Phil Taylor created history as he became the first Champions League of Darts winner in Cardiff on Sunday.
Taylor had been in ominous form all weekend and after hammering Robert Thornton in the group stages 10-2, just missing out on a nine darter in the process, the legend of the sport set about his business in the semi-finals against James Wade.
The Machine had eased past a despondent Michael Smith earlier in the day 10-5 but found little to cheer against the imperious Taylor. Wade did take the opening leg, before checkouts of 113 and 86 helped Taylor win eight consecutive legs. Wade showed some spirit as he pulled two legs back, but Taylor was in irresistible form on his way to an 11-3 victory.
World number one Michael van Gerwen had to work a lot harder in his semi-final against World Champion Gary Anderson. The pair had both won 10-5 earlier in the day to knock out Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis respectively and there was barely anything to separate them in the early stages of this contest.
Anderson edged into a 4-2 lead before van Gerwen turned his evening around just before the interval. Five consecutive legs gave him daylight and, despite Anderson threatening a comeback, van Gerwen went on to win 11-5 and set up a final with his rival Taylor.
Taylor hammered van Gerwen in the group stages as the Dutchman failed to win a leg on his throw and the legend was quick to stamp his authority on another contest. Taylor raced into a 2-0 lead before keeping that two score cushion until the sixth leg.
It was then that Taylor really surged forward as he made headway with a 6-2 advantage. Van Gerwen struck back but Taylor responded with an eleven darter, followed by an 86 checkout helping him to a 9-3 lead.
Van Gerwen threatened a remarkable comeback with two legs of his own, before Taylor landed a 81 checkout with bullseye and held his nerve to earn the first ever Champions League of Darts trophy.
Semi Final Results:
Phil Taylor 11-3 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 11- 5 Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor 11-5 Michael van Gerwen