2006 World Matchplay (darts)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2011)|
|Stan James World Matchplay|
The 2006 Stan James World Matchplay was the 13th staging of the major darts tournament by the Professional Darts Corporation. It was held at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool between July 23 and July 29, 2006.
The prize fund increased by £30,000 on the previous year, with the winner now receiving £30,000.
- Winner £30,000
- Runner-Up £15,000
- Semi-Finals £10,000
- Quarter-Finals £6,250
- Last 16 £3,500
- Last 32 £2,000
- Total £150,000
3 dart averages for the matches are listed alongside the players' names. 
The 2006 tournament started on July 23, and was kicked off with then-ranked World Number 8 Mark Dudbridge lost out surprisingly to Alex Roy in a 10-6 defeat, and there were also victories for Las Vegas Desert Classic champion John Part and 3-times Runner-Up Dennis Priestley over Wes Newton and Alan Tabern respectively.
Day Two brought the first Afternoon session, which started with an upset, Lionel Sams defeating an off-form Terry Jenkins, and Sams' performance was described as his best on TV yet. Adrian Lewis also progressed with a 10-6 over Matt Clark, followed by an upset, where Number 4 seed Peter Manley losing 10-2 to a very impressive Andy Hamilton. The last match of the afternoon session saw Chris Mason, making his first appearance at the World Matchplay in 4 years, beat Steve Beaton.
Day Two's Evening Session kicked off with Kevin Painter defeating up-and coming star Barrie Bates 10-8, despite a spirited comeback from Bates. Then, current champion Colin Lloyd was sensationally dumped out by Steve Maish 10-6, meaning there would be a new World Matchplay Champion for sure. There was no shock for Phil Taylor, despite having to come from 3-0 down against Bob Anderson to clinch victory. Finally, Wayne Mardle made light work of his opponent, Steve Hine as he breezed through 10-5.
The first match of the afternoon session on Day Three saw an upset, as experienced Denis Ovens was thrashed 10-1 by up and coming star James Wade. The next match saw an amazing comeback when Alan Warriner-Little came from 0-6 down against Andy Jenkins to make it 9-9 and send it into the tie break, where the winner would be decided by who could go ahead by two clear legs. Jenkins won the first two legs in this scenario to secure an 11-9 win. The next match saw Dutchman Roland Scholten beat "the Pie Man" Andy Smith 10-6 to book his place in Round Two. The final match of the afternoon session saw Mark Walsh beat Dave Askew despite a comeback by Askew who came from 0-6 down, like Warriner-Little before, toroar back into contention. Walsh eventually won through 10-8.
The Evening Session saw the last match in the first round. Ronnie Baxter beat Dennis Smith, who really suffered in the heat on stage, 10-4. The first match of the Second Round saw two stars from Stoke-on-Trent battle it out. Andy Hamilton edged out Adrian Lewis in a cracking match 15-13. Then, in a match dubbed as "The Rematch" after last year's quarter-final, Phil Taylor crushed a poor John Part 13-2.
Dennis Priestley started the action on the Afternoon Session of Day Four with a 13-8 victory against "The Ace of Hearts" Alex Roy to set up a Quarter-Final with Phil Taylor. This was followed by Wayne Mardle beating Lionel Sams, blowing a 9-3 lead to eventually win 13-10. The final match of the Afternoon Session saw James Wade cause another big shock by beating former World Championship Finalist Kevin Painter 13-9.
The Evening Session concluded Round Two, opening with Roland Scholten beating Andy Jenkins to reach the Quarter-Finals of the World Matchplay for the very first time. Chris Mason admitted after his match that he was feeling unwell, but still managed to beat Colin Lloyd's conqueror Steve Maish 13-7. The final Second Round tie saw Ronnie Baxter almost collapse after being 7-0 and 12-3 in the lead against Mark Walsh to eventually win 13-9.
Day Five was Quarter-Final day, with all four last eight matches being played on 27 July. The first match saw 23 year-old James Wade continue his fantastic week by thrashing Chris Mason, considered one of the greatest natural talents in the game, 16-4 in an impressive performance. Roland Scholten also beat Ronnie Baxter 16-13 in the Afternoon Session.
The Evening Session opened with Andy Hamilton beating crowd favourite Wayne Mardle 16-9 to reach his first major semi-final. The final quarter-final saw a rematch of last year's second round encounter as Phil Taylor faced Dennis Priestley. In a tight match, Priestley came back from 6-8 to take the next four legs and lead 10-8. However, he couldn't keep it up and "The Power" eventually claimed a dramatic 16-13 win in a classic match.
The first Semi-Final saw the surprise package of the tournament James Wade face one of the more well known players in the PDC, Roland Scholten. The Dutchman, Scholten, started well, taking five legs in a row to take an early 5-1 lead, but Wade hit back to closen things up, despite not taking the lead. He eventually took the lead at 16-15. Both had one dart since then to clinch a place in the final but it was Wade who held his nerve to claim a famous 19-17 win in a thriller.
The second Semi-Final saw two residents of Stoke battle it out as qualifier Andy Hamilton faced seven time World Matchplay Champion Phil Taylor. Taylor was forced to fight once again for victory as both players had three dart averages of over 100 and the 17-11 scoreline didn't really do justice to how well Hamilton played. Both players were so close to perfect nine-dart legs, first Hamilton in leg 13 hit two 180s before hitting the triple-20 and triple-19 to leave double-12, unluckily it just went the wrong side of the wire. Taylor later hit two 180s and the triple-20 but was not able to hit the triple-19.
The final saw the legendary Phil Taylor face one of darts' rising young stars, 23-year-old James Wade in his first major final. Wade started the brighter, breaking Taylor's throw early on to take an early 4-1 lead in the race to 18. In those five legs he hit two 100 finishes. The next few legs all went to who threw first in that leg before "The Power" broke back to lead 10-9. Since then, Taylor was always in control, taking eight of the next eleven legs, including a 140 finish, to claim an 18-11 victory and his eighth World Matchplay title.