In a memorable final to last week’s brilliant Grand Slam of Darts, an imperious Gerwyn Price outplayed a rejuvenated Peter Wright to successfully defend the Eric Bristow Trophy, a title he won one year ago. Price, who knocked out Michael van Gerwen at the 20th attempt earlier in the afternoon, will now be a lot of people’s favourite for next month’s World Championship, such was the manner of his performance.
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It was here in Wolverhampton 12 months ago that The Iceman beat Gary Anderson in the final and where he established himself as the game’s bad boy. The boos have followed him from tourney to tourney this past year, but the Welshman is now turning those boos into cheers as spectators and commentators alike begin to appreciate his talent.
A look back at the Grand Slam of Darts
Price rounded out a memorable week in Wolverhampton with a 16-6 victory over Snakebite. Price threw 11 maximums, averaging almost 108 as he dominated the final, threatening nine-darters on numerous occasions. On both of these, however, he lost the leg and on the second occasion, it allowed Wright to cut the deficit to 7-5.
Any hopes Wright might have harboured that that leg win and see the Iceman melt were quickly dashed as the former rugby player reeled off eight legs in succession. Aside from Snakebite, who performed well all things considered, claiming one leg back, the game was as good as gone and all wrapped up inside the hour.
Price was even within range of breaking Phil Taylor’s record 109.04 average for a Grand Slam final — set in a 16-4 triumph over Gary Anderson in 2011 — but three missed match darts put an end to that.
The Iceman’s success is his second major trophy, the same as his first, and comes in his fourth televised final. A win in this week’s Players Championship Finals will shorten his second favourite World Championship odds of 7/1 further still.
As for Snakey, he can take comfort in a campaign in which he rediscovered the form that was missing in the first part of the year. An improvement, and perhaps a win on Sunday in Minehead for 2019’s last trophy, will definitely put a happy ending on an otherwise horrible year.
Players Championship Finals Betting Tips
The last trophy of the year is on the line this weekend as the players take their final run out before next month’s PDC World Championships at the Alexandra Palace, Ally Pally to you and me. This year’s Players Championship Finals will be taking place at the Butlins Minehead Resort.
Running from Friday November 22 through to Sunday, all of the action will be broadcast on ITV 4 as Daryl Gurney bids to defend the title he won against Michael van Gerwen 12 months ago. The Dutchman is understandably Betway’s 6/4 favourite to win the event for the fifth time, but many will have been impressed with Gerwyn Price last weekend and so his price of 13/2 will be tempting.
The Iceman became only the seventh player in history to successfully defend a PDC televised title with his Wolverhampton win last week where he also took down Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright. Price will now look to ride the momentum to another title as the best possible warm-up for the World Championships.
The first two rounds here are fought over 11 sets so there isn’t much room for errors, which more than anything else explains why longshots often do well here. Defending champion Daryl Gurney is a 25/1 shot and well worth considering as is Dave Chisnall, who also put in a good show at the Grand Slam of Darts and is a slightly shorter 22/1, both with Betway.
Last week’s runner up, Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, can be confident given the quality he showed last week but in a punishing event, the tourney’s third seed could end up regretting missed chances. That said, should the real Snakebite stand up, his 12/1 price tag will look generous.
World number two Voltage Rob Cross is available at 14/1, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith can be picked up for 22/1, while Glen Durrant and Mensur Suljovic can be backed at 25/1 for the pair, all at Betway.
Players Championship Finals Schedule
Friday November 22
First Round (Best of 11 legs)
- Dimitri Van den Bergh v Stephen Bunting
- Jose de Sousa v James Richardson
- Glen Durrant v Scott Baker
- Max Hopp v Jelle Klaasen
- Chris Dobey v Cristo Reyes
- Jeffrey de Zwaan v Simon Whitlock
- Michael Smith v Martin Schindler
- Ian White v Devon Petersen
- Harry Ward v Darius Labanauskas
- Justin Pipe v Mervyn King
- Brendan Dolan v Ross Smith
- John Henderson v Ryan Joyce
- Keegan Brown v Andy Boulton
- Steve Beaton v Ricky Evans
- Danny Noppert v Ryan Searle
- Dave Chisnall v Matthew Edgar
- Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Lennon
- Gerwyn Price v Mickey Mansell
- James Wade v Ted Evetts
- Mensur Suljovic v Kim Huybrechts
- Daryl Gurney v Luke Woodhouse
- Michael van Gerwen v Luke Humphries
- Peter Wright v James Wilson
- Nathan Aspinall v Raymond van Barneveld
- Jonny Clayton v Ryan Meikle
- Joe Cullen v Kyle Anderson
- Vincent van der Voort v Arron Monk
- Gabriel Clemens v Mark McGeeney
- Adrian Lewis v Josh Payne
- William O’Connor v Steve West
- Jermaine Wattimena v Jamie Hughes
- Ron Meulenkamp v Rob Cross
Saturday November 23
Second Round (Best of 11 legs)
- Price/Mansell v Brown/Boulton
- Wade/Evetts v Beaton/Evans
- Suljovic/Huybrechts v Noppert/Searle
- Gurney/Woodhouse v Clemens/McGeeney
- Lewis/Payne v Van Gerwen/Humphries
- Wright/Wilson v Dobey/Reyes
- Aspinall/Van Barneveld v Cullen/Anderson
- Wattimena/Hughes v Meulenkamp/Cross
- De Zwaan/Whitlock v Henderson/Joyce
- Clayton/Meikle v Ward/Labanauskas
- De Sousa/Richardson v Van den Bergh/Bunting
- White/Petersen v Van der Voort/Monk
- Ratajski/Lennon v O’Connor/West
- Durrant/Baker v Hopp/Klaasen
- Chisnall/Edgar v Pipe/King
- M Smith/Schindler v Dolan/R Smith
Sunday November 24
- Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
- Semi-Finals (Best of 21 Legs)
- Final (Best of 21 legs)
QUICK GLANCE AT THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Butlin’s Resort, Minehead
Dates: Friday 22.11.2019
Format: Best of 11, 19. 21
Current Champion: Daryl Gurney
Where To Watch: ITV 4
When To Watch: (1245 GMT)