Peter Wright Wins Gold at the PDC World Matchplay
Peter “Snakebite” Wright claimed the Betfred World Matchplay trophy in dominant fashion on Sunday night, defeating close friend Dimitri Van den Bergh 18-9 in the final.
Peter arrived in Blackpool in decent form on the back of his last day Pro Tour victory, where Wright picked up the title again on the last day, equipped with his latest darting incarnation - the Euro 11 Element Gold PC20.
Following on from that victory, Peter insisted that there was so much more to come from the gold effect set up, as he was soon to show in his first-round victory over Danny Noppert, cruising with a 99.75 average.
Peter faced Joe Cullen the last 16, and it was here that Peter's game caught fire with a whopping 105 average, winning by 11 -5, yet insisting he felt there was even more in the tank with his latest Euro 11 element incarnation.
Peter said after his match with Joe "I just cannot explain why the titanium nitride coating makes a difference but it does. The element grip is perfect for me under the hot conditions at Blackpool, it’s a high-level feel and reacts fantastically in my hands. I think you can tell from that last game that I’ve really fallen in love with these darts again!”
Facing Michael Smith in the quarter final, Peter produced a solid 100.37 average for a comfortable 16-7 win, but he was very disappointed with the missed doubles costing him an even higher average, saying "I played really well again tonight and the darts felt great on scoring with 80 scores over a ton, but the doubles just didn't go as well as they can but when they do look out".
And look out Michael Van Gerwen, in what was an electric semi-final, where Triple World Champion MvG seemed to be back to his imperious best, punishing any mistakes from Wright. Snakebite himself was averaging in the stratosphere but could not pull away from the free-flowing Dutch Star and said, "Michael got the game back to 12-10 and you could see we were both flying, it was an amazing game but I still felt good and knew he'd have to find another gear to take the darts off me".
However, it was Peter that held throw and took Michael’s next throw, effectively ending a great contest winning 17-10 with a breath taking 110.37 average, the 7th highest in PDC Matchplay History and the highest recorded in a Matchplay semi-final.
Renowned for it’s tough conditions on stage in soaring temperatures, the World Matchplay is recognised as the second biggest PDC ranking major, behind only the World Championships.
Under these conditions and the pressure of a final in front of an amazing capacity crowd, Peter needed peak performance and reliability in his darts. Step forward the Element diamond fusion grip.
Peter's final game was also to be emotionally his hardest, facing close friend Dimitri van den Bergh, and the first night his wife Jo was back at the darts after close to 2 years of hell with a serious back injury. Peter said "The Boss is back tonight for the first time in ages so we'd better get the win" and win he did, with a commanding performance winning 18-9 by keeping the inform Dimitri at arm’s length.
Looking back, this one of Peter’s greatest weeks ever as he lifted the coveted Phil Taylor trophy that he had been after for so many years such is Pete's admiration for Phil, and he said "To get my hands on this trophy this week with my wife back by my side is the best feeling on earth she means the world to me and our family and this one is for her".
Peter now joins an esteemed list of just 4 other players who have won both the PDC World Championship and World Matchplay – further cementing his name as one of the all-time greats in the game.
Will Peter’s love affair with the Euro 11 Elements continue? We’d need a crystal ball to tell you that. But on the current form Snakebite is showing, it’s going to take a titanic effort to stop the World no.2 picking up more titles in 2021.