Taylor tamed! Aden stuns legend on way to last 16

Aden Kirk is congratulated by Phil Taylor. Photos/PDC
Aden Kirk is congratulated by Phil Taylor. Photos/PDC

Eastwood darts star Aden Kirk produced some stunning performances to reach the last 16 of the Coral UK Open in Minehead over the weekend.

Kirk, 22, was competing in his first televised event and marked the occasion in remarkable style by disposing of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the third round, 9-7.

Aden Kirk celebrates against Phil Taylor. (Photo/PDC)

Aden Kirk celebrates against Phil Taylor. (Photo/PDC)

He had beaten Conan Whitehead and Gerwyn Price to earn the right to face Taylor.

Having seen off one of darts’ greatest ever players, Kirk then beat World Championship finalist Peter Wright in the next round before finally succumbing to Brendan Dolan in the last 16, who had also beaten him in the PDC tour qualifiers in Wigan in January.

Speaking of his win over Taylor, he said: “I still can’t believe it, it’s a dream come true.

“I’d had a couple of tough games already and played well just to get through to play Phil, which was my aim coming here.

“But to beat him is amazing. Phil didn’t play like he can do, but I took my chances and hit my doubles.”

Despite missing out on qualifying for the main tour in Wigan earlier this year, Kirk did on that occasion secure a place on the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour which continues in Reading next month.

Aden’s dad Nick told the Advertiser: “I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet how well he’s done - I think he just feels like he’s been out, played darts and come home again.

“I gather the pubs in Eastwood were full on Friday and Saturday with fans urging him on.

“Aden’s aim is now to see out the year in the various youth and challenge tour events he’s due to take part in before attempting to qualify for the main PDC tour when the process begins again in Wigan next January, but his performance in Minehead will give him massive confidence going forward.”