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Sunday 17 December 2017

Wade 'ecstatic' after dub win

James Wade claimed a fifth major darts title as he overcame Adrian Lewis in a heated battle in the final of the World Grand Prix at Citywest last night.

For the second night in succession, Lewis, who had beaten Phil Taylor 24 hours previously in an all-time classic, became involved in a heated discussion at the oche, and this will not be the last the darting world will hear of Wade and Lewis' confrontation.

Neither player dwelt too much on it after Wade's 6-3 victory, but Lewis did admit that he felt Wade was stamping his foot as he was throwing at the board.

Lewis joined a small list of players to knock Taylor out of a major competition prior to the final, yet failed to go on and win the tournament, and despite the positives of his semi-final victory, the 25-year-old still goes in search of a first PDC major title.

For 'The Machine' Wade, it was a fifth, and one that meant more to him than his first.

"Before, I was naive, thought it was all about the money.

"But it's not, it's about winning titles -- and this one is dedicated to my nan, who is not very well at the moment. This is for her," he said.

Wade was the first to win a vital set against the throw when he went four sets to two up after breaking Lewis in the third leg of that set and then holding his throw to go into a two-set lead.

Lewis responded in the best possible fashion, however, and took the next set 3-0 to leave himself with the darts in a bid to level the match again. But, after the 3-0 drubbing in the seventh set, Wade broke again to go 5-3 in front, throwing for the match.

It was blow for blow and leg for leg in the ninth of a possible 11 sets but, despite going 2-1 up against the throw in that set, Lewis succumbed to his more ruthless and experienced opponent, who composed himself in the deciding leg of the set to take an 80 checkout and claim a hot-tempered final.

"I'm ecstatic," Wade admitted, but he still feels he has a long way to go before returning to the top of his game. "I won tonight not playing well, and I'll take it -- that's all that matters to me tonight."

Lewis promised to come back better in the future, and the niggle between the pair was still there in their post-match interviews.

Lewis said: "That's not the last final me and Wadey will play in, but he won't be winning many more."

The talented former pupil of Taylor added: "I'm annoyed with myself. I missed some really stupid darts. It's my first major final on TV. I'm disappointed but I'll take from the tournament beating Phil and I'll be back."

The win saw Wade overtake Raymond van Barneveld to claim the number two spot in the world.

However, Wade has yet to beat Taylor on his way to winning a major.

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