Wigan double for Snakebite

GREAT WEEKEND: Peter Wright on his way to beating Michael van Gerwen. Picture: Lawrence Lustig
GREAT WEEKEND: Peter Wright on his way to beating Michael van Gerwen. Picture: Lawrence Lustig
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Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright completed a superb weekend at the Coral UK Open Qualifiers in Wigan with his second victory in three days as he edged out Michael Smith 6-5 in Sunday’s final.

The world number three had been victorious on Friday in the first of six UK Open Qualifiers as players bid to win spots in next month’s Coral UK Open TV Finals in Minehead.

After losing out to eventual champion Simon Whitlock at the last 16 stage in Qualifier Two on Saturday, Mendham-based Wright bounced back to go all the way to take the £10,000 title once more as the weekend concluded.

Once a day which featured the first nine-dart finish of 2017 — from youngster Ted Evetts — Wright overcame Stuart Dutton, Lee Bryant and Paul Harvey with 6-2 scorelines, before dropping just one leg against Stephen Bunting.

He then secured a superb 6-4 victory over world champion Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals, which was his first defeat of the world number one since June 2015 in Japan as he suffered 16 successive losses, before defeating Mick Todd 6-2 in the semi-finals.

The Scot then made a superb start to his final with Smith by landing a 180 as he broke in the opening leg, with the former World Youth champion levelling and then punishing four misses from the Scot in leg four to move 2-1 up.

Wright landed another 180 before taking out 68 in the fourth, while Smith landed three 180s in taking two of the next three before breaking for a 5-3 cushion.

Wright, though, posted two maximums in an 11-darter to break back in leg nine and another pair of 180s and an 81-bull finish forced a decider, and when Smith missed two darts at tops for victory, it was the world number three who pounced on double eight.