King beaten in Premier League final

Mervyn King fell at the final Whyte & Mackay Premier League hurdle - after clearing the toughest test last night.King, from Bradwell, caused the biggest upset in the history of the league when he took out world champion and odds-on favourite Phil Taylor 10-6 in the semi-finals at Wembley Arena.

Mervyn King fell at the final Whyte & Mackay Premier League hurdle - after clearing the toughest test last night.

King, from Bradwell, caused the biggest upset in the history of the league when he took out world champion and odds-on favourite Phil Taylor 10-6 in the semi-finals at Wembley Arena.

But the victory appeared to drain King and, despite a mid-match rally, he lost 13-8 to world No 2 James Wade in the final.

Wade led 7-0 before King took seven of the next nine legs, but the Norfolk player had left himself too much to do as the former mechanic picked up his fourth televised title.

"This is the best moment of my career and it's a very special tournament to win," said Wade. "Because it's spread over three months it's probably the biggest tournament in darts.

"The prize of �125,000 is the joint biggest ever and that means a lot too. It's been a great night for me

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"I hadn't picked up a dart for three weeks before this event but I was fresh and came through two very tough matches."

Wade was certainly the fresher as the final began, making an immediate mark as King failed to recapture his semi-final form.

Wade landed three 13-darters and picked up three breaks of throw in taking a 7-0 lead before a stunning 156 finish got King off the mark.

Wade moved 8-1 up before King punished a dip from the Aldershot ace to take five legs in a row in reducing the arrears to just two legs.

The next four legs were shared before Wade crucially broke in leg 20 on double two to move 12-8 up and within a leg of victory.

He began the next with a 180, his only one of the final, and took out double top for the biggest pay-day of his career.

The night had begun in dramatic fashion as Wade and van Barneveld enjoyed another epic battle, coming a year after their meeting at this stage in the 2008 Premier League.

Wade defied four ton-plus finishes from the Dutchman to progress for a second successive tear with a 10-8 victory.

King then produced the biggest upset since the Premier League began with a 10-6 win over Taylor, who had ended the league phase top of the table after suffering one defeat in 12 games.

He failed to produce the goods against King, who won the mental battle after winning the pre-match bullseye but giving Taylor the throw before opening up a 2-0 lead.

Taylor led 4-3 but key finishes of 111 and 108 saw the advantage swing back to King, who took four successive legs to lead 9-5 before closing out victory.

"I'm gutted but it's not the end of the world," said Taylor. "I've got no excuses. Mervyn was the better player and I didn't find the extra gear that I usually do."