Column #HR16 Taylor Does a Tchaikovsky! Bromberg Gits ‘er Done!

Monday, July 26, 2010
Column HR16
Taylor Does a Tchaikovsky! Bromberg Gits ‘er Done!

The ODC sometimes gets things almost right. He opined, “Off the quarters (97.93) one would have to think that Barney (95.89) is there for the taking if Wade is up to the task.” He was spot on but Wade wasn’t up to the task going down to Barneveld by the score of 17-8. Wade had the early lead (3-1) only to lose “Old Mo” in the 8th leg when he missed three to go up 5-3. Wade was sailing along when confronted with double 6. For some reason he stepped off the line once, then twice, and of course missed. That presented Raymond van Barneveld the chance to level at 4. He did. Barney followed that with another win for 5-4 and would never be headed from then on. Barney had some great finishes with three over a ton.

Mr. John Lowe on Sky TV said, “Only Phil Taylor can beat Phil Taylor.” In the semi final match-up with Aussie Simon Whitlock there was no chance of Phil beating Phil. Taylor, working with the skill of a surgeon, sliced and diced Whitlock on his way to a 17-4 win. It wasn’t pretty but highly effective. It’s not that Whitlock played badly it’s just that “he’s not Taylor.” Oh yes, the final score was 17-4 and included two Taylor runs of 7 and 8 legs on the trot. If ever a match cried out for the “mercy rule” this was it.

THE MAIN EVENT

Most everyone in the civilized world is familiar with the 1812 Overture in E flat major, Op. 49 which would exclude some of the “lunks” that jammed the Empress Ballroom of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool for the finals of the StanJames World MatchPlay. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote the Ouverture Solennelle, L’Année 1812 in 1880 to commemorate Russia’s defense of Moscow. If “One Night in Bangkok” was written about chess then I would suggest that Old Pete looked into the future to write the 1812 Overture about Phil Taylor-Raymond van Barneveld in the race to the 18 legs final.

The 1812 Overture goes “da da da da da BOOM… da da da da da da BOOM” and that’s how this 18-12, in Taylor’s favor went. Things went along melodic as a symphony when all of a sudden a cannon would BOOM . It happened 4 times so that, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, was the difference between Phil Taylor winning his 11th World MatchPlay and Raymond van Barneveld copping his first. This event holds special significance as it was the first big tournament for the then struggling band of professional dart players who tossed off the yoke of oppression for a “league of their own.” Little literary license there. The year was 1994 when Yank Larry Butler won the first title by defeating Dennis Priestly.

As mentioned, things were going along with both players holding serve at 3-3 when Barney missed 2 darts at 40 in the 7th leg for a 4-3 lead. During his throw a lout in the audience whistled which caused van Barneveld to break concentration. Taylor converted 80 in two to break throw for the first time for a lead of 4-3. During the 12th leg fans again caused a disturbance while van Barneveld was throwing. In this case Taylor would take 81 in two (trip 19 double 16) for a 7-5 lead. Phil Taylor caused the next BOOM to go off in leg 16 while leading 8-7. Barneveld, with the darts, had produced a T80 leaving 24 with Taylor back at 105. Then Taylor eliminated the 105 for a 9-7 lead for another KABOOM moment.

Following an 11-darter that would make the score 9-8, Barney put together T-T-T and 134 to leave 67 and a possible break of throw. Taylor was sitting at 135 but not for long as he used a bull to steal a leg going up 10-8. Taylor followed up with an 11-darter jump started with a T80 and a 11-8 lead. The next leg, #20, was by far the best of the night providing Barney with a chance to supply the BOOM. Taylor throwing first went T40-60-T80-56 missing the bull for a 121 finish leaving 25. Barneveld had landed T-125-T40 to leave 136. Given a chance, the likeable Dutchman took it out for his first break. Taylor would break back in the next leg with scorching scoring (T40-T39-T40) for a 12-9 lead and the final gun had been fired. Let the champagne flow.

Post comments, of course, had Taylor “over the moon” yet again. It also showed that Taylor sometimes misspeaks. “We all know that Barney’s a poor loser.” He would later correct his language, “I meant to say he doesn’t like to lose.” Directly after the match the stage announcer said to van Barneveld, “How does it feel to be back?” “I haven’t been anywhere. I’m number 2 in the world and just not good enough right now.” Taylor predicts that he and van Barneveld will meet in the World Championships at year’s end. “Anyone that draws him is in for trouble.” Money? Lots of it. Taylor takes home £100,000 while van Barneveld scoots back to the Netherlands with £55,000 as the 9 darter pays £5.000.

BROMBERG WORLD CHAMP

The meeting of Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld in the finals of the StanJames World MatchPlay was expected. What probably wasn’t expected was Las Vegas resident Stacy Bromberg winning the Unicorn Women’s World Championship with a 6-5 win over England’s Tricia Wright. Bromberg collects £10,000 along with a PDC Tour Card for the coming year. The Old Dart Coach, being the cynical SOB that he is, thinks the women’s finalist were suppose to be Tricia Wright against the “Russian Fox” Anastasia Dobromyslova who is a regular member on the PDC Tour. Stacy tossed a “tungsten wrench” into that plan with a 4-3 win in the semi’s weeks ago. Bromberg would attempt to add the Unicorn World Championship to her World Dart Federation (WDF) crown.

Both players held serve early with Bromberg getting her “Ws” with a keen 74 finish in two and a double tops. Bromberg should have been up 4-0 but missed 9 doubles as Wright leveled the score at 2. Wright broke in the 5th and then held in the 6th leg for a 4-2 lead. Bromberg would narrow to 4-3 but fall back to 5-3 when Wright checked 78 in two.

The ODC had been commentating that Bromberg seemed to be rushing the second half of her throw. Once her arm reached the half way point she appeared to be snatching the dart. Bromberg got to 5-4 when her arm slowed down – and Bromberg started to score as she can. Against the darts, Bromberg went T40, T, 91, 122 to leave 48. With the darts, Wright was right there with 23, T40, 100 but missed 4 at the double for the match. Bromberg took out 28 with 2-14s to level and take the battle to the decider.

With the match and title on the line Bromberg went 85-60-43-92 to leave 132. At 132 Bromberg could only muster 40 to leave 92 while Wright had arrived at 87. Saving the best for last Bromberg nailed the triple 20, then single 16, and double 8 for the title.

WAY TO GO! The gal from Vegas “Got ’er done.”

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.

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