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World Darts Championship: Peter Wright defeats Michael Smith to win his second title at Ally Pally

Peter Wright joins Phil Taylor, John Part, Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen as a multiple winner of the World Darts Championship; 'Bully Boy' Michael Smith still searching for elusive TV ranking title

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Peter Wright held aloft the Sid Waddell Trophy for the second time after victory over Michael Smith at Alexandra Palace

Peter 'Snakebite' Wright joined an elite list of players who have won multiple World Darts Championship titles after defeating Michael Smith in Monday's final.

Wright, a winner of three TV titles in 2021, collected a cheque for £500,000 before lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy for the second time in three years, averaging 98.34 and firing 17 180s in a 7-5 victory over Smith.

The world No 2 averaged a remarkable 113.93 for the last 10 legs, winning nine of them on his way to more glory at Alexandra Palace.

Wright, 51, told Sky Sports: "It's not about me. It's about the future of darts and this man (Michael Smith). He let me in. I just love him to bits. I feel bad. As soon as he gets a major, he will trounce everybody."

World Darts Championship Final

Michael Smith 5-7 Peter Wright

The two best players statistically in the tournament went head-to-head for the biggest prize in darts, but they produced their worst set at this year's World Championship to open proceedings.

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There were early nerves for Wright and Smith as it took 'Bully Boy' just the 28 darts to win the second leg of the first set!

Wright, who revealed a knee injury had been causing him discomfort, soaked up two maximums to win a 15-darter in the opening leg. Smith levelled up, but only after throwing 28 darts in the worst leg of the entire tournament.

It was the Scot who eventually wrapped up the set 3-1 after hitting double 4 and double 8 in legs three and four.

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'Snakebite', who threw a tournament record of 24 180s in his semi-final victory against fellow Scot Gary Anderson, continued where he left off by powering in magnificent finishes of 148 and 124 to leave Smith floundering.

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Wright won the second set after landing finishes of 148 and 124

But Smith, the runner-up three years ago, responded with back-to-back 12-darters and a majestic 167 checkout.

'Bully Boy' was throwing a barrage of maximums at his opponent, and he survived a 117 finish and two missed darts for the set from Wright to draw level at 2-2.

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Wright held his throw with this 117 checkout, but ended up losing the fourth set

Smith landed his 72nd maximum of the tournament - breaking Gary Anderson's record of 71 back in 2017 - in a tight fifth set which went to a deciding leg, but it was the 51-year-old who eventually cleaned up 25 in two darts to regain the lead.

St Helens thrower Smith restored parity after winning the sixth set 3-1 with a 106 average and he took the lead for the first time with a nifty 93 two-dart combination in a clean sweep of set seven.

World No 2 Wright countered Smith by taking out 72 to rubber-stamp the eighth set 3-1 and make it a level game at 4-4.

World Darts Championship

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Snakey planted this 103 to hold throw in the opening leg of the ninth set

Although he started the next with a 103, the Scot squandered six set darts, enabling 'Bully Boy' to nail double 13 and move ahead in what was turning into another dramatic encounter at The Palace.

After being 2-0 in the 10th set, Wright reeled off three legs on the spin to draw level at 5-5 before landing finishes of 96, 80 and 36 for a tide-turning 112.73 set average to move one away from glory.

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Wright let out all his emotions after edging out Smith in the final

Wright struck with an audacious 81-bull finish before making it eight legs on the bounce with a classy double 9. Although Smith stopped the rot in the next leg, 'Snakebite' wrapped up victory with double 16.

Smith was left distraught after losing his eighth televised final in nine attempts, as his wait for a first TV ranking title goes on.

Despite his latest disappointment, the new world No 5 remains determined to break his duck in 2022.

"I got five sets in this time instead of three but losing these finals is doing my head in now," said Smith. "Tonight will be difficult but I'll be back on the practice board soon, getting ready for the next one.

"The bullseye shots for big finishes wouldn't go in, that's darts I guess."

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