Gerwyn Price crushes Peter Wright to regain Grand Slam of Darts title
What a statement of intent this was by Gerwyn Price, the world champion and world No 1 regaining his Grand Slam of Darts title with an imperious 16-8 victory over Peter Wright.
In truth the world No 2 was never really in the contest, and an average of 91.5 was a fair reflection of both a desperately disappointing performance on his part and a mildly disappointing spectacle lasting barely an hour.
But take nothing away from Price, who after sweeping aside James Wade 16-9 in the afternoon semi-final was again relentless and ruthless when it mattered. After entering the arena to his customary chorus of boos, Price began the match with a 140 checkout, went into the first interval 4-1 up and after a brief revival from Wright reeled off six legs in a row to lead 10-3. He did not miss a dart at double until the eighth leg of the match.
Price averaged 104 on the night, but more ominously he was still able to chalk up legs when not throwing at his best. This, perhaps, is the most instructive lesson of the last nine days: while there are plenty of players on the circuit who can match Price’s A-game, few possess his ability to grind out tournament wins with their B-game. This was once Michael van Gerwen’s domain, but the world No 3’s defeat to Michael Smith in the quarter-finals was further evidence that his margin for error is nothing like what it was.
For Wright, who beat Smith in the second semi-final by coming back from 12-8 down to win 16-12, fatigue was doubtless a factor here, as demonstrated by the number of darts that missed low. But this has been a largely encouraging week for him too, proof that after an uneven season in which he has changed darts several times, he is running into form at the right moment.
The World Championship begins next month, and along with Van Gerwen, Jonny Clayton and the rejuvenated Rob Cross, Wright will start among the favourites. But here again, Price showed that he remains the man to beat.