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SIMON WHITLOCK 8 – 6 Andy Hamilton

Simon Whitlock hit a sensational nine-dart finish in an 8-6 victory over Andy Hamilton, as ‘The Wizard’ booked his place in the McCoy’s Premier League final and moved a step closer to clinching his first PDC major title.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

‘The Wizard’ was one nil down when he produced a perfect leg, hitting two maximums before taking out 141 with treble 20, treble 15, double 18.

The Australian ace went on to defeat Hamilton, despite trailing his opponent 4-1 after his nine-darter.

“That was a fantastic match. Andy has had a fantastic year,” said Whitlock, who was beaten by ‘The Hammer’ in the semi-finals of the World Championship in January.

“I’m over the moon to win the match. I had to throw a nine-darter to beat him; he’s always brilliant against me.

“I’m delighted to be in the final of what has probably been the best Premier League ever.”

Having won the bull in the practice room, ‘The Wizard’ threw first, but he was broken by a neat 130 checkout from Hamilton.

‘The Hammer’ opened the next leg with the first 180 of the match, before Whitlock responded in amazing style, breaking back with his spectacular nine-darter.

Hamilton hit double 16 to edge back in front, before holding for the first time to double his lead.

The 2012 Ladbrokes World Championship finalist then made it four out of four on the doubles, as he moved three legs in front.

‘The Wizard’ slotted in his third 180 before hitting double top for a crucial break of throw, as both players went into the break with a one hundred percent record on doubles.

The Australian hit double ten to win the seventh leg, but Hamilton held his throw to go 5-3 ahead.

Whitlock punished Hamilton for missed doubles, when he hit double six to take a crucial leg, reducing the deficit to a solitary leg once again.

‘The Hammer’ restored a two-leg cushion, with another tidy finish, this time taking out 110 in three darts.

Whitlock responded by quickly closing the gap once more, hitting his fourth maximum, before finishing 84 in audacious style, going bull and double 17.

‘The Wizard’ then hit double top to grab a vital break of throw and tie the match at six legs a piece.

Hamilton had two darts to retake the lead before Whitlock stepped in to hit double nine, and take the lead for the first time in the match.

The 2010 semi-finalist ensured he would go at least one step further this time, as he took out 76 to book his place in the final.

By Chris Murphy

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