Premier League Darts Final – Wembley Arena
Monday 25th May 2009
Darts at Wembley, yeah that’s right! For those that remember the sport in the 80s will be surprised, but now Darts has probably the largest indoor following for an individual sport in the UK.
I’ve been following the Premier League tournament for the past few years and just had to get tickets for finals night. So for the first and probably the last time, I decided to use a secondary ticketing outlet. With a table booked at the front, I could finally get up close to four of the world’s top darts professionals.
Phil Taylor has dominated Darts for the last two decades and since the Premier League’s inception, he’s been the champion on all previous occasions. Even though, he’d suffered defeats in the league for the first time earlier in the tournament, he was once again odds-on favourite to take the title again.
The atmosphere was electric. The players entrance into the arena is now very reminiscent, almost copied, from what you commonly associate with Boxing. The first semi-final pitched world no.2 Raymond Van Barneveld and no.3 James Wade. In a thrilling match, The Machine came out on top 10-8 against Barney to progress to the final.
Then it was the turn of The Power against The King. It didn’t take long for Phil Taylor to realise Mervin King was not in this semi-final just to make up the numbers. King went in front early and never looked back. Taylor tried to get back into the game, but King held on for an unexpected 10-6 victory.
In the final, The Machine came out firing and immediately into a 7 nil lead. Against all the odds, The King then hit back with 7 out of the next 9 legs in what no longer looked like an impossible comeback. Nevertheless, this was short-lived with Wade managing to close out the match with an impressive 13-8 victory.
Wow, who would have thought, thousands turning up to watch Darts. When the tournament was introduced in 2005, the first night had just 600 people. In 2009, Liverpool boasted 8,000, a record in modern times for the sport. The day out was an amazing experience and having a front table made it all the more worthwhile. Up close to the oche watching the world’s best players, what more could anyone want on a Bank Holiday Monday in May!