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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 21:25 GMT 22:25 UK
Taylor powers to victory
Phil Taylor in action at Blackpool's Winter Gardens
Taylor is back on top after a relative lean spell
Phil Taylor beat Mark Dudbridge 18-8 to win his fifth consecutive Stan James World Matchplay title in Blackpool.

Taylor last lost a match in the event in 1999 and was never looked like doing so to an opponent rated as a 100-1 shot at the start of the tournament.

Dudbridge started well but missed a chance to go ahead at 2-2, and the closest he got to Taylor after that was 9-6 before 'The Power' pulled away.

The win secured Taylor's seventh World Matchplay crown in total.

He said: "I've worked very hard for this. It was very hot on stage, I felt a bit tired, and my form was up and down.

"But this title was what I was after though and I'm going to enjoy it.

"Mark started fantastically well but he then slackened off a bit and let me in. But he's a great darts player and a nice person and I'm really proud of him. "

Dudbridge, 31, was a complete unknown before capturing the World Masters in November 2002.

He had impressed again this week with victories over Wayne Mardle, Alan Warriner, Manley and Ronnie Baxter.

But the Bristol player was unable to sustain the momentum against Taylor.

He admitted: "The whole occasion got to me a bit. I was really calm before the match but walking into the arena I started to get very nervous.

"I tried to go out with all guns blazing and get an early break, but Phil doesn't give you many chances."




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