Taylor prevails over Jenkins in Newcastle
Phil Taylor maintained his astonishing unbeaten record with an 8-5 victory over Terry Jenkins on night 13 of Premier League Darts in Newcastle.
'The Power' initially struggled to get in front early on but eventually levelled the scores at 3-3 and never looked back as he kept up his advantage from there, securing a 100 average.
The result means league leader Taylor is unbeaten in 13 matches with 11 victories to his name this season, and the Crewe player is untouchable going into the play-offs on 24 points.
Both players grabbed three maximums apiece during the match and Taylor admitted that Jenkins brought a substantial threat to his undefeated streak as he entered the clash with nothing to lose.
"He's very consistent is Terry. This year not so much, but he's getting back to what he can do," Taylor told Sky Sports.
"It was a difficult game tonight because I'd qualified and Terry couldn't, so it was a bit of a non-match really."
Despite his erratic display early on, Taylor showed glimpses of his usual brilliance, most notably when he performed a clinical finish in the second leg with a neat bullseye.
Jenkins, who secured the first maximum of the match in the second leg, moved 3-2 ahead in the fifth but was starting to feel the heat as Taylor landed a 180 of his own.
The Herefordshire player then missed a crucial shot in the sixth, allowing Taylor to take advantage and pull level at 3-3.
Taylor re-established his authority from there, overcoming a few loose throws to establish a 7-5 lead before delivering an 11-darter in the 13th leg to polish off his victory and leave Jenkins rooted at the bottom of the table.
Earlier, Australian Simon Whitlock moved up to second in the standings with an 8-4 triumph over James Wade, with both players scoring three maximums.
Defending champion Wade must now beat Jenkins next week to keep his play-off hopes alive.
"I think Simon deserves where he is tonight. I thought James played awful tonight," added Taylor.
"He had a practice with me earlier on and he was absolutely superb, and he went up there and he wasn't with it tonight."
Meanwhile, Mervyn King, distracted by the hostile crowd, was defeated 8-5 by Raymond van Barneveld, while Ronnie Baxter's play-off hopes suffered a blow when he could only manage a 7-7 draw against Adrian Lewis.