Paul has the power

PHOTO : DAVID HURST'World Championship darts quarter finalist Paul Nicholson at Preston Grasshoppers
PHOTO : DAVID HURST'World Championship darts quarter finalist Paul Nicholson at Preston Grasshoppers
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A Clayton-le-Woods darts star is looking forward to a well-earned two-week holiday after one of his most successful seasons ever.

Paul Nicholson, 32, has a reputation of being the ‘bad boy’ of darts, but he was grabbing the newspaper headlines for all the right reasons at the British Open in Bolton.

Nicholson, who moved to Chorley to live near his brother, defeated legend Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor 9-8 in the quarter-finals.

Despite losing 10-7 to James Wade in the semi-final, Nicholson was celebrating his win over Taylor.

It has sparked discussion that the 10-times PDC World Champion Taylor had lost his powers.

Paul said: “I don’t think that Phil has lost his dominance on the sport.

“He is a human being and a large number of them get beat with age.

“Perhaps his best days are behind him, but he will come back like before and he will kick us where it hurts better than ever.

“I think the players are getting better, and we have watched him win everything in the last 10 or 20 years, but we want to share in his success.”

Nicholson hails from Newcastle, and moved down from the North East to Chorley in December 2010.

He believes it has paid off, because he is having his best season so far.

He said: “I won my third PDC title in Barnsley on Saturday, which is something I have never done before. I think I am now ranked third in the PRO tournaments which is my best position.

“In the PRO tour there can be 128 players competing in one day, starting at noon and finishes at 10pm at night, which can be tiring.

“I am playing some of my most consistent darts in my young career, and I just hope that I can carry on winning things.

“I love Chorley, and especially Cuerden Valley Park, where I take my dog for a walk, or even going for a run.

“I think that too many players on the tour just play darts in their spare time, whereas Chorley offers me an escape and break from my competitions.”

Nicholson believes there will be even more battles with the PDC number one Phil Taylor in the next few years.

He said: “I beat him before, in the semi-final of the Players Championship in 2010.

“I think once you get it out of your mind that you are facing a legend then you are alright.

“He tries to play some mindgames with you, but I think he has been frustrated by some of my own.””

Paul will be training for the World Matchplay Darts Competition at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, which starts on July 16.