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Taylor qualifies from group with comfortable Newton win

| 18.11.2010

Phil Taylor powered through to the second round at the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton thanks to a straightforward 5-3 win against Wes Newton.

Taylor – who stopped wearing glasses following his disappointing start to the tournament – needed to win his final group game against the PDC’s 15th ranked player to progress, having slipped up against Ted Hankey in his second game.

The favourite for the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship raced to a 4-1 lead but Newton fought back to 4-3. However, Taylor sealed the win with a double 16 in the eighth game.

He said: “I’m very relieved, I was very nervous beforehand but I played better without the glasses and reacted well.

“I knew I had to perform and I did that, but Wes played really well and he’s a quality player. It’s a longer format from the second round onwards so I can relax a little more.”

The win sets Taylor up for a second round clash against Ronnie Baxter on Friday night. Baxter finished top of Group G after winning his final game 5-1 against Arron Monk.

Baxter may wish his win hadn’t been quite so comprehensive as it was only the size of his victory that meant he finished top and subsequently has to face Taylor. He finished level on points and legs with second placed Steve Beaton but, because Baxter beat him in their group game, was given top spot.

Taylor is currently at 8/11 in the darts betting to win the tournament for the fourth time in a row while, following his draw against Taylor, Baxter is out to 80/1.

Can Taylor be beaten? Click here for the full Grand Slam of Darts betting market

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Author

Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.