Phil Taylor wasn’t exactly convincing against Mervyn King or Ian White in the earlier rounds at Winter Gardens, although The Power produced a brilliant performance to see off Andy Hamilton on Friday night, triumphing by a 16-11 scoreline.
The Stoke ace has already won 12 World Matchplay titles, with odds of 1/2 (bet365 £200 free bets) now available that Taylor wins at Blackpool for the fourth consecutive occasion.
The consistency shown by this legend of darts throughout his career has been quite formidable and it appears he still has several years left at the top, although he is in for a tough semi-final against an in-form Ronnie Baxter who has caused surprises all the way through.
The Rocket is the 20/1 outsider (Sportingbet) to delight his home crowd by winning this darting major although he might have his work cut out against a player that is once again topping the averages and starting to hit his doubles with alarming regularity.
The match odds suggest this could be relatively plain sailing for The Power who is a best price 1/9 (BetVictor free bets) to claim a place in the final, although some firms go as short as 1/14 about the Staffordshire player and punters never need an invitation to back Taylor.
The second semi-final could be a good deal closer, with many anticipating it would be Adrian Lewis playing against James Wade before Terry Jenkins came along and produced a magnificent performance to beat Jackpot 16-12.
The Bull was raging during that quarter final performance, firing in several 180’s as well as some terrific outshots and will have every chance if he can replicate that performance against The Machine.
Even so, Wade was able to withstand the challenge of Michael van Gerwen and odds of 1/2 (Paddy Power) seem decent on the basis that Jenkins’ win against Lewis might just have been his big match, while James will be confident of making the final.
If you do fancy The Bull to take down another high-flying opponent, then Sky Bet have a best price 15/8 about Jenkins although there could be some that might even fancy the 12/1 about this experienced campaigner on the outright market.
Wade is now into 3/1 for outright glory and will be hoping to finish the job quickly against Jenkins before Baxter can potentially give Taylor a tough game ahead of Sunday’s final.