens in 2007.
“Getting 15 legs off Phil in the final is massive but I don’t see coming second as a good week’s work.
“I will continue to work hard and put more into this game though. I’m old enough now to realise that it’s what I’ll have to do to be the best.”
Wade showed some fantastic form throughout the tournament, defeating Richie Burnett and Mark Walsh with apparent ease in the first two rounds.
The world number three saw off the challenge of nine-dart hero Michael van Gerwen in the last eight before sealing victory over Terry Jenkins with six ton-plus finishes to reach the final, where he battled hard but was unable to topple Taylor.
‘The Power’ admitted that it could have been a different story after Wade was denied checkouts of 140 and 144 by the width of the wire in crucial legs.
“James was fantastic and has been all week,” said Taylor
“If those shots had gone in, he would have won.
“That was the nerveiest final I have ever played in.”
By Chris Murphy