Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright enjoyed a terrific run to the final of the BWIN Grand Slam of Darts at the Wolverhampton Civic in which he contested a world-class final with the World number one Michael van Gerwen in his second major final of 2017. Snakebite was just edged out 16-12 by the Dutchman as he picked up the title for the third year in succession, but what a display Snakebite produced. In the opening 20 legs there was no seperating the pair as neither player could break away from each other. It was a topsy-turvy game which had everything from massive checkouts to maximum-hitting with regularity. Wright fired in a 120 checkout as he moved 2-1 ahead early doors. Van Gerwen as you’d expect, soon rallied as he won the next two legs on-the-spin to head into the break with a 3-2 just seconds after Wright missed a dart at D18 for a 150 finish. From then on, both players continued to trade blows with Van Gerwen edging into the lead for the next five legs. After the players returned after the second interval, Snakebite regained the lead as he moved 6-5 ahead courtesy of a 14-dart leg. Wright managed to maintain his one leg advantage into the break which included two stunning finishes whilst Van Gerwen was waiting to pounce as Snakebite fired in a 156 finish followed by a superb 149 whilst Van Gerwen was waiting on D16. The pair went in to the break with the match poised at 10-10. The Dutchman then moved into the lead for the first time since the seventh leg as he took out 68 for a 14-darter. MVG sprinted three legs clear courtesy of back-to-back ton plus finishes as he took out a sensational 146 finish which was backed up by a 100 finish to move 13-10 ahead. Wright stopped the three leg onslaught from the Dutchman as he fired in a 13-darter to move back within two legs, Wright then went on to miss a crucial dart at D18 for a 110 finish to move within a leg, the miss was punished immediately by the World number one as he pinned D14 to move 14-11 clear. Snakebite fired in two maximums in the very next leg as he cleaned up 25 to reduce the deficit to three legs once more. Just 29 darts later, Van Gerwen sealed the win with finishes of 40 and 45 with Wright not getting a dart at a finish to stay alive. It was a superb final and Wright continues his fantastic year as he looks to head into the William Hill World Darts Championship as the number two seed. Up next for ‘Snakebite’ is the Players Championship finals in Minehead next weekend, he will face Steve Hine on Friday evening which will be shown live on ITV4.Earlier on in the day, Wright edged out Gary Anderson in a thrilling exchange in which Snakebite came from 13-7 behind to win nine out of the last eleven legs to clinch victory and a place in the final.
(Photo : Lawrence Lustig / PDC)