PHIL TAYLOR claimed a Blue Square UK Open hat-trick with an 11-6 victory over Colin Osborne in the final at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on Sunday night.

Taylor followed up his wins in the 2003 and 2005 events with a third victory, claiming the £40,000 winner's cheque in bouncing back strongly from his Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts semi-final loss a fortnight ago.

The 14-time World Champion dropped just six legs in his opening three games in the event, before whitewashing Mark Lawrence in the quarter-finals.

He held off Ronnie Baxter's challenge in the semi-finals - with the Evesham thrower coming back from 6-0 down to 7-6 before eventually losing 10-6 - before claiming the £40,000 winner's cheque by seeing off Osborne.

Osborne, appearing in his first major final, led 3-0 in the decider before Taylor moved level with a 145 finish in a run of nine successive legs.

Osborne took three of the next four to stem the tide, but Taylor was too strong to claim victory on double top.

Osborne won the opening leg of the final on double top and hit the same bed to break Taylor's throw in leg two and again in the third to make a brilliant start with legs of 15, 14 and 13 darts.

A poor third leg allowed Taylor in on double eight before he repeated the trick in the next and then landed a stunning 145 finish to level.

A 13-darter against the throw, featuring his third 180 of the game, pushed Taylor ahead of the first time after Osborne missed one dart at double top to regain his lead.

Double four pushed Taylor 5-3 up, and he landed double top, double 12 and double eight in taking a five-leg cushion.

That was extended to 9-3 on double ten before Osborne landed double 16 with Taylor waiting on a finish in the next.

Double five put Taylor a leg away from the title, only for legs of 13 and 14 darts to see Osborne threaten a comeback at 10-6.

However, Taylor swiftly wrapped up the victory, hitting a 13-darter and double top to ensure glory at Bolton for a third time.

"I'm over the moon to win this title again," said Taylor. "Colin kicked off fantastically in the final but I tried to grind him down and all of a sudden I had a few chances and took them.

"Colin won his semi-final and went back to his room and had a sleep for an hour, and for me having a half hour break made a difference.

"It's a tough tournament to win and it was hard work - but the rewards are fantastic. I'm probably not fit enough and I need to work on that because players like Colin are younger and fitter than me.

"He's a great player and has a lot of finals ahead of him. His talent is fantastic but he went a little bit during the middle session and I picked up on that and stepped in."

Osborne said: "I'm proud of reaching the final. Phil is the level I have to get to and you have to play your best darts not just to win it but to be with him all the time and unfortunately he was too good for me.

"Over the last six months in the floor tournaments I've been very consistent so I was in good spirits coming to Bolton.

"I kicked on and proved to myself that I can play well in front of the cameras too."

Match Stats

Colin Osborne


Phil Taylor

















High Finish



Legs Against Throw