A first-time finalist will face off against a two-times champion this evening following Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson’s victories in an entertaining evening of darts yesterday.
Number three seed Gerwyn Price avenged his defeat at this stage of the competition last year to Peter Wright with a 6-4 victory over Stephen Bunting. Bunting began their encounter with a break of throw and, despite eventually losing the first set in the fifth and deciding leg, managed to keep himself in the game with some solid darts as he took the second set. He then established a 3-1 lead and looked comfortable in the game. Price, however, managed to stem the flow and took the significant fifth set to claw it back to 3-2, breaking throw in the fourth leg of the fifth set. It then seemed that he had turned the tide as he won the next set 3-1, but Bunting overturned an early 2 leg deficit in the seventh set to regain the lead. Price has not had it all his own way this event however and found some of the determination which had got him to this stage to take the eighth set, levelling the game at 4-4. 4-4 became 5-4 within just 44 darts however as Price upped his game. Bunting responded with a much needed hold of throw in the first leg of the tenth set but the Welshman was not messing around as he rolled off the next three legs to make his first world final.
Price makes giant leap towards glory
Many may have confidently and without hesitance made the case for a Price victory at this PDC World Championship, perhaps more so than Michael van Gerwen, but that hasn’t made the task at hand any easier for Price. Bridging that gap between consistent success on TV and a world title is no easy achievement and plenty have spotted potential weaknesses in ‘The Iceman’ during this event as he has been forced into last set decider after last set decider. In a rematch of Price and Anderson’s infamous 2018 Grand Slam final, Price will be hoping, likely, for much of the opposite of what that game will be remembered for. He needs a steady, composed and controlled performance to become the tenth winner of the PDC Worlds this evening, and may be fancied ahead of his more experienced opponent.
Gary Anderson will contest his fifth PDC world final ten years on from his first this evening as he defeated Dave Chisnall in the second semi-final yesterday. Chisnall was coming into his first ever PDC world semi-final on a high following his conquering of Michael van Gerwen but slipped behind early on, losing the first set. He then levelled proceedings at 1-1 on double 12 in a much needed set victory before Anderson came through the next set on another deciding leg. 2-1 soon became 3-1 as ‘Chizzy’ struggled to keep up with the 50-year-old’s intensity. He did take back another set in a stanza which included an impressive 124 out, but Anderson soon reestablished the lead at 4-2. Chisnall kept the deficit to just one set by winning the seventh set over the Scotsman but Anderson rolled off three legs to take him to within one set of victory. He then sealed victory in the next set with a further three legs on the bounce.
Anderson to become most successful Scot?
Gary Anderson is within one victory of an impressive third world title and breaking the Scottish record for world titles. Anderson and Jocky Wilson are tied on two at present meaning there is an added incentive for success over Price this evening. Anderson has managed to come through a largely decimated field which saw people like Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Rob Cross leave early and MvG fall at the last 8 hurdle. He comes into the final with, of course, experience of lifting the coveted trophy, but with experience of losing too, and he won’t doubt Price’s ability as the pair toe the oche tonight. But in a hard to call final, an Anderson victory is perfectly plausible with the Scotsman having played some excellent arrows over the last few weeks and especially the last few days. Whoever takes the title will be a well-deserved victor worthy of the booming John McDonald ‘champion of the world’ introduction for the next twelve months, and it should be a fascinating encounter.
Image Credits: PDC