Huybrechts slams ‘disrespectful’ Taylor!

Taylor Huybrechts 2017.jpg

Kim Huybrechts has continued the war of words with Phil Taylor after labelling the 16-time world champion ‘disrespectful’ in the aftermath of their bad-tempered stalemate in week four of the Premier League at the Brighton Centre on Thursday night.

‘The Hurricane’ was left to rue three missed match darts as Taylor recovered from 6-4 behind to salvage a point and maintain his unbeaten start to this year’s Premier League. It was a real nervy affair for the majority of the contest, but Huybrechts took out a string of fine finishes to seize control.

The Belgian registered checkouts of 87 (x2), 110 and 140 to guarantee himself a point and Taylor was becoming visibly irritated by his opponent’s antics. Nevertheless, ‘The Hurricane’ spurned match darts in each of the final two legs as Taylor escaped with a point to remain joint top of the Premier League table on six points.

However, Huybrechts was clearly riled at the end of the match. After a frosty handshake between the pair, Taylor celebrated the point in vociferous fashion, before performing his tradition of taking down the board to sign and give away to a member of the crowd.

Yet to Kim’s frustration, Taylor didn’t ask Huybrechts to sign the board as he typically does with other opponents. The Belgian admitted: “The way the game ended really annoyed me. The way he reacted at the end was a sign to me and it’s a stupid thing for me not being allowed to sign the board- I think it’s a bit disrespectful.

“I should have won; 100% should have won. I should have beaten him; I gave it away. I am annoyed. I was playing my own game; I was very nervous for the 56 {checkout}; very nervous throughout the whole game. I’ll be angry tomorrow too. I don’t think I won a point; to me it feels like losing one,” Huybrechts added.

Taylor had instigated the war of words in the lead up to the contest by criticising Huybrechts’ over-zealous celebrations. The Belgian is renowned for showing emotion on stage, but The Stoke-on-Trent ace quipped: “Kim’s a feisty player and he’s going to do his jumping around, but I’ve noticed that every time he jumps about, he gets beaten.”

Huybrechts responded by claiming: “He’s entitled to his opinion and sometimes it helps me and sometimes it doesn’t. I think he should play his own game and I’ll play my own game. I’m just here to do my own thing – I’m not looking at what Phil says or thinks.”

The tension between the pair stems from their 2015 World Championship clash, when Taylor was again critical of Kim’s on-stage antics. The 16-time world champion insisted that there would be ‘trouble’ if the Belgian jumped around on stage and although Huybrechts didn’t heed this warning, Taylor had the last laugh after prevailing 4-3.

History repeated itself at the Alexandra Palace in December, when Taylor and Huybrechts clashed in the last 16 for the second time within three years. Taylor led 3-0 and although the Belgian launched a valiant fightback, the Stoke star triumphed 4-2 before again questioning his opponent’s exuberant celebrations.

‘The Power’ has enjoyed a dominant record over the Antwerp ace. Taylor has now won 11 of their 13 meetings after yesterday’s stalemate, with Huybrechts’ solitary victory against the 56-year-old coming at a Pro Tour event in Dublin back in October 2015. However, Taylor has won five and drawn one of their six televised tussles.

Sky Sports pundit Wayne Mardle claimed that Huybrechts has to be ‘stronger’ in the face of Taylor’s mind-games. “It’s just Phil trying to annoy him, and it worked. Kim has to be stronger next time something similar happens. Collect your darts and walk off. It’s one-upmanship.

“It annoyed Kim, and Phil knew it would – that’s why he did it. If you’re worried about that, you’re worried about the wrong thing. It’s all about performances, and winning. It’s irrelevant,” Mardle added.

Although Huybrechts was frustrated after spurning the opportunity to secure his first televised victory over the 16-time world champion, this could be a valuable point in his battle to avoid elimination. The Belgian is now out of the relegation zone on legs difference;  with Huybrechts, Jelle Klaasen and Dave Chisnall all on two points apiece.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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