It took something special from Gary Anderson to prevent serial world champion Phil Taylor from adding to his sixteen titles. Fittingly, it was the Flying Scotsman who emerged with his head in the clouds following a pulsating 7-6 victory which was watched by more than 1.7 million viewers - remarkable statistics for a game that many still find difficult to accept as a sport, given its lack of physical prowess and dynamic movement patterns.
What the sport may lack in athletic ability, it certainly makes up for in unadulterated sporting theatrics. This titanic tungsten tussle had everything: a definitive unpredictability, dramatic bounce-outs and a record-breaking thirty-two 180's - the highest ever in a World Championship final.
Darts is a game of fractions and precision, a test of balancing perspiration against the pressures of positioning three slender arrows into the smallest of lipsticks. However, what separates the great from the good is their psychological strength and the way they cope with adversity. Anderson suffered numerous tales of bad luck throughout the contest, most notably when all three darts fell from the treble 20 on one visit, but still he admirably mustered up the mental resolve to triumph against the toughest opponent one can face on the darting circuit.
So what now for Taylor? I have no doubts that the greatest player to ever pick up a dart will be written off following this agonizing defeat, with many seeing this most recent opportunity gone begging as his best by picking up a mind-boggling 17th world crown. He will look back with regret on the fifty-five doubles that he missed, but 'The Power' has never been one to rest on his laurels. He averaged over 100 in every one of his matches and it was only back in July last year that he was dismantling world number one Michael Van Gerwen in the final of the World Matchplay with a 107.27 average.
Taylor will be fifty-five years of age the next time the highlight of the PDC calendar lights up the Alexandra Palace. His reign of complete dominance is no longer existent such is the level of talent out there, but he still remains the man to beat. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Write him off at your peril.