Former World Champion Peter Wright opened up his account for 2021 by winning Players Championship 8, in the closing event of PDC Super Series 2.
The Players Championship 8 final saw the two most recent winners of the World Darts Championship clash for the £10,000 prize, with Wright emerging victorious 8-3 against reigning World Champion and World number one, Gerwyn Price.
The Scotsman was in scintillating form all-day and was well-worthy of the title by performing consistently brilliant all day, after a below-par start to the 2021 season.
The victory also sees Wright once again close the gap on Michael Van Gerwen in the race for the number two spot in the world rankings, with MVG opting against participating in the second Super Series of 2021.
Wright coasts to first title of 2021
Wright headed into today's event with the pressure on after a below-par start to 2021, in which he'd failed to threaten taking a crown to add to his ever-growing collection. Snakebite was inspired today however and proved once more why he's one of the very best players on the darting planet.
Wright started the day in Milton Keynes how he meant to go on, opening up his claim for the title with a 103.9 average in a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Jack Main, before beating Adam Hunt and William O'Connor to win his board. Wright was then pushed to a deciding leg by Steve West before defying an almighty fight from Steve Lennon 6-4 to book his place in the semi-finals.
There Wright continued his brilliance cruising past the number 1 seed, Joe Cullen, by seven legs to two, before defeating World Champion Price 8-3 in the final to claim the £10,000 prize.
Price close to a double
World number one Price revealed his intentions yesterday to the 128 player field, by carving his way through to take the title, and it was clear from the offset he wanted to do the double by winning today as well.
Price showed all his prowess in the opening game of the tournament, being forced all the way to a deciding leg by the inform Yorkshire man Peter Jacques, Price then defeated Joe Murnan and Scott Mitchell respectively to win his board.
Price followed this up with a whitewash victory over Luke Woodhouse before defeating Jason Lowe and Brendan Dolan to make it to Friday's decider. While Price came up short in the final against Wright to do the double, he has closed out the Super Series excellently and played himself into some excellent form ahead of the opening nights of the Premier League.
. The final: As it happened
Both Price and Wright averaged well above the 100 mark in their semi-final encounters and a close encounter in the final seemed a likely prospect in Milton Keynes, this however didn't occur as Wright outplayed Price to take the title.
Snakebite started the final positively taking the opening two legs which really revealed his intentions to his opponent. While Price did reply by winning the next leg, Wright went on an impressive streak taking the next three legs with two 16 darters and an 11 darter.
This left Price with a mountain to climb and although he ended the Wright surge in the next leg, he was powerless once again as Wright took the next two to position himself within a single leg of the crown. Price did take his third leg to make it 7-3 but Wright took the next leg in 14 darts, to close out a mightily impressive days work.
. Wright on winning his first title of 2021
Wright was a happy man after his victory and talked to Dan Dawson after the match on winning the title, while also taking the opportunity to take a dig at Michael Van Gerwen, who decided against playing in the second summer series.
"Maybe I won today because everyone was really tired because it's been really strenuous for everyone"
"I did say to Paul (Nicholson) it's coming."
Later on, Wright turned the topic to Michael Van Gerwen, boldly telling Dan Dawson that the former three-time World Champion won't win a TV tournament this year. "He (Van Gerwen) won't win a title this year."
"He shouldn't be on holiday, he should be here practising. There are too many good players around."
. What else happened on day four of the PDC Super Series?
Elsewhere, a handful of events happened over the course of the final day of the Super Series, including play being delayed for an hour after five-time World Champion Raymond Van Barneveld fell ill at the arena, shortly after his First Rounddefeat to Ryan Searle.
The PDC have issued a statement confirming Barney's illness at the arena shortly after his defeat to Ryan Searle revealing that the Five-time World Champion required medical assistance after becoming unwell in the arena.
After receiving treatment from paramedics the Dutchman returned to his hotel room at the Marshall Arena to be further monitored.
Another headline from Players Championship 8 was the incredible performances of young Welsh ace Lewis Williams, who embarked on an impressive run to round three of the tournament, with two remarkable victories over Peter Hudson and the in-form Dirk Van Duijvenbode, the former of which saw Williams average 109.9.
Other stories included a welcome run from Jelle Klaasen, who ended his miserable streak of form to make it to the last 16 stages, and a first-round exit for World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van Den Bergh whose woes continue.
Yet another nine-darter was hit, which has been quite a common occurrence so far on the ProTour. Mickey Mansell achieved a perfect leg of darts in his First Round match against Jamie Hughes.
Friday's action brings to an end an enthralling, action-packed Super Series, with the ProTour expected to return in Germany next month.
. 2021 Players Championship 8 Results (Selected)
Joe Cullen 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright 6-4 Steve Lennon
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Martin Schindler
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Jason Lowe
Peter Wright 7-2 Joe Cullen
Gerwyn Price 7-2 Brendan Dolan
Peter Wright 8-3 Gerwyn Price