Grand Slam of Darts talking points
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 22/11/18 4:11pm
Talking points from the Grand Slam of Darts, won by Gerwyn Price amid his controversial on-stage antics.
Van Gerwen's dominance wavering?
It seems almost inconceivable to suggest that Michael van Gerwen's dominance is wavering when you consider that he's already scooped 18 individual titles in 2018.
'The Green Machine' has lifted titles at the Masters, Premier League and World Grand Prix, but his current haul of three televised titles this year is his lowest since 2014.
Van Gerwen still threw some majestic darts in Wolverhampton; boasting the highest group stage average and defeating Michael Smith with a scintillating 108.32 average in round-two.
However, he suffered a shock 5-4 defeat to Jonny Clayton in Group A, before being convincingly beaten by Gary Anderson in the semi-finals.
MVG will still head to the Alexandra Palace as favourite to win a third World Championship title, but he doesn't appear as infallible, which will provide encouragement for the chasing pack.
Price is right for Gerwyn
After Gerwyn Price was eliminated from the Premier League without a win to his name, it would have been hard to imagine this scenario just six months on.
However, 'The Iceman' deserves immense credit for responding to disappointment which has destroyed the careers of some players.
Price was appearing in just his second major PDC final and in spite of the obvious controversy, he showed immense character throughout the event in Wolverhampton.
He trailed against Simon Whitlock, Mensur Suljovic and Gary Anderson - three of the world's best. However, he wasn't fazed and held his nerve when they faltered.
He's certainly a character that divides opinion, but there's no doubting his ability. He's climbed into the world's top eight for the very first time, and he'll be full of confidence heading into the World Championship.
Cross and Wright continue to toil
Rob Cross and Peter Wright's struggles continued at the Grand Slam of Darts, as they were both knocked out in the second-round.
Both men topped their group with three wins from three, although their performances lacked the conviction that their points tally may indicate.
Cross impressed in wins over Dimitri van den Bergh and Ryan Searle but then floundered against Mensur Suljovic; missing 19 of his 26 attempts at double in an error-strewn affair.
Wright was beaten by Simon Whitlock in a lethargic last 16 affair, and since reaching the World Grand Prix final, 'Snakebite' has failed to reach the quarter-finals in any of his last three majors.
The pair are currently seeded to meet in the semi-finals at next month's World Championship.
BDO world champion Glen Durrant suffered heartbreak in Wolverhampton, as he missed out on qualification to the knockout stages for the first time.
'Duzza' reached the last 16 and the quarter-finals in his previous two Grand Slam appearances, and following his 5-1 victory over Simon Whitlock, he appeared primed to progress once again.
Nevertheless, the Teessider suffered consecutive 5-4 defeats against the inspired duo Gerwyn Price and Andrew Gilding, before Whitlock's dramatic win over Price confirmed Durrant's exit.
Durrant's group-stage average of 100.48 was the third highest in the competition- only bettered by Michael van Gerwen (105.83) and James Wade (102.09) which evidenced his misfortune.
Nevertheless, BDO stars Wesley Harms and Michael Unterbuchner progressed to the knockout stages, with Unterbuchner defeating Ian White and Wade to reach the quarter-finals.
Attention now switches to the World Championship with 16 days of coverage, kicking off with a live preview show from Alexandra Palace at 6pm on Thursday, December 13. The draw takes place on Monday, November 26, live on Sky Sports News.
Keep up to date with the news as the tungsten enters its busiest time of year with the PDC World Championships just around the corner get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts.