Peter Wright was aiming to build on a promising week at the oche and keep his Betway Premier League play-off dreams alive last night.
The Mendham-based darts ace was due in action at The Manchester Arena in the tournament’s penultimate league night with a chance of still sealing one of four play-off places for the May 19 final in London, with ‘Snakebite’ sitting just three points adrift of Adrian Lewis ahead of facing James Wade.
A poor run of form in recent weeks looked to have ended his hopes of sealing a top four place but Wright regained his form to clinch what could prove a vital three points after doubling up in Birmingham last week.
The 45-year-old enjoyed early success on the night as he ended Phil Taylor’s 12-game unbeaten run with a superb 7-4 victory.
Wright extended his impressive unbeaten record against Taylor in the Premier League to five matches as he began the night with a shock victory, before returning to secure a share of the spoils against Gary Anderson later in the evening.
The colourful Scot kicked off his double-header with a fine display to inflict the 16-time World Champion’s first defeat since the opening night of the season, despite averaging over 106 per visit in a high-quality contest.
Taylor landed a ten-dart finish in the game, but Wright followed up early checkouts of 121 and 104 by winning four of the final five legs for the win as he ended the contest with seven doubles from just eight attempts.
Wright later battled back from 5-3 down to draw with Anderson, leaving him three points adrift of fourth-placed Lewis going into the final two league nights.
“I’ve given myself a chance but both me and James know what’s at stake so I’ll be ready for him,” said Wright following his display on Thursday and ahead of his clash with ‘The Machine’.
“I need to win my last two games to get into the play-offs and I’ll be doing everything to do that.
“I’m playing well and I had a good weekend in the Players Championships in Barnsley, so I’m looking forward to it.”
n In the two-day Players Championship event in Barnsley over the weekend Wright showed some promising signs but fell narrowly short of glory on both days.
The first at the Barnsley Metrodome, ‘Snakebite’, who was number one seed for the tournament, made it through to the quarter finals after comfortably overcoming, Mark Walsh, Dick van Dijk, Prakash Jiwa and Mick McGowan.
However, that was where Wright’s journey would end as he came out on the wrong end of a thrilling encounter against Wade to lose 6-5.
Wade would go on to reach the final but suffered a surprise defeat as he went down to a 6-5 loss to Josh Payne, winning his first senior title to pick up a £10,000 windfall in the process.
On Sunday, Wright came even closer to getting his hands on a title as he suffered a defeat in the final to Gerwyn Price who claimed his maiden PDC title.
Wright moved through the field with wins against Jeffrey de Graaf (6-2), Paul Nicholson (6-4), Robbie Green (6-4), Devon Petersen (6-5), Christian Kist (6-1) and Dave Chisnall (6-5).
However, it was to be Price’s day as the former rugby player won the final 6-3 to claim the £10,000 prize.