New Year, New Champion

The PDC World Championship is reaching its climax. Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright are the successful two who will battle it out tonight to achieve the accolade that every dart player aspires to – World Champion.

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This year the standards have been far higher. Averages close to a hundred have become commonplace and not just from the seasoned professionals but also the new players that had battled through the preliminary rounds just to step on the stage. Those professionals that rested on their laurels thinking they would breeze through to the latter stages of the tournament were taught a hard darting lesson. Terry Jenkins, Colin Lloyd and even Dave Chisnall, which many pundits had tipped to win the tournament and to feature in the 2014 premier league, all lost in their first round to inexperienced opponents. Phil Taylor had a scare in round one after going one set down to a preliminary match winner, he survived the first round but only to get knocked out by the pie man, Michael Smith, in the second round.

This World Championship has revealed some exciting fresh new talent in the darting world. The smooth moves of Devon Peterson carried him all the way through to round three, beating the experienced pair of Steve Beaton and Justin Pipe along the way. The great Dane Per Laursen rebooted his career after coming through a preliminary round and going on to play  some impressive darts against Terry Jenkins, a match in which Jenkins hit the first nine darter on the competition. Australia showed yet more sporting prowess in the form of the Anderson brothers. Kyle, despite failing to progress out of the first round, hit a nine dart leg while his brother, Beau, knocked out former world number one, Colin Lloyd in round one. I’m certain they both have a big future in the sport. Talking of big futures, Ricky Evans had a sensational tournament, first destroying Ronnie Baxter 3 – 0 , then putting up a stern fight against Mervin King, but unfortunately King was just too good and progressed to the next round. However, I’m sure Evans has gained valuable experience and many fans on the way with his box office speedy throw.

Towards the business end of the tournament the drama heightened. Simon Whitlock looked comfortable sitting 4 -0 up against Ian White only for White to bring the score back up to 4 – 4 to force a nail biting deciding set. Whitlock, despite his history of throwing away leads, won the last set to take him through to the semis. Another close quarter-final saw Peter Wright emerging as the victor, defeating an in form Wes Newton. Michael Van Grerwen showed his destructive powers early in the match against Mark Webster with his prolific scoring, however, a loss of concentration allowed Mark, who was playing some skilled darts himself, to get back into the match. The Dutchman, even though he stumbled, displayed his class to bounce back to clinch the match.

Into the semi finals now with a line up of Peter Wright against Simon Whitlock and Van Gerwen against Adrien Lewis. It looked as though the nights play was set up to be a thriller, with 180’s a plenty and tight finishes, unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. Peter Wright professionally swept aside the Australian and with a 6 – 0 demolition over Lewis, Van Gerwen secured his place in the final long side Wight.

The final tonight should be a cracker. Van Gerwen, although the favourite, has experienced a far more troublesome journey than he would have liked. Peter Wright, the form horse of the tournament has had some tough opponents to play jumping high enough to get over every hurdle, however it’ll be his first World Championship final and the pressure of the situation may begin take its toll. The crowd will surely be divided with both players have amassing great popularity throughout their respective careers. The match looks poised to be a classic. The fiery aggressive Dutchman pit against the calm, collected, yet colourful Brit.

Game on.



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