James Hubbard upbeat after Phil Taylor loss

Phil Taylor and James Hubbard
There are 22 years between youngster James Hubbard (right) and Phil Taylor

Teenager James Hubbard is confident his televised debut against 15-time world champion Phil Taylor has made him a stronger player.

The 19-year-old lost 5-1 to Taylor in their Grand Slam of Darts group match.

He told BBC Radio Norfolk: "Hopefully now I should settle down on the stage, hit my doubles and take my chances.

"I got to the walk-on and the adrenaline kicked in and I felt fine. But as soon as they said 'game on' I got a little bit nervous."

The Wymondham youngster, who will compete in next year's World Youth Championship final, notched his only leg thanks to an unorthodox five-point checkout.

"I left five and I was saying to myself 'don't miss the one'. I aimed high and hit double one," he explained.

"That left me three and I went one, double one. I didn't mean to do it but it worked."

And Hubbard, son of former professional Vic, could have made it a closer affair had he not squandered four chances to secure what turned out to be the final leg.

"I got a little bit nervous when it got down to the doubles," he admitted. "I think it's probably because I was playing Phil Taylor."

Hubbard will now face fellow Norfolk player Mervyn King and Steve Beaton.

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