Snakebite Secures European Championship Double
Former 2 Time World Champion Peter Wright claimed his first PDC Major crown of the year, after beating James Wade 11-6 to win a 2nd European Championship title at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund.
Snakebite claims £120,000 in prize money as he continues a resurgence of form ahead of the upcoming Grand Slam and World Darts Championship, beating Chris Dobey in the Quarter Finals and Danny Noppert in the Semi’s.
The Scotsman came into the final day of action in Germany after two fantastic performances, starting with a strong showing of character to recover from 4-1 down and beat Gabriel Clemens 6-5 on Thursday night, finding 8 perfect darts in hitting 2 consecutive 180s and an 81 finish in 2 darts to win the deciding leg.
“The old guy can still do it. I was fortunate in my first game against Gabriel Clemens. I pulled out two 180s to get back in the match, but it was just brilliant to play in front of this amazing crowd this weekend.”
The former 2 Time World Champion then showed just why he is that, producing a knockout 8 leg surge against World Number 1 Michael Smith, including finishes of 107, 117 and 155 to lead 8-0 in a race to 10 legs.
“My throwing action went totally out the window in the last two matches. I didn’t know what I was doing, but luckily enough I got over the line.”
Wright started the final day of action with a real test against Masters Champion Chris Dobey, going 7-2 ahead with back-to-back finishes of 161 and 164 in the 6th and 7th legs.
Hollywood then produced a big push to recover the match, winning 6 legs straight, with a 96 checkout to break throw in the 11th leg.
Snakebite though dug deep in a tough encounter at the Westfalenhallen, claiming 3 legs in a row to win 10-8 including 7 180s and a 99.61 average.
Peter set up a Semi Final with Danny Noppert in the opening match of Sunday’s Evening session, with the Freeze defeating Gerwyn Price 10-8 in the 2nd Quarter Final of the day, fighting from 7-0 down to win 10-8 in Dortmund.
Danny appearing in his first European Championship Semi Final, showed no signs of nerves after missing no darts at double to take 5 of the opening 9 legs of the match. The Dutchman also found 4 ton plus outshots in an impressive display despite defeat, hitting 2 120 finishes as well as checkouts of 110 and 143.
Wright showed his ability to reel successive legs against Michael Smith on Saturday and repeated the trick in the Semi Final with Noppert, breaking the former UK Open winner’s throw 3 times in winning 6 straight legs, recovering from 8-5 down to win the match 11-8 in Germany.
Snakebite moved through to face James Wade for a 2nd time in a European Championship Final, with the Red Dragon player coming out an 11-4 winner at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen back in 2020.
The Machine defeated Jose de Sousa 10-1 to reach the Final day of action, before claiming victories over Luke Humphries in the Quarter Finals, and Gian van Veen in the Semi’s.
The 2020 Champion started the Final in strong fashion, including 3 breaks of throw in the opening 7 legs, putting 5 legs between himself and his English opponent. The Aldershot born player did find the highest checkout of the Final to take the 2nd leg against the darts, after hitting a 157 finish to level the game at 1-1.
Wright despite being broken at the end of the 2nd session was a break ahead in the Final, leading 6-4 in a race to 11 legs at the Westfalenhallen.
Snakebite pushed on after the interval, holding his initiative whilst breaking the Wade throw in the 11th and 15th leg, moving 10-5 ahead and a leg away from the title. Peter included 4 180s and a 45.83% checkout rate in the Final, finding his highest finish of the match to win the title.
The 53-year-old hit double 8 with his last dart in hand to complete a 96 check out in the 17th leg, ending his wait for a PDC Major title after what has been a resurgence, having reached the Final of the German Darts Championship 2 weeks ago.
Peter moves up to 2nd in the PDC World Rankings ahead of the upcoming Pro Tour double header at the Barnsley Metrodome, which ends the Players Championship competitions for 2023.
Thursday grants PDC Tour Card holders the opportunity to qualify for the Mr Vegas Grand Slam of Darts, with 8 spots on offer at Aldersley Leisure Village.
A big congratulations to Peter Wright who played fantastically well over 4 days of action in Dortmund, defeating the World Champion on Saturday before taking out James Wade again to win his 2nd European Championship title.
By Harry Masterson
2023 Machineseeker European Championship Results:
Peter Wright (9) 10-8 Chris Dobey (32)
Danny Noppert (12) 10-8 Gerwyn Price (4)
James Wade (26) 10-6 Luke Humphries (2)
Gian van Veen (27) 10-6 Michael van Gerwen (3)
Peter Wright (9) 11-8 Danny Noppert (12)
James Wade (26) 11-9 Gian van Veen (27)
Peter Wright (9) 11-6 James Wade (26)