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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Couch and beer time: It's the PDC World Championship final preview

Stoke-on-Trent meets Stoke-on-Trent as Adrian Lewis and Andy Hamilton face off in this year’s PDC World Championship final at Alexandra Palace.

Image: Matthew Impey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

2012 IS ALL of five minutes old, so that means a battle between title holder Adrian Lewis and veteran Andy Hamilton in the PDC World Championship final at Alexandra Palace. Forget work tomorrow, it’s couch and beer time…

How Lewis got there

Lewis, the reigning world champion, staged a remarkable comeback against James Wade in the semi-final. It was quite a match. ‘The Machine’ had been leading Lewis 5-1, only to see his opponent secure 10 legs in a row to win 6-5.

Controversy had taken over early in the counter as both players complained of a breeze in the arena. ‘Jackpot’ Lewis was none too pleased at either the conditions or the abuse he was taking from the crowd.

YouTube credit: HelpGet100Subs

At that point, it was 2-0 to Wade. Initially the break seemed kinder to Lewis, who halved the deficit to 2-1, but it was Wade that romped ahead to make it 5-1. Crucially, he broke down on 18, while chasing a 121 winning checkout in the eighth set and Lewis took full advantage, notching a 98 and never looking back.

“That shows why I am the champion. There’s no reason why I will not retain my title. I am the best in the world,” the modest 26-year-old said afterwards.

Lewis had beaten Nigel Heydon and Robert Thornton in the early rounds without too much trouble, before whitewashing Wayne Jones 4-0. His quarter-final win over Terry Jenkins proved more awkward. After taking a 3-0 lead, Lewis allowed his opponent to level the match. Jenkins missed a double 20 to let his opponent go 4-3 up, before the Stoke-on-Trent man closed out the match.

How Hamilton got there

Hamilton knew he would have to produce something special to reach his first PDC World Championship final, and that’s exactly what he managed against Australia’s Simon Whitlock.

The opening sets were shared between the veteran pair but Hamilton’s tournament seemed to be at an end when Whitlock stormed into a 5-3 lead. He took advantage of a sloppy throw by Whitlock, on the brink of victory, in the ninth and set up a grandstand finish by levelling in the penultimate set. Whitlock held his nerve to take the deciding set to 5-5, 2-2. Hamilton showed the greater mental fortitude and his 82 finish on 3-2 took him into the final.

Speaking afterwards, Hamilton told Sky Sports: “I’m quite emotional, I’m speechless. Simon pushed me so hard, I had to take those checkouts out to win the game. He’s an awesome player – and with a broken foot as well!

“There’s one game left now and if I grit my teeth and fight, I could win it.”

YouTube credit: MrTylerkenney

The 2011 Final

Lewis managed to settle a massive tax bill by winning his first ever World Championship at Ally Pally last year, beating Gary Anderson at the tender age of 25. It was, up to that point, the best performace of Lewis’ career as he recorded a 7-5 victory.

However, one moment in particular had the crowd in raptures, as Lewis’ nine-dart finish in the first set brought the house down.

“I was more excited about hitting a nine-darter in the final than winning the title itself, but at least I can pay my tax bill now – they want £108,000!” he said afterwards.

YouTube credit: idontgiveashit14

What are the odds?

Lewis, cocky by nature, may not be the favourite with the fans but the bookies feel there will be only one winner. Paddy Power are quoting odds of 4/11 for the current champion, with Hamilton at 21/10.

For the drunk/recession proof among you, the odds on Lewis reproducing his nine-dart finish from last year are 16/1 (could be worth a fiver), with the odds of the 44-year-old Hamilton to do likewise at 28/1.

Our money, should you be interested, is on a correct score of Adrian Lewis 7-4 at 9/2.

AS THEY HAPPENED: Monday’s Premier League clashes >

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