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Summary

  1. Phil Taylor beats Raymond van Barneveld 6-2
  2. Taylor into world final for 20th time
  3. Defending champion Michael van Gerwen knocked out
  4. Gary Anderson beats Van Gerwen 6-3 to reach final
  5. * denotes next to throw first

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

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At the start of the evening, we remembered the words of the great Sid Waddell. How might Sid have described those semis?

"There's only one word for that: magic darts!"

See you on Sunday.

Can the final match up to that Saturday night on the oche? It's hard to see how that first semi can be matched, but you feel that's what Anderson will have to do in order to stop Taylor from lifting the world title for the 17th time.

I trust you'll be joining us again? 20:00 GMT is your time to tune in.

'It will be a great final'

Phil Taylor
AP

Phil Taylor, speaking to Sky Sports: "It was a walk for the first two sets, then he came back and then I pushed on a little bit. It will be a great final. When we walked in, Gary said 'I'll see you in the final tomorrow', which Raymond's wife heard and wasn't happy about. There could be one or two nine-darters tomorrow. I'll do the rest of my interviews and then it's straight back to the hotel to get ready for the final."

An anti-climax? Perhaps. But for Taylor and Barney, following the Anderson-MVG semi was like trying to follow the Beatles on stage. In the end, Phil Taylor did what Phil Taylor does and booked his final meeting with Gary Anderson.

Game, shot and the match Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor 6-2 Raymond van Barneveld

Well, in the end, it was comfortable for Phil Taylor, who reaches a 20th world final with tops. The over-riding feeling was that Taylor wasn't at his best, but he still averaged 102. As for Raymond van Barneveld, a great run to the last four was ended by ultimately not being quite good enough to push the best of all time.

Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 8th set: 2-1

What's happened to Barney? All of a sudden, he is looking like a man who will not go quietly into the night. A 180, but a poor throw lets the Power in. Taylor to a finish first, once more it's 142 for the match. 60. In. Another? Deflected out. He will be back for 58, unless Barney can take tops. He can't. Is that all she wrote?

Van Barneveld breaks

Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 8th set: 2-1

Boos tells us the 141 has failed. Taylor wants 121 for the final. One dart at double 14... missed. That's one match-dart gone. Barney, showing the grapefruits, nails double 12 for a 12-darter. Massive break back.

Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 8th set: 2-0

180s traded, you feel a nine-darter is the only thing that could save this for Barney. He's nailed two!

Taylor breaks

*Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld 8th set: 2-0

Van Barneveld looks dejected, beaten. The crowd falls into a greater hush, knowing that the moment to explode might not be far away. Taylor on 147, but no treble means Barney will come for 60. Must take it, but misses two at tops. That could be all she wrote. Taylor does what Barney couldn't and we are at the point of no return.

Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 8th set: 1-0

Not a hint of a smile from Barney, the former postman looking like he's carrying a huge sack on a wet Monday in The Hague. Taylor to 177 in nine, a lovely treble 19 helping him get to 85. Barney needs magic, but there's no big number. One dart at double eight... landing in the lipstick. Taylor two away.

*Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld

Has it fallen flat? We're heading for an inevitable conclusion thanks to Phil Taylor giving it the beans. The Power has the arrows for the match and a place in the final.

'Defeat hurts'

Michael van Gerwen
PA

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen, speaking to Sky Sports about his earlier loss to Gary Anderson: "I missed too many doubles and it hurts so much. I failed myself. I have done great in the last three years but it doesn't count this year. I didn't play well enough. I need to get some rest, go back to the practice board and come back stronger."

Will Greenwood
Getty Images

Former England rugby player Will Greenwood: Is there any reason, any reason at all, why Darts isn't in the Olympics? #lovethedarts

Taylor wins the seventh set

Phil Taylor 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld 7th set: 3-0

Phil Taylor
AP

Barney must hold to save the set and, you feel, the match. While Van Barneveld's average goes south, Taylor's is rising like a batsman better than Bradman. 124 for the set. 60, check. 14, check. Bullseye? Is it ever in doubt? The little red bit is speared, the seventh set is won with an average of 115. The Power is one away from the final.

Phil Taylor 4-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 7th set: 2-0

In theory, five holds of throw would have Taylor in the final. Barney flirts with a break by hitting a 180, but Taylor is scoring well enough. Taylor for 141, not finding a treble. Barney for 95... no treble either. Chance missed? Taylor sits on 81. Treble 19... double 12. 2-0 up. The lead increases, RVB will soon be cut adrift.

Taylor breaks

*Phil Taylor 4-2 Raymond van Barneveld 7th set: 1-0

Can Barney respond again? Remember, Taylor was 2-0 up earlier, only to be pegged back. The Dutchman, though, is starting to look spent. He's on 136 as Taylor misses the first chance for a break. Barney can't make a hole, shaking his head. Taylor takes tops and has a break. We could be at the beginning of the end.

Taylor wins the sixth set

Phil Taylor 4-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 6th set: 3-1

Phil Taylor
Getty Images

Back in the groove? He's pitching a tent in it. From being all at sea, Taylor has become a treble-hitting machine, pushing the Barney throw in a leg that could win him the set. The crowd respond, singing as Taylor leaves 50 for a two-set lead. 180... 32 left. One at double 16, taken. Taylor wins set six with an average of 118. He's two from the final.

Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 6th set: 2-1

A seventh perfect dart! Nine 60s! Oh, the boos tell you the treble 19 has been missed. Still, Taylor wins it in 11. He's back in the groove.

*Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld 6th set: 1-1

Even the cheer for a Taylor 180 isn't that loud. We're getting more interested with a second, though. Nine-dart attempt coming up...

*Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld 6th set: 1-1

The standard has left the crowd flatter than earlier in the night, when Anderson and Van Gerwen had the entire Ally Pally eating from their tungsten hands. Barney with the arrows, doing enough to keep Taylor at bay, leaving tops. Simple hold.

Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 6th set: 1-0

So far, it's been a matched characterised by inconsistency, but Taylor looks to have improved. Four trebles from six in his first two visits. Barney, jovial in his win over Stephen Bunting last night, can barely crack a smile, watching on as Taylor does the business on treble 19 to leave 40. Second attempt on the money, first hold of throw in living memory.

*Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld

Taylor with the darts in the sixth, throwing for a two-set lead. Game on.

Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld

The players head for the backstage area, to do what darts players do in these situations. My favourite fact about professional darts? The players are all drug tested. This is a serious sport, you know.

Taylor wins the fifth set

Phil Taylor 3-2 Raymond van Barneveld 5th set: 3-2

Phil Taylor
AP

Phillip, are you finally pulling it together? Some treble-seekers give him a clear march on Barney, who must hold his darts to avoid losing the set. Another treble for Taylor, 84 left after nine. Van Barneveld leaves only 147, Taylor fluffs his lines to make a mess of his 84 shot. Still, tops for the set. Only one dart needed, the arrows once more tucked into the top pocket. In has to be said, it's not a classic. Gary Anderson will not be worried by what he sees.

Van Barneveld breaks

Phil Taylor 2-2 Raymond van Barneveld* 5th set: 2-2

Still Taylor isn't near his best - even the crowd sense it, they are almost talking amongst themselves. As Barney steals an advantage, Taylor is irritated, giving himself a talking to. It's not good enough, Van Barneveld has the chance for yet another break. Barney has six from 207, leaving himself 107. Taylor pressures, a treble 19 helping him sit on 90. One at double 14 for Barney. Short. Taylor for 90 and the set. 20, 20. Bull? Wide. Who wants to win this? Barney does. We got to a decider.

Actor and presenter Stephen Fry: It's the Game of Throws - who will prevail in this mother of all battles? I can barely contain myself #LoveTheDarts

Taylor breaks

*Phil Taylor 2-2 Raymond van Barneveld 5th set: 2-1

Are we witnessing some problems in holding the throw? RVB doesn't start well, leaving the door open for Taylor. No trouble, though, for the Power, but still Van Barneveld can't punish. Finally, Taylor sets up 98 for the chance of a break. Treble 20 in, double 19 confirming a third successive break. Taylor to throw for the set.

Van Barneveld breaks

Phil Taylor 2-2 Raymond van Barneveld 5th set: 1-1

Is the Power finally feeling it again? Three fat barrels lie in the red bit, but anything he can do, Barney can match. Down to 121 after nine for Taylor, but Barney is on 41. 121 must go for Taylor... double 14 just inside the wire. Barney, then, for 41, double 16 sealing an 11-darter and a break back.

Taylor breaks

*Phil Taylor 2-2 Raymond van Barneveld 5th set: 1-0

RVB, a languid, melted-chocolate-off-the-spoon style, gets us back under way with some treble-hunting. Taylor, though, is back in the groove, three big numbers of his own for a 177. Taylor has snatched the advantage and looks good for a break. A 140 means he will come for 61. One at double 16, but just inside the wire. Still trouble in that area for Taylor. Barney can't pressure, with Taylor eventually taking double eight at the third attempt.

Phil Taylor 2-2 Raymond van Barneveld

Is this merely a dribble of success for Barney, or have we witnessed a turn of momentum that could ultimately see Phil Taylor lose his first ever world semi? Barney with the darts in set five, the chance to lead for the first time since the first set.

Van Barneveld wins the fourth set

Phil Taylor 2-2 Raymond van Barneveld 4th set: 1-3

Taylor and Barneveld
PA

Van Barneveld opens with a 140 and Taylor can't respond. The fans stand because they love the darts, with what looks like a group of nuns singing their hearts out. A seventh maximum leaves Barney on 46 after nine, with Taylor not even on the same street. Barney can afford to miss two at double 16, but double eight is his friend. We're all square.

Phil Taylor 2-1 Raymond van Barneveld* 4th set: 1-2

Was it only a few moments ago that we were worrying about Barney's future in this match? From nowhere, he is the better player, and Taylor can't hit a cow with a shovel. Taylor's average is below 100, but he'll have 32 to stop the rot. One at double 16 missed, the second doesn't. Now, RVB for the set.

*Phil Taylor 2-1 Raymond van Barneveld 4th set: 0-2

The standard rises, a 180 apiece, but it's still Barney on the march. Down to 16 while Taylor flounders around miles back. Taken out with minimum of fuss, Barney one leg away from being all square.

Van Barneveld breaks

Phil Taylor 2-1 Raymond van Barneveld* 4th set: 0-1

Phil Taylor averaged only 84 in that third set, his worst of the tournament so far. Van Barneveld is walking with purpose, looking to snatch this first leg against the darts. Taylor, though, is getting back on track. Two trebles have hit at 164, but a Barney maximum gets him in with a sniff. 130 for Barney. One treble, 34 left. Taylor for 77, making a complete hash of it. Now, Barney for the break. Double 17, missed. One dart at double eight. In she goes! Barney breaks. A swing in momentum.

Van Barneveld wins third set

Phil Taylor 2-1 Raymond van Barneveld* 3rd set: 0-3

Raymond van Barneveld
PA

You know what, Barney might just be starting to feel it. Taylor, also, is looking a little wobbly. 42? When does Taylor throw three that poorly? Still, Barney for 16 and the set, sealed with double four. The Dutchman is on the board.

Phil Taylor 2-0 Raymond van Barneveld* 3rd set: 0-2

The Power has the darts, but is being pressured. Barney is having a good go at a 170, getting a shot at bull Just falling into the green bit. RVB back for 25, no trouble on double eight. Taylor broken, Van Barneveld has blue sky behind him in this third set.

*Phil Taylor 2-0 Raymond van Barneveld 3rd set: 0-1

Does Van Barneveld look beaten already? Those arrows are still falling short of the red bit, while Taylor is a smidgen ahead against the darts. Better from RVB, a maximum leaves tops. Must take this. Two missed, but a double 10 saves it.

Phil Taylor 2-0 Raymond van Barneveld*

The end of another break, Barney coming back with the darts. Already, you feel this is a must-win set for the Dutchman.

Taylor wins the second set

Phil Taylor 2-0 Raymond van Barneveld 2nd set: 3-1

Phil Taylor
PA

Both men are just dragging down below the treble 20 red bit - not what you'd expect from those who have 21 world titles between them. Better from Taylor - a third maximum leaves 140 for the set. Two 60s missed only gives 100, tops left. Barney needs 106. Tops? Wire bent, but not home. Same target for Taylor, but the result is the winning of the second set.

Phil Taylor 1-0 Raymond van Barneveld* 2nd set: 2-1

The slower pace gives us chance to take more in. The crowd, for some reason, sing to the Toure brothers. Taylor has the option of bullseye, but, with Barney in a different post code, sets up 32. One missed, two missed, a third in. However, is the Power struggling at 8pm on the clock face?