The West

Power plays to Perth darts crowd

Champion player Phil "The Power" Taylor was blown away by the crowd at the Perth Darts Masters at the weekend.

The English 16-time world champion defeated "Mighty" Michael van Gerwan, of the Netherlands, by two legs in the inaugural event's final at HBF Challenge Stadium last night.

"It's been absolutely fantastic," Taylor said. "For the first tournament, it's been unbelievable.

"What surprised me most was how knowledgeable the crowd was. They knew everything."

Taylor, 54, is darts' most successful player with 16 world titles over 25 years and is ranked world No.2. He was No.1 for the past six years and most of the past 20.

Van Gerwan took over the top spot in January. He is the sport's rising star and was gracious in defeat after the rowdy crowd supported the Englishman.

More than 10,000 fans donned costumes and chanted for the world's best over the three-day World Series tournament. There were Oompa Loompas, ninja turtles, Mario brothers, Simpsons characters, Draculas, monsters, bananas and an array of other colourful costumes.

In the semi-finals, Van Gerwan beat James "The Machine" Wade, of England, 10-6 and Taylor trailed 3-0 against Dave "Chizzy" Chisnall, of England, but won 10-4. Organisers were thrilled with the event's success and plan another for next year.

The West Australian

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