Peter Wright missed out on the chance of challenging for a second title this year after suffering a Unibet European Championship semi-final loss.
The night at the Ethias Arena in Belgium at the weekend proved an agonising one for the Mendham-based world number four as he lost out to rival and world number one Michael van Gerwen.
‘Snakebite’ looked set to complete an impressive turnaround after coming back from 5-0 down, to trail just 8-7 only to waste his chance to level when he twice missed a single number, denying himself a dart at a double.
Van Gerwen stepped in to move 9-7 up and sealed victory with a run of 11, 11 and 13 darts as he moved into the final.
“I mentor young Nathan Derry on the circuit and tell him all the time that the big single number is the most important number and the one you concentrate on, and I didn’t there tonight,” conceded Wright after the agonising defeat.
“It should have been eight-all and it might have been a different story, but I’m happy with reaching the semi-finals. The darts are starting to work for me now and with a bit more work I’ll be ready for the next tournament.
“Michael played well there and I enjoyed the game. You’ve got to play well against the number one player in the world and in those first five legs I should have won them and didn’t and I was chasing the game after that.”
The Unibet European Championship was the PDC’s first major televised event to be held in Belgium and attracted over 10,000 fans throughout the three days.
n The final saw van Gerwen fight back from 10-7 down to beat Gary Anderson 11-10 and retain his title.
Anderson had looked set to add to his Premier League and Players ‘Championship Finals triumphs when he took a 10-7 lead over van Gerwen.
However, the Dutchman took the last four legs as he edged out the Scot to claim glory.
n Wright is back in action this weekend in the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall as he aims to progress from group D, which includes Dave Chisnall, Mervyn King and Scott Mitchell.