Gerwyn Price held on to the world number one spot in the PDC ‘Order of Merit’ after defeating world number two Peter Wright with an 8-4 victory in Riesa in the first European Tour event of 2022.
Price knew before a dart was thrown, he had to win the final to stay as number one with Wright hunting him down after winning the world championship and the opening premier league night. But Price responded to the pressure averaging an impressive 106.95 average as well as an 88.9% checkout rate.
Victory in Germany meant the Welshman left with £25,000 and as a result, solidifying his grasp on his number one spot. Peter Wright by no means played a bad game with “snakebite” himself averaging 106.74. It was the doubles that let the Scotsman down with only four darts out of a possible sixteen hit at the outer ring.
Elsewhere, Nathan Aspinall returned to form as he reached the semi-final of the event after recovering from a wrist/ elbow injury that ruled him out of the masters earlier in the year. The Stockport-born darting star managed some impressive wins including a victory over European Tour number one Joe Cullen.
Cullen has been arguably the best player in the PDC so far this year with two players’ championship victories and a win in the masters, but it was Aspinall who came out on top in a 6-3 victory in the last 16 and a 95.49 average.
Aspinall’s run ended at the hands of Gerwyn Price but a very impressive weekend will give him some much needed confidence ahead of the rest of the year with the UK open next month. “The Asp” won the event in 2019 so will be looking to improve on his 2021 form which resulted in him missing out on a place in the Premier League after being in the competition the previous two years.
Another player who returned to form on stage was Dimitri van den Bergh as he reached the quarter finals of the tournament. With the Belgian losing before Christmas at the world championships, he’s returned to the oche and shown what he can do with a good run in players championship event 4 last week where he reached the final.
Van den Bergh was in action on the Friday as he had to play a first-round match to reach the second round unlike others who went straight through to the second round. He defeated Martin Lukeman on the Friday before victories over Mensur Suljovic and Belgian compatriot Brian Raman took him to the quarter finals. He lost out to premier league champion Jonny Clayton in the quarters in a game which may have been one to many for the “dream maker”
The crowd in Riesa were certainly treated to some high-quality arrows across the whole weekend with big crowds for all sessions of the tournament. The next euro tour event is the Interwitten German Darts Championships which will take place on March 11-13 in Hildesheim.
The Premier League also returns on Thursday after a week off with Exeter being the destination for night four. Gerwyn Price will be looking to build on his Euro Tour win this weekend with the Welshman one point of top spot in the table.
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Joe Cullen
James Wade 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Danny Noppert 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Damon Heta
Dimitri van den Bergh 6-1 Brian Raman
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Lewy Williams
Peter Wright 6-2 Nico Springer
Michael Smith 6-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 James Wade
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Danny Noppert
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Dimitri van den Bergh
Peter Wright 6-5 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 7-3 Nathan Aspinall
Peter Wright 7-3 Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price 8-4 Peter Wright
Report By Harry Masterson
Images: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe
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