Monday, 3 January 2011

World Championship 2011 - The Final: Lewis Wins!

Mentor first to congratulate Lewis

Sorry, couldn't resist that :o) - I'm sure Phil Taylor will be amongst the first to add his congratulations, as Adrian Lewis celebrates his first World Championship, won in Taylor-esque style.

What a cracking game of darts that was, right from the first set. Not only was the standard of darts exceptional throughout, the Jackpot also claimed the £10,000 pot by hitting a nine darter in the third leg of the first set, becoming the first person ever to hit one in a World Championship Final.

Lewis played absolutely brilliantly, hitting 20 maximums during the match. For those who remember me picking - albeit reluctantly - Anderson to win earlier today, well... I did say I wasn't a betting man, and now you know why. It's not morality so much as avoiding bankruptcy :o)

Anderson, to be fair, played brilliantly as well, but Adie Lewis was just too strong for him. The 12th and final set was, for me, the really crucial one. Anderson was coming back and looking strong; he had taken six legs on the trot. A seventh, against the Lewis throw, would have given him a very real chance to break in that set and then Anderson would have been level at 6-6, with the throw in the decider, but sadly for him it was not to be. Lewis showed real bottle and stormed through the final set with what seemed like not a care in the world, taking the match 7-5.

Lewis is only 25, and has all the talent in the world; if with this well-deserved win he can put the inconsistency, which has sometimes held him back, behind him then he should have a glittering career ahead of him.

This is important; in the wake of Taylor's premature (by recent standards) departure journalists have already been questioning what sort of a future darts has without the Power. As I couldn't help but comment on this particular article in the Telegraph, the notion that Phil Taylor is the only great character in the PDC, and that without Phil Taylor PDC darts is in deep trouble, is basically lazy journalism. There are great talents and great characters in the PDC, as Lewis and Anderson have proved. Far from being worried for the future, I have been reassured by the drama and entertainment of this tournament, and the Grand Slam for that matter, after Taylor's exit.

I'm not disputing that Phil Taylor has been hugely beneficial for the PDC and darts as a whole, and that when he does retire he will be greatly missed; he's been a personal hero of mine for years. What I take issue with is the relentless, and frankly lazy, focus on him, to the exclusion of others, as I'm sure he does - Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Mark Webster and others have served up a superb tournament. They deserve every congratulation and respect for their achievements, especially Lewis, and the focus should be on them and their achievements, as well as on Phil Taylor.

Thanks to all the players in this year's tournament for once again serving up a magnificent piece of sporting theatre, commiserations to Gary Anderson and others, and congratulations to Adrian Lewis on a superb performance :o)

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