Peter Wright Wins World Matchplay At Winter Gardens

Peter Wright Wins World Matchplay At Winter Gardens

Peter Wright World Matchplay

The reintroduction of darts fans to events has had the desired effect on Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright.

After nearly 18 months without fans, we enjoyed a full house this past week at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool

Not so coincidentally, Wright’s last televised tournament win was back in February 2020 when he took down the Darts Masters immediately off the back of winning his first PDC World Championship.

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Now though, in front of a typically boisterous audience, Snakebite has landed another biggie after he became the World Matchplay champion on Sunday night.

Playing well and averaging high

He did so in magnificent form, playing remarkably and averaging high scores all week before beating Dimitri Van Den Bergh in the final.

He is now just the fifth player in history along with Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Rob Cross to have won both the World Championship and World Matchplay in their career.

But it nearly wasn’t to be.

Famously turning his back on the game for 12 years when he lost at Lakeside to Richie Burnett in 1995, Wright was talked back into the game by his wife Jo – who does his hair before each match – and it was her that he dedicated his win.

She was watching on from the crowd following recent back surgery breaking down in tears after the match.

Last year’s winner, Van Den Bergh lived with the Wrights throughout the first lockdown and the respect was there for all to see. 

The Belgian, who was hoping to become only the fourth player to retain the Matchplay title, is now ranked fourth in the world. Hee credits his former landlord with the progress he has made this past 18 months.

PDC World Championship winners?

Back in June, Wright predicted that he would take down the World Matchplay and the World Championship this season and now he is halfway there.

If he continues to play like this, then no one will be able to get close to the Scotsman and stop him from winning the set, except perhaps Dimitri Van Den Bergh, who is clearly destined for even better things.

bet365 have priced up Snakebite at 5/1 to win the PDC Worlds at the Ally Pally at the beginning of next year and are giving odds of 9/1 on Van Den Bergh lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy instead.

Both of these prices will only thin if these two keep up their good form. Wright could well start that tournament as favourite.

Best two darters in the tourney

The 2020 world champ only dropped 33 legs across all of his matches last week when he beat Danny Noppert 10-3, Joe Cullen 11-5, Michael Smith 17-10 before meeting Michael van Gerwen (4/1 favourite for the World Championships) 17-10.

Then, in the final, he beat the Dream Maker 18-9 in a match where he averaged 105.9 and posted a tournament average of 104.91.

Perhaps Wright’s best performance came in the semi-final against Mighty Mike where he averaged 110.37.

While Wright was a good value for the win, Dimitri Van Den Bergh will reflect on his doubles fails throughout the week that ultimately proved costly.

The Belgian was throwing trebles with ease, having numerous chances to land a nine-darter, but on far too many occasions, he couldn’t close out a leg and repeatedly let Snakebite off the hook.

Van Den Bergh, 27, posted a pretty dismal checkout percentage of 27.27% – Wright’s checkout percentage was 57.06% for contrast – which let down his tourney average of 100.16.

The new Matchplay champion, on the other hand, landed 18 of his 31 doubles and shot ten 180s.

This Matchplay defeat was the first of the Belgian’s career, having won the event last year on his debut in the competition. 

Along the way to his second successive final, he beat Devon Petersen, Dave Chisnall, world number one Gerwyn Price and Krztsztof Ratajski.

He also posted 49 maximums, which is the third highest ever behind Adrian Lewis, who pinned 56 in 2013, and Gary Anderson, who scored 52 in 2018. As things stand, Gerwyn Price still hasn’t made it past the quarter final stage at the World Matchplay but has won the PDC World Championships. bet365 has the Welshman priced up at 9/2 to repeat his Ally Pally win in the World Championships which begin in December.

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2021 Darts World Matchplay Betting Tips

2021 Darts World Matchplay Betting Tips

Following a six week break from live televised action, the darts makes a welcome return this weekend when the biggest event of the year so far, the World Matchplay, gets underway. Not in Milton Keynes as it did 12 months ago, but at its traditional home at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

What’s more, fans should be in attendance. The PDC are hopeful that they will be able to host a reduced capacity for the first two days followed by a full house from Monday July 19 onward and, as we know, this is one of those noisy events that the crowd really help to make.

A field of 32 are ready to fight it out for the Phil Power trophy in this year’s Matchplay which gets underway on the 17th of July and runs all the way through to the 25th of July.

Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Gary Anderson and defending champion Dimitri Van den Bergh are all in town to contest or defend the PDC’s second longest running major which was first staged in 1994 and, along with the Darts Premier League and Darts World Championships makes up darts’ triple crown.

The top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit, who are all seeded for the event, must each play one of the 16 qualifiers from the ProTour Order of Merit.

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12/1 shot Van den Bergh, known as the Dream Maker, was a shock winner last year and now represents part of a new continental European threat that has emerged over the past year and has resulted in us seeing more winners hailing from places other than the UK or the Netherlands.

The same would also apply to Jose De Sousa of Portugal, the surprise winner of the 2020 Grand Slam and Premier League of Darts finalist.

It’s great to see darts popularity grow overseas and De Sousa has actually been priced up as the third favourite at 7/1 with bet365 (accurate as of July 15th at 4pm). The Special One opens up his campaign against Germany’s Gabriel Clemens on Sunday and it really wouldn’t be a surprise if he puts together a deep run at this year’s event.

Ahead of him in the betting are, of course, Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price.

Despite not winning a title all season, Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to win what would be his third World Matchplay.

Mighty Mike is struggling for form at present and is in the middle of a dry spell. Even so, the form that he has been famed for could return at any point and its never truly safe to bet against the Dutchman.

He has set such high standards over the past half a decade but hasn’t looked himself for the past two seasons and it’s possible the return of fans will help with that. bet365 have MVG priced at around 9/2 (accurate as of July 15th at 4pm) which in truth feels a little short, even for a performer of his quality.

Reigning world champion and world number one, Gerwyn Price will be chomping at the bit to get out there and make up for lost time after he was forced to miss out on the Darts Premier League at the last minute.

Price fully accepts that his World Matchplay record is not as good as it should be for a man of his qualities but is reckoning on that changing in this year’s renewal in Blackpool. So far, the Iceman has never made it past the quarter finals and that came in his debut back in the summer of 2015.

The ex-Rugby pro made it to round two a year later but has been dumped out in round one ever since. His form in this tourney doesn’t match his talent and after not getting a shot at this year’s Premier League, he will be desperate to make his considerable mark on this year’s Matchplay.

Because of his enforced absence from the oche, we haven’t seen too much of Price recently so it’s hard to call what kind of form he is in meaning the 5/1 on his head may generous but also might be best avoided.

In theory, despite what his record suggests, this event should be perfect for his larger than life personality and fighting qualities, especially the proximity to the fans with whom he shares a love loathe relationship which usually fuels him.

In Price’s absence, his compatriot and World Cup winning partner Jonny Clayton has really come to prominence. Back in January the Ferret won his first televised PDC title when he took down the Darts Masters.

That result meant that he qualified for the Premier League of Darts, an event he would also go on to win. For Clayton to pick up his third solo PDC title and fourth overall, bet365 are offering 14/1 which looks very tempting (accurate as of July 15th at 4pm).

Both the Ferret and the Iceman will star on opening night, taking on Matchplay debutant Dirk van Duijvenbode and Jermaine Wattimena, respectively. Wattimena replaces Mensur Suljovic who has withdrawn from the event due to medical reasons.

Peter Wright will need to wait until Sunday’s evening session to begin his campaign when he takes on Danny Noppert. Snakebite is another who seems to have gone off the boil in the absence of fans.

Early 2020, when he was world champion, he was playing his best darts in years and followed up his Ally Pally win with immediate success in that year’s Darts Masters. Then with the fans locked out, the wins went away. Hopefully his larger than character will thrive once again now he has his audience back. bet365 customers can get 7/1 on a Snakebite victory (accurate as of July 15th at 4pm).

Saturday’s first match gets underway at 19:00 UK time when Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall faces Vincent van der Voort at the oche, prior to Go Go Jonny Clayton facing Dirk van Duijvenbode before Price steps out against Wattimena.

Opening night then concludes with defending champion Dimitri van den Bergh going up against South Africa’s Devon Petersen. Round one continues on Sunday when Rob Cross, James Wade, Michael Smith and Peter Wright all step out, while Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson all feature in Monday night’s fixtures.

World Matchplay Darts Daily Schedule

Saturday July 17

First Round (best of 19 legs)

  • Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
  • Jonny Clayton v Dirk van Duijvenbode
  • Gerwyn Price v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Devon Petersen

Sunday July 18

First Round (best of 19 legs)

  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Brendan Dolan
  • Glen Durrant v Callan Rydz
  • Rob Cross v Ross Smith
  • James Wade v Luke Humphries
  • Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey
  • Michael Smith v Ryan Searle
  • Peter Wright v Danny Noppert
  • Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens

Monday July 19 (1900 BST)

First Round (best of 19 legs)

  • Daryl Gurney v Ian White
  • Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
  • Michael van Gerwen v Damon Heta
  • Gary Anderson v Stephen Bunting

Tuesday July 20 (1900 BST)

Second Round (best of 21 legs)

  • Cross/R Smith v Durrant/Rydz
  • Wade/Humphries v Ratajski/Dolan
  • Price/Wattimena v Clayton/Van Duijvenbode
  • Van den Bergh/Petersen v Chisnall/Van der Voort

Wednesday July 21 (1900 BST)

Second Round (best of 21 legs)

  • M Smith/Searle v De Sousa/Clemens
  • Anderson/Bunting v Aspinall/King
  • Van Gerwen/Heta v Gurney/White
  • Wright/Noppert v Cullen/Dobey

Thursday July 22 (1900 BST)

Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2 x Quarter Finals

Friday July 23 (1900 BST)

Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2 x Quarter Finals

Saturday July 24 (1900 BST)

Semi-finals (Best of 33 legs)

  • 2 x Semi Finals

Sunday July 25 (2030 BST)

Final (Best of 35 legs)

  • Winner Semi-Final 1 v Winner Semi-final 2

QUICK GLANCE AT THE DARTS WORLD MATCHPLAY

Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Dates: July 17 – July 25

Format: Best of 19, 21, 31,33 and 35 legs

Current Champion: Dimitri Van Den Bergh

Where To Watch: Sky Sports

When To Watch: (13:00 and 1900 UK)

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