Darts: Taylor ashamed of reaction

Phil Taylor is ashamed of his actions following his semi-final win over Raymond van Barneveld in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Phil Taylor

The pair were involved in an angry confrontation on stage after 15-time world champion Taylor had beaten his old rival 6-4.

Taylor rounded on a bemused Van Barneveld when the pair shook hands and the pair then exchanged words and gestures with Taylor appearing to push his head into Van Barneveld's chest at one point.

But Taylor told Sky Sports News he has now said sorry to Van Barneveld and the Dutchman has accepted his apology.

He said: "It's upset me of course it has. To put the record straight, Raymond is a very strong lad and when he shook my hand and pulled me he hurt me a little bit.

"That was all it was and I reacted, to be honest with you, disgracefully. I am ashamed of myself and I feel terrible.

"I have texted Raymond and I have spoken to him and there is nothing else I can do really, only apologise for it. It will never happen again.

"Whatever the PDC decide, chuck the book at me, they can do whatever they want to do - but that's what happened.

"I'm ashamed because I really like Raymond. He loves me to bits and that's why I am really hurt about it because we both think a lot about each other. But we get over it and we move on."

Meanwhile, Taylor believes it is going to take a "massive effort" from him to defeat Michael van Gerwen and claim his 16th World Championship title on New Years' Day evening.

Dutch ace Van Gerwen threw the second nine-darter of this year's competition to help him progress past James Wade in his semi-final clash.

"It's hard to hit nine consecutive darts on the trot - the lad is phenomenal," said taylor. "He doesn't show any fear and has probably played the best darts I've ever seen in my career, apart from perhaps Dennis Priestley and 'Barney'.

"His form at the minute is unbelievable. It's going to take a massive, massive effort to just stay with him I think.

"What you see with Michael is what you get. He puts his heart on his sleeve and goes out there. He's a lovely lad, one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. He doesn't think about it and he doesn't fear anybody, and nor should he.

"I saw a little bit of vulnerability in his game last night against James, who I thought was coming back at him. But then he spurted on again.

"He's putting the effort in and he's getting his just rewards. I think he can improve even more, he's that good a player."

The bookmakers cannot split either player in the pre-match betting with Van Gerwen winning his last two meetings with Taylor.

And 'The Power' admits his illness is a concern going into the final.

"I'm not very well, so it's been a bit hard to practice, he added. "On my days off I've been trying to rest up and recuperate, to get my energy levels up.

"It'll be an early night for me tonight. I've had it for about seven or eight days, I should have gone to the doctors."



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