Wright falls short in play-off bid

DASHED HOPES: Peter Wrights Premier League play-off bid ended last week           PICTURE: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC
DASHED HOPES: Peter Wrights Premier League play-off bid ended last week PICTURE: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Peter Wright saw his hopes of reaching this year’s Betway Premier League play-offs come to an end in Rotterdam last week.

The Mendham-based thrower was in a defiant mood in front of a raucous sellout crowd at the Ahoy Arena, who were backing home favourite Raymond van Barneveld.

The Scot had given his play-off chances a boost by beating Phil Taylor and James Wade, but needed to beat van Barneveld to have a realistic shot of finishing in the top four.

Barney took out checkouts of 101 and 120 in legs two and four, with Wright then checking out 115 to take a 3-2 lead.

The world number five hit double tops to finish off a 13 darter in the ninth leg to go 5-4 up and gained the crucial first break of the match in leg 10.

Snakebite took out 64 to move 6-4 in front and within one leg of victory, but Barney responded with a 12 darter to immediately break back.

A 121 checkout closed Wright’s lead to 6-5, with van Barneveld punishing two missed match darts by Snakebite in the next leg to claim a share of the spoils.

It meant that Adrian Lewis needed to win just two legs in the next match against Gary Anderson to keep hold of fourth spot and take the last play-off spot up for grabs.

The two-time world champion eased to a 7-2 victory over Wright’s World Cup teammate to finish in fourth spot and set up a semi-final clash with world number one Michael van Gerwen at The O2 Arena.

n Wright enjoyed a run to the semi-finals of the HappyBet European Darts Matchplay at the weekend, missing out on a place in the final after losing 6-3 to beaten finalist Dave Chisnall on Sunday night.

The second seed began his campaign with a comeback 6-5 win over Darren Webster in the last 32 on Saturday.

Wright found himself 5-2 down to the Norwich thrower but fought back to win four legs in a row to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.

The Scot then beat Jamie Caven 6-3 before recording a narrow 6-4 success over home favourite Max Hopp in the quarter-finals.

Wright’s run in Hamburg was brought to an end in the semi-finals by Chisnall who, after beating a below-par Snakebite 6-3, lost 6-5 to James Wade in the final.

With van Gerwen not in action this weekend, Wright will be the top seed for the Players Championship double-header in Coventry, which starts at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow afternoon.