Snakebite claims Pro Tour honours | Matchplay field set

Snakebite joins Ross Smith, Stephen Bunting and Chris Dobey in claiming victories in Coventry this week; draw for the World Matchplay takes place on Friday afternoon; watch all nine days from Blackpool live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 08/07/21 7:11pm

Peter Wright won his third title of the season with an 8-2 victory over Michael van Gerwen on Thursday (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Peter Wright won his third title of the season with an 8-2 victory over Michael van Gerwen on Thursday (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Peter Wright ensured Michael van Gerwen’s PDC title drought continued with a 8-2 victory in a thrilling final event of this week’s Super Series in Coventry.

After Ross Smith, Stephen Bunting and Chris Dobey had won titles on the previous three days to confirm their place at the World Matchplay via the Pro Tour Order of Merit, the final four on the last day of action in Coventry had major pedigree.

James Wade and Jose De Sousa joined MvG and Wright in making up a high quality final four where it was the two former world champions who prevailed to set up a mouthwatering showdown to four days of action.

Van Gerwen – without a title since winning the Players Championship Finals in November – beat Jose De Sousa 7-2 in the semi-final, having already accounted for Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall, Dobey, John Henderson and Adam Gawlas earlier in the day.

Wright, who already has two Pro Tour titles this season under his belt, beat Wade in the semi-final by the same 7-2 scoreline following wins over Daryl Gurney, Danny Noppert, Martijn Kleermaker, Steve Brown and Boris Krcmar to set up the Van Gerwen showdown.

Super Series 5 – This Week’s Players Championship Finals

Players Championship 17 Stephen Bunting 8-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Players Championship 18 Chris Dobey 8-7 Jose De Sousa
Players Championship 19 Ross Smith 8-4 Brendan Dolan
Players Championship 20 Peter Wright 8-2 Michael van Gerwen

Wright had won the final Players Championship events at both Super Series 2 and Super Series 4 this season, but in Van Gerwen he was facing a familiar rival who was contesting just his second final of 2021.

Snakebite produced a string of fine performances in his run to the final, averaging more than 100 on four occasions, but after he roared into a 3-0 lead with some clinical finishing against Van Gerwen he had saved his best for last.

Van Gerwen's chase for a first title of 2021 will now switch to Blackpool and the World Matchplay crown he has won twice before (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Van Gerwen’s chase for a first title of 2021 will now switch to Blackpool and the World Matchplay crown he has won twice before (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Van Gerwen needed a 130 finish for a 12-darter to hit back in leg four, but he would manage just one more leg as Wright – using yet another new set of darts – won five of the next six for another final day £10,000 first prize.

“Beating Michael means a lot and to beat the players I did on the way through is great,” said Wright, who averaged 109 in his final victory.

“I had some loose darts and missed so many doubles as well against people, but it’s nice to win. I only got the gold darts on Wednesday morning.

“I like these darts, they’re new and I love them – the way they look in the board as well. I feel like I want to play proper darts, I didn’t want to show too much before Blackpool. I can win it.”

Players Championship Titles 2021

3 Jose De Sousa, Peter Wright
2 Jonny Clayton, Joe Cullen
1 Brendan Dolan, Gerwyn Price, Callan Rydz, Michael Smith
Raymond van Barneveld, Dimitri Van den Bergh
Dirk van Duijvenbode, Stephen Bunting, Chris Dobey
Ross Smith

World Matchplay field confirmed – draw set for Friday

Following the drama of the first three days that had seen Bunting and Dobey claim the £10,000 winners prize to move into the Matchplay spots and Ross Smith cement his Blackpool debut, there were to be no heroics from those on the outside looking in.

Dimitri Van den Bergh made his major breakthough in Milton Keynes last year when he lifted the Phil Taylor Trophy (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Dimitri Van den Bergh made his major breakthough in Milton Keynes last year when he lifted the Phil Taylor Trophy (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

It meant Callan Rydz and Ryan Searle hung onto the final places in the field, and they will join five other names in making their debut at the Betfred World Matchplay, which will be staged in Blackpool and will hope to feature a full crowd from Monday July 19, with the action getting underway on Saturday July 17.

South Africa’s Devon Petersen, Australia’s Damon Heta, World Grand Prix runner-up Dirk van Duijvenbode, Ross Smith and two-time world youth champion Luke Humphries are also in line for their first taste of the iconic Winter Gardens when play gets going – with all the action live on Sky Sports.

World No 1 and world champion Gerwyn Price tops the seeds, with two-time champion Van Gerwen seeded third and defending champion Dimitri Van den Bergh seeded eighth.

£700,000 in prize money and the prestigious Phil Taylor Trophy are up for grabs with three other former champions in the field, with James Wade, Rob Cross and Gary Anderson seeded fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

World Matchplay 2021: The Field (draw takes play on Friday July 9)

Seeded Players Pro Tour Qualifiers
(1) Gerwyn Price Brendan Dolan
(2) Peter Wright Devon Petersen
(3) Michael van Gerwen Damon Heta
(4) James Wade Danny Noppert
(5) Rob Cross Dirk van Duijvenbode
(6) Gary Anderson Ross Smith
(7) Michael Smith Mensur Suljovic
(8) Dimitri Van den Bergh Stephen Bunting
(9) Dave Chisnall Mervyn King
(10) Jose De Sousa Luke Humphries
(11) Nathan Aspinall Gabriel Clemens
(12) Glen Durrant Vincent van der Voort
(13) Krzysztof Ratajski Ryan Searle
(14) Daryl Gurney Ian White
(15) Joe Cullen Callan Rydz
(16) Jonny Clayton Chris Dobey

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Join us for a World Matchplay special preview on Tuesday July 13

Players Championship 20, Coventry

Final

Peter Wright 8-2 Michael van Gerwen

Semi-Finals

Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Jose De Sousa
Peter Wright 7-2 James Wade

Quarter-Finals

Jose De Sousa 6-3 Chas Barstow
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith
James Wade 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 6-3 Danny Noppert

Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens last this month, with nine days of coverage from the iconic Winter Gardens and the World Matchplay – the action gets under way on Saturday July 17

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