The 5 Best Nine-dart Finishes of All Time

We have picked out five of the greatest nine-dart finishes in the history of the sport for your viewing entertainment.

Phil Taylor celebrating a nine-dart finish

Here are the five most iconic and perfect legs in darts history, with a countdown from five to one. See if you agree with our picks!

5. John Lowe 1984 World Matchplay

John Lowe was a three-time BDO world champion and a winner in three different decades having claimed the crown in 1979, 1987 and 1993. Lowe finally got the better of his great rival Eric Bristow in the 1987 final but it was in the World Matchplay that a perfect leg of darts was achieved.

Old Stoneface managed a nine-dart finish in the quarter-finals of the 1984 tournament against Keith Deller, taking the alternative route of 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T17, T18 and D18. Although his achievement was not broadcast live, it was the first time it had been achieved on television, and was shown on a highlights programme on ITV. Lowe went on to beat Cliff Lazarenko in the final and win the tournament.

4. Paul Lim 1990 Embassy World Championship

Paul Lim will always be associated with a nine-dart finish after the Singapore Slinger achieved the first faultless leg in the World Championship. Lim also hit the jackpot with that effort, scooping a prize of £52,000, more than Phil Taylor earned for winning the tournament.

The memories came flooding back in the 2018 PDC World Championship where a 63-year-old Lim narrowly missed double 12 against Gary Anderson to repeat the feat 27 years later.

3. Brendan Dolan 2011 World Grand Prix

Forever known as the History Maker after his heroics in the 2011 World Grand Prix. Brendan Dolan became the first player to hit a televised flawless leg with the double-start rule in operation. Dolan started out on tops and followed it with 2 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T17 and bullseye, that was special in itself, but the reaction of the Dublin crowd to the County Fermanagh thrower made it all the more memorable.

2. Michael van Gerwen – 2013 PDC World Championship

Michael van Gerwen was already the youngest player to hit a nine-dart finish after managing one at the age of 17 in the 2007 Masters of Darts. Not content with that achievement the Green Machine was close to becoming the first player to hit back-to-back perfect legs in 2013.

The Dutchman faced James Wade in the semi-finals of the PDC World Championship, which came after Van Gerwen had survived two match darts against Adrian Lewis, in the previous round. MVG was 3-1 up on sets but was trailing 2-0 on legs in the fourth set.

Van Gerwen then stepped-up and hit a fabulous nine-darter to reduce the deficit and he wasn’t finished there. The Green Machine kicked-off the next leg with a 180 and ended up on a run of 17 perfect darts before just falling inside the double 12 to narrowly miss back-to-back nines.

1. Phil Taylor – 2010 Premier League

He’s at number one but two is the key number for the greatest darts player of all time. Phil Taylor has an almost inexhaustible list of honours and one of them was becoming the first arrowsmith to hit two nine-dart finishes in the same match. It came against poor James Wade, who seems to be a magnet to nine-dart finishes and it’s worth remembering that he has hit a few himself down the years, in the 2010 Premier League.

Wade was the defending champion but it was Taylor who produced the machine like darts to throw two faultless games in the final of the event. The Power almost made it three but missed treble 17 and had to settle for a ten-dart effort after the second of his perfect legs.

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