Australia 3 – 3 England

Australia produced an amazing fight back but were denied victory in an incredible World Cup final in Hamburg.

All four players had darts to win the title in a nerve-racking sudden death leg before world champion Adrian Lewis sealed victory for England.

The formidable pairing of Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson came back from three points down in the match to force the one leg shoot-out.

Nicholson was beaten7-4 by Phil Taylor before Lewis edged Whitlock 7-5. Australia’s title dream looked all but over when ‘The Power’ beat ‘The Wizard’ 7-6 in a brilliant showdown, in which both players posted ton plus averages.

Nicholson then held his nerve to reignite the Australian flame by beating Lewis 7-4. Then the Aussie pair combined to produce more fireworks with a sensational display in the doubles. They triumphed 7-4 to force the sudden death shoot-out, but were denied the fairy tale ending as England claimed the gold medals.

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

PAUL NICHOLSON 4 – 7 Phil Taylor

Paul Nicholson suffered defeat at the hands of 15-time world champion Phil Taylor. Nicholson pushed ‘The Power’ hard but was unable to prevail over the world number one.

Taylor won the first leg before Nicholson hit double 16 at the first attempt to level. ‘The Power’ went back in front with a 116 checkout but Nicholson restored parity by hitting double three. ‘The Asset’ got himself in front for the first time when he hit double top to punish Taylor for missed attempts at his double.

Nicholson hit his first maximum in the sixth leg but Taylor took out 94 to tie the score once again. ‘The Power’ then took the lead after Nicholson had just missed the bull for a 124 finish. ‘The Asset’ bounced straight back though, by taking out 50 under pressure to make it four all.

Taylor went on to win the next three legs to give England the first point of the match.

SIMON WHITLOCK 5 – 7 Adrian Lewis

Simon Whitlock was narrowly beaten by world champion Adrian Lewis in a high quality singles match in Hamburg.

‘Jackpot’ had to hit five maximums and some big finishes to inflict ‘The Wizard’s first defeat of the tournament.

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Lewis won the first leg before Whitlock levelled up. ‘Jackpot’ hit double top to restore his lead but Whitlock fired back by hitting double twelve after setting it up with a brilliant 174. ‘The Wizard’ then fired in his first maximum on his way to taking the lead for the first time.

Lewis won the next two legs to put himself back in front but Whitlock hit straight back again by finding double top. The Australian then hit a 180 but lost the next leg as Lewis took a 5-4 lead. Whitlock levelled again by taking out 64 before his opponent took out 161 to go back in front.

The world champion won the next leg to put England 2-0 in front overall.

SIMON WHITLOCK 6 – 7 Phil Taylor

Simon Whitlock was edged out by Phil Taylor in an amazing singles game, which was more than worthy of gracing any major final.

‘The Wizard’ averaged over a hundred but was condemned to defeat after losing a tense last leg decider.

Whitlock hit double nine to put himself in front and then hit tops to double his lead. ‘The Wizard’ punished Taylor for missing doubles to increase his advantage to three legs. The Australian hit his first maximum in the next leg but Taylor hit double one to reduce the deficit.

‘The Power’ took out 142 to pull another leg back before Whitlock hit double four to restore his two leg lead. Taylor won the next two legs to level up proceedings but ‘The Wizard’ responded with a clinical 80 checkout to wrestle back control.

The Australian slotted in his second 180 in the tenth leg but Taylor managed to pull himself level once more. The world number one took the next leg to go 6-5 up in the race to seven, but Whitlock made sure that there would be a deciding leg by hitting double six. Taylor won that last leg to triumph, meaning Paul Nicholson would have to beat Adrian Lewis to keep Australia in the final.

PAUL NICHOLSON 7 – 4 Adrian Lewis

Paul Nicholson showed amazing character to bring Australia back from the brink with victory in his singles match against Adrian Lewis.

‘The Asset’ had to beat the World Champion to make sure the pairs match was needed, and he duly obliged with a courageous performance.

Nicholson hit double eight to win the first leg but Lewis won the next two. ‘The Asset’ took out 68 to pull himself back level before Lewis hit double 18 to go back ahead.

Nicholson hit double 16 to make it three legs a piece. He then found the same bed to take the lead, but Lewis hit back with his second 161 checkout of the evening. ‘The Asset’ then hit double top to go back in front before tidying up 64 to make it 6-4 in the race to seven.

Nicholson then kept Australia’s hopes alive by hitting double top to ensure the final went all the way to the pairs.

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

NICHOLSON & WHITLOCK 7 – 4 Taylor and Lewis

Paul Nicholson and Simon Whitlock narrowly missed out on completing a remarkable come back, when they lost to Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis in a tense sudden-death shootout.

The Australian’s proved to be an almighty pairing once again in the doubles, winning 7-4, but were beaten in the one leg decider.

Nicholson hit a 180 in the opening leg before Whitlock took out 79 to win it. ‘The Wizard’ then hit double eighteen to give Australia a two leg lead. Two legs soon became three when Nicholson stepped forward to hit double top.

Taylor hit double five to pull a leg back before Lewis took out 99 to reduce Australia’s lead to a single leg. Whitlock hammered in a maximum to kick off leg six before hitting double eight to go two legs ahead.

‘The Wizard’ opened the following leg with another 180 before Nicholson just missed the bull for a show-stopping 170. It didn’t matter though, as Whitlock stepped in to hit double eight. ‘The Asset’ hit a maximum in the eighth leg but Taylor took out a ton to pull a leg back.

Nicholson hit double 16 in leg nine to move Australia within a leg of winning the match. It wouldn’t be the next leg though, as Taylor checked out 106. Whitlock hit another 180 in the next leg before forcing a sudden death decider with a breathtaking 124 finish on the bull.

Whitlock and Taylor both hit the 25 three times in a tense throw for the bull, before Taylor hit the target , meaning England would throw first. England pulled away in the deciding leg before a 140 from Nicholson kept Australia in it.

Whitlock hit a ton to leave Nicholson 56, but ‘The Asset’ missed double ten by the width of the wire before Taylor did the same. Whitlock was also to be denied before Lewis hit double five to put an end to an amazing World Cup final.

By Chris Murphy