Wright: “Winning three titles in five days is definitely a confidence boost going into the World Matchplay and it should be a great tournament.”
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 17/07/19 7:36pm
Peter Wright continued his sensational form to complete an emphatic Players Championship double in Barnsley and clinch his third title in the space of five days.
Having endured a disappointing start to the year, ‘Snakebite’ claimed World Cup of Darts glory alongside Gary Anderson in Hamburg last month, before sealing his third World Series title at last weekend’s German Darts Masters.
However, the world No 5 produced a series of sensational displays to scoop Players Championship 19 & 20 at the Barnsley Metrodome, in the final ranking events before the World Matchplay gets underway on Saturday.
Wright posted four ton-plus averages on the opening day of the mid-week Pro Tour double-header on Tuesday, before defeating Justin Pipe 8-5 in the final.
Live World Matchplay Darts
July 20, 2019, 7:00pm
The Scot kicked off his campaign with 6-4 victories over Mark McGeeney and Kim Huybrechts, before posting a remarkable 113 average in seeing off World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1.
Wright then recovered from 5-2 down to defeat three-time Lakeside champion Glen Durrant in the last 16, before storming to a 6-1 success over Vincent van der Voort.
The former UK Open champion defeated his World Cup partner Anderson 7-3 in the semi-finals, to set up a showdown against Pipe, who was appearing in his first ranking final for over four years.
‘Snakebite’ fired in an early maximum to secure an instant break, before the next seven legs all went with throw.
Wright then followed up a clinical 65 kill with a 121 on the bull to move 7-3 ahead but despite a late rally from Pipe – who averaged over 103, Wright sank double 12 to prevail 8-5 and scoop the £10,000 winner’s prize.
However, Wright upped the ante even further on Wednesday, firing in six consecutive ton-plus averages to triumph with a staggering tournament average of 103.76 and 32 maximums – a new Players Championship record.
The World Cup winner battled past Madars Razma 6-4 in his opener, before surviving a match dart against Alan Norris, despite averaging 103 to Norris’ 85.
Wright then produced a blistering spell of darts to cruise into the semi-finals, posting successive averages of 103.70, 108.90 and 108.70 as he saw off the trio of Matt Clark, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Devon Petersen for the combined loss of just one leg.
The Scot brushed aside Adrian Gray – competing in his first Pro Tour semi-final since 2012, to set up a clash against Joe Cullen in Wednesday’s showpiece, after ‘The Rockstar’ saw off Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross and Adrian Lewis to reach his first Pro Tour final for two years.
Nevertheless, Cullen was rendered helpless against an irrepressible Wright, who averaged 105.30 and crashed in six maximums to complete an 8-1 demolition.
The change in my darts is making things a lot easier. If the first dart goes in the treble 20 and I don’t follow it with the other two, I’m disappointed.
Wright on his fine form
Wright kicked off the final by reeling off five consecutive legs in 11, 14, 17, 14 and 15 darts, before Cullen recorded a hold of throw in leg six to avoid the whitewash.
However, the 49-year-old responded by firing in back-to-back 12-dart legs, including a sublime 146 checkout, before pinning tops to round-off a day of darting dominance.
Wright, who celebrated his 25th PDC title with victory over Cullen, remarkably won 34 of his last 38 legs played on Wednesday and as a result, will head to the Winter Gardens unbeaten in his last 18 matches.
“I wanted to up my 101 average from yesterday and I know Joe (Cullen) is warming up for the Matchplay so I had to be at my best.” said Wright.
“The change in my darts is making things a lot easier. If the first dart goes in the treble 20 and I don’t follow it with the other two, I’m disappointed.
2019 Players Championship winners
|Michael van Gerwen|
|Jeffrey de Zwaan|
“Winning three titles in five days is definitely a confidence boost going into the World Matchplay and it should be a great tournament.”
Elsewhere, Kyle Anderson landed his seventh career nine-darter in the opening round of Tuesday’s event, producing the perfect leg against Steve Lennon.
Ron Meulenkamp also continued his impressive form on Tuesday to reach his third Players Championship semi-final in the space of five events, while Adrian Lewis reached the same stage of Wednesday’s event as he prepares for his Winter Gardens showdown against Durrant.
You don’t have to wait long until darts is back on Sky Sports, with every dart from every session in Blackpool and the World Matchplay. It starts on Saturday, July 20 and the final is on Sunday, July 28.