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   Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 00:02 GMT
Taylor overpowers Mardle
Phil Taylor celebrates after beating Wayne Mardle
Taylor won the last two legs to take victory
Reigning world champion Phil Taylor had to dig deep before overcoming the challenge of Wayne Mardle in the PDC World Championship on Wednesday night.

Mardle produced flashes of brilliance, including a 152 checkout in the opening leg, but in the end Taylor's class saw him claim a 5-3 victory at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet.

Taylor took the first two sets and although Mardle won the third, when Taylor went 3-1 up it looked done and dusted for the 10-time world champion.

However, Mardle showed his fighting qualities as he fought his way back to make it three-sets all, before Taylor responded like a true champion and closed it out 5-3.

Battle scars

Taylor admitted it was a tough game and tipped Mardle to have a bright future.

"It was a difficult match," said Taylor. "I gave him too much respect because I didn't really know who he was and he's a young lad coming through.

"He didn't care less about reputations and honestly thought he could knock me out of the tournament.

"I think he'll come back strongly but he's got a couple of battle scars now, so he's got to pick himself up."

Late rally

Earlier Dennis Smith booked his place in the quarter-finals with an impressive 5-1 win over Denis Ovens.

And Alan Warriner lived up to his 'Ice Man' nickname as he fought back from the brink of defeat to clinch his place in the quarter-finals.

The 40-year-old looked to be heading for defeat when he found himself 4-2 down to Les Fitton at one stage.

But he reeled off the next two sets and held his nerve to win an epic decider for a 5-4 success.


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See also:

30 Dec 02 | Other Sports
29 Dec 02 | Other Sports
28 Dec 02 | Other Sports
27 Dec 02 | Other Sports
14 Jan 03 | World Darts Championship 2002
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