Peter “Snakebite” Wright won his second PDC World Darts Championship with a thrilling but tense 7-5 victory over Michael Smith in the final.
It was a fitting end to a brilliant competition as two of the very best in the game put on a darting showcase for the fans in attendance at the Alexandra Palace.
Smith, who beat reigning champion Gerwyn Price as well as Jonny Clayton and James Wade on his way to the final, was unlucky in defeat as he becomes a two time runner-up.
It’s been a brilliant tournament for “Bully Boy”, who will almost certainly win the trophy one day if he keeps playing so well, but the night belonged to the Scotsman.
Wright won the pre-match “bull off” and was first to throw in a nervy opening set which was highlighted (or more accurately low-lighted) by a second leg which saw both miss an astonishing 25 combined darts to hit a winning double.
Smith won that set but lost the leg 3-1 as Wright took a 1-0 lead into the first break of the evening.
The Englishman wasn’t struggling to score big, throwing four 180s in the opening two sets, but found himself 2-0 behind after missing more doubles in a 3-1 defeat where Wright managed back-to-back 148 and 124 checkouts.
Set three saw Smith’s double hitting drastically improve and it paid off as he hit a 167 checkout against the throw before securing a 3-1 victory in the fourth leg.
The fourth set was the most closely contested of the early stages and Smith missed one dart at top at 2-2 which gave Wright an opening to immediately break him back but the Scotsman let his opponent off by failing to take out 46 as Smith came back to ping double ten and level the match at the second break of play.
Peter Wright returned with a change of darts, something he did to great success in his third round win over Damon Heta earlier in the tournament, and held off Smith with a 3-2 win to take set five and lead the match 3-2.
That set also saw Michael Smith break the record for most 180s at a World Championship, a statistic that’s testament to just how well the 31-year old has thrown this tournament.
Smith hit back with a 3-1 win in set six to hold his throw and once again level things up as the half way point of the match approached.
Wright handed Smith a golden opportunity when he missed four darts at double in the opening leg of set seven and allowed Bully Boy to break throw.
Smith then rattled off the next two legs for a 3-0 win and to take the lead for the first time in the match at 4-3 in the race to seven.
Wright needed a response and found one when he won the first leg of set eight against the throw and took the set with a 3-1 win to restore parity once again.
Set nine went the distance as Wright was throwing to hold his throw at 2-2 and missed seven darts at a double which allowed Smith to break at a crucial time in the match.
The tenth set was a dramatic one as Smith took a 2-0 lead but was pegged back to 2-2 by Wright who took out 84 to win the final leg against the throw and make it 5-5... things were getting very tense.
Wright rattled off a 3-0 win in set 11 in just under five minutes, putting the Scotsman just one set away from a second world title and all the pressure was on Smith to hold throw in set 12.
That pressure doubled when Wright took out 81 with the bullseye in the first leg to take the advantage and give him the darts to throw for the championship.
Wright kept his composure while Smith’s high scoring seemed to desert him and, although Smith did manage to win one leg, it was a 3-1 win that saw Snakebite win the set and the match.
The 51-year old was just as emotional as when he won his first World Championship in 2020 as he capped off a fantastic tournament to join the exclusive club of two time world champions.
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