Grand Slam of Darts: Gerwyn Price beats Peter Wright to retain title
Iceman lifts the Eric Bristow Trophy and joins Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and Rod Harrington in defending a PDC televised title
By Paul Prenderville at the Aldersley Leisure Village
Last Updated: 18/11/19 11:47am
Gerwyn Price produced a spectacular display to hammer Peter Wright 16-6 and defend his Grand Slam of Darts title, after earlier knocking Michael van Gerwen out.
The Iceman will rise to third on the Order of Merit and provisionally rise to world no 2 after the World Championship following a week befitting of his new-found status; he won all seven matches across the 10 days to extend his winning streak in Wolverhampton to 11.
Twice he was on a nine-dart finish only to come up just short of the perfect leg, but the other statistics were staggering as he fired 11 180s, averaged 107.86 and took out three 100+ finishes on his way to his second major title.
"I'm playing well, I'm up to number three and I probably deserve to be three, maybe two."I've had a good year, 18 months, but it doesn't happen all the time. I've been playing well and it breeds confidence, and I've been confident in every tournament for the last six months. I'm just thankful to win this again.
I'm full of confidence and hopefully I can carry that on to next week, it's the Players Championship and hopefully I can have a good run in that."
Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price
Having ended Van Gerwen's hopes of a fourth Grand Slam title, Price produced the best performance of his career to avenge his defeat to Snakebite in the 2017 UK Open - a result that remains Wright's only major TV title and takes his number of defeats to 10 from 11.
The 34-year-old, who as recently as 2014 was playing rugby for a career, claimed nine of the last 10 legs to power over the finishing line with the most dominant display in a Grand Slam final since Phil Taylor's 16-6 demolition of Robert Thornton, with an average that fell just short of the Power's 109.04 mark in 2011.
Grand Slam of Darts Finals Day
|Final||Gerwyn Price (5) 16-6 Peter Wright (7)|
|Semi-Final||Michael van Gerwen (1) 12-16 Gerwyn Price|
|Peter Wright (7) 16-11 Glen Durrant|
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The Darts Show podcast will wrap up the tournament on Tuesday with Colin Lloyd in the studio
Price started fast in his victories over Gary Anderson and Van Gerwen, and he did so again just a few hours after his win over Snakebite - a blistering pace that never relented and saw him power away from Wright.
Averaging more than 23 points more than his opponent and taking out a brilliant 100 finish as well as hitting all three of his darts at double he led 3-2 at the end of the first session, Snakebite somehow pinching the fifth leg of the night to stay in touch.
Price's response was to pile in his second 100+ finish, taking out 111 in the first leg after the first break before missing darts for a double break to allow Wright to pin double 14 for a much-needed leg.
But the Iceman ploughed on regardless, maintaining his staggering level and averaging 114 to sweep the second session 4-1 and a 7-3 lead more reflective of his dominance.
A much-needed hold of throw followed for Wright who then took advantage of a rare below-par visit from the Welshman to break for the first time in the contest.
That only inspired Price, the 34-year-old conjured up an 11-dart break of throw and consolidated it to re-establish his four-leg lead before delivering a crushing blow befitting his previous career in the rugby front rows.
With Snakebite waiting on a finish to stem the flow, Price sunk a mesmerising 130 check-out - his third 100+ finish of the contest - to open up a 10-5 lead, the biggest of the final, but it was to get no better for Snakebite.
Wright's own average pushed towards 100 but Price's level was astonishingly consistent, maintaining a near 110 average and a 50 per cent success rate on his doubles, he reeled off eight legs in succession to move to the brink of the title.
And while Snakebite delayed the finish, a solitary leg proved no barrier to Price who was not to be denied and when he sunk double five for the winning dart a seal was put on a memorable victory and hugely impressive defence of the title.
"This week the crowd has been fantastic for me," the champion added.
"To come through that game and have the cheers at the end of it is a much better feeling than last year. I'm not used to this but they truly have got behind me and I appreciate it."
In 2018 it was amid a cacophony of boos and a controversy, but in 2019 the boos were turned to cheers, and his status as one of the world's premier players was underlined in style.
It's now less than a month to go until darts is back on your Sky Sports screen, 16 days of coverage from the PDC World Championship gets underway on Friday December 13 with the draw on Sky Sports News on Monday November 25