Snakebite’s strong start in title quest

Mendham darts ace Peter Wright was looking to continue his best-ever run at the prestigious PDC World Matchplay in Blackpool last night.

The world number five was due to face Welshman Gerwyn Price in the quarter-finals yesterday, with a place in Saturday’s semi-finals against either Michael van Gerwen or Ian White up for grabs.

Wright posted the highest three dart average of the first round (108.13) to beat Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts in his first game, before seeing off Suffolk’s Andrew Gilding 13-7 in the last 16 on Tuesday.

The Scot stole the show on the opening day of the £450,000 major tournament at the Winter Gardens, as he stormed into a 6-0 lead against Huybrechts on Saturday night.

After losing the next three legs Wright hit an 11-darter to move 7-3 in front, before finishing the match with checkouts of 136 and 161 to close out a 10-5 victory.

“Kim’s been playing really well recently but I’ve got a good record against him and it’s great to continue that,” Wright told the PDC’s website.

“In the past here I’ve not necessarily had the right preparation for this tournament but I started working towards this event back in January.

“I’ve put in the right work to go a long way and I want to make an impact.”

Wright saw off the challenge of Gilding in the second round, winning four consecutive legs to go from 4-4 to 8-4 up, before taking out 77 to complete a 13-7 win and reach the quarter-finals for the first time.