Super Wright claims Crawley win

Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Peter Wright won his third PDC ranking title in Players Championship 9 at the K2 Centre in Crawley following a 6-2 defeat of Justin Pipe in yesterday’s final.

Wright, who fell just short of reaching the Betway Premier League Darts Play-Offs after a strong start to his debut campaign in the event, bounced back to form on Saturday to take the £10,000 first prize and boost his confidence ahead of next week’s Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters.

The colourful star began his run to the title strongly as he saw off fellow Scot John Henderson 6-2 before defeating Steve Douglas with a whitewash win in the second round, with the aid of a 108 average.

Wright’s fine form continued as he dropped just one leg to Hong Kong’s Scott Mackenzie before overcoming Adrian Lewis by a 6-2 margin to claim a quarter-final place with just five legs conceded.

The world number five then overcame Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan by a 6-4 scoreline with a 105 average before producing an excellent semi-final performance against Jamie Caven, winning 6-2 with a 107.94 average.

The World Championship finalist capitalised on a slow start from Pipe in the final as he won the first four legs, recording a 14-darter and back-to-back 15-dart finishes in that run.

Wright wasted chances to move 5-0 up after missing four shots at doubles, with Pipe taking the leg on double one before Wright won the next to go a leg away from victory.

Pipe won the eighth leg with a 14-dart finish to keep the game alive, only for Wright to end the contest in the next thanks to a brilliant 11-darter as he picked up a PDC ProTour win for the third successive year, emulating last June’s victory in Crawley.

Pipe reached his second final of the year – backing up his fine run to a European Tour final in Germany back in January – in a run which included wins over Terry Jenkins and the in-form Robert Thornton to reach the quarter-finals.

There, he came from 3-1 down to defeat Ireland’s Connie Finnan 6-3 before achieving another comeback win in his last four game against Benito van de Pas, coming from 5-2 down by winning four straight legs.

That brilliant effort appeared to take all the steam out of the Taunton ace, who failed fired to fire on all cylinders in the decider to Wright, eventually losing 6-2 and having to settle for the £5,000 runners-up prize.

Dutch youngster van de Pas produced his best performance in a PDC ProTour event since winning a Tour Card in January with a run to the last four.

The 21-year-old defeated 2011 Players Championship Finals winner Kevin Painter in his opening game, before adding another notable scalp in the shape of Michael Smith to reach the last 16.

Van de Pas continued his winning streak by recording 6-1 wins against Michael Mansell and Mervyn King to reach the semi-final stage, where he built a 5-2 lead against Pipe only to see that advantage disappear as the next four legs fell the way of his opponent, ending his hopes of an appearance in his first senior PDC final.

Jamie Caven’s run to the semi-finals on Saturday was his best performance for exactly 12 months, when he won back-to-back Players Championships in Wigan on the same weekend.

The Derby ace came from 5-4 down to defeat seven-time major winner James Wade in a deciding leg in the last 32 before going on to win his next game against Ben Ward by a 6-4 margin.

The 38-year-old edged out Scotland’s Gary Anderson 6-4 in last eight, only to be outclassed by Wright in their semi-final encounter.

Premier League Darts semi-finalist Anderson and Northern Ireland’s Dolan reached the quarter-finals, while King produced a solid display to claim £1,500 for his last eight effort.

Ireland’s 52-year-old Connie Finnan reached the quarter-finals of a ProTour event for just the second time as he recorded notable triumphs over top ten stars Dave Chisnall and Simon Whitlock.

Reigning World Champion Michael van Gerwen had an eventful afternoon at the K2 Centre as he came from 5-3 down to defeat Lincolnshire’s Ross Twell 6-5 in the first round and won his next game by the same scoreline by hitting a 112 checkout in the deciding leg against compatriot Christian Kist before losing in last 32 to Mansell, despite averaging over 100 in a 6-3 defeat.

Raymond van Barneveld – who defeated Phil Taylor and van Gerwen to claim his the Premier League title 48 hours earlier – suffered a first round loss on Saturday after falling victim to Leamington Spa undertaker Nigel Heydon.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here