Gerwyn Price Dumped Out By Michael Smith As Wright Comes Through Epic Match

It was a tense night of darts at Ally Pally
23:27, 01 Jan 2022

The world number one and defending champion Gerwyn Price has been dumped out of the PDC World Championship by Michael Smith after a 5-4 defeat. The reigning champion and was beaten in dramatic circumstances at Ally Pally as Bully Boy progressed to take on James Wade in the last four. 

 Both players were on top form coming out of the gate but it was the Iceman that secured the first set with a clean double top. Bully Boy came back into the tie as he swept the second set and his high averages kept the world number one under pressure. However, in the third, a set that Smith should have won, Price came up with the goods to go 2-1 up. Then, in the fourth set, at one leg down, Price hit a wonderful nine-darter, but that would be the only leg he would win as Smith averaged 121.3 to make it 2-2. Absolutely ridiculous. Price then turned it on in the fifth as he went 3-2 up with relative ease, putting the pressure back on the number nine seed.

However, in another to-and-fro contest, Bully Boy began with a 180 and didn’t let up as he leveled the scores at 3-3. Price grew frustrated but used that irritation to his advantage he fought back in a tense seventh set to go 4-3 up. When Smith needed to produce he crumbled, and as we have so often seen, the Iceman has ice running through his veins.

His concentration was only briefly broken as he asked for a mouthy spectator to be removed from the venue and he missed double top for the match to allow Smith to seal the eighth set and level the score at 4-4. 

So we entered the decider. Price missed a chance to win the first leg and Smith took advantage before hitting a bullseye to go two legs up. Price came back at him but Smith missed a double 12 for the match before being given a second attempt and taking it.

The reigning champion is out. There will be a new king. 

Meanwhile, Peter Wright came through an enthralling encounter with Callan Rydz at Ally Pally to secure a 5-4 win and book his place in the semi-finals where he will face Gary Anderson. Rydz got off to an absolutely flying start as he registered a 152 checkout in the first leg and went on to win the first set 3-0 averaging a staggering 109.98. There was absolutely no sign of nerves from the 23-year-old who has taken this tournament by storm and was looking to cause a shock against the world number two. 

There were four breaks of throw in a chaotic second set but once again it was the youngster who came out on top. He bagged a 105 checkout to go 2-0 and although Snakebite was underperforming, he simply had no answer for this blistering start. 

Wright would get on the board with a third set as it finally looked as if the reality of what Rydz was achieving had set in. Although Wright missed eight darts on the outer ring in the second leg that he lost, he was clinical enough to win the set on D16. 

He then made it four consecutive legs, but couldn’t hold on to the fourth set, which the Riot bounced back to win. He landed a 97 finish and followed it up with a clinical third leg to put himself 3-1 up and put his famous opponent in all sorts of trouble.

Snakebite got back on his feet in the fifth with consecutive legs but once again Rydz made him work he pulled one back, but Wright had found his range and brought the score back to 3-2. This was a ding-dong encounter that thrilled the Ally Pally crowd.

The sixth followed the script, Wright almost landed a nine-darter, just missing the D12 before Rydz bagged a 141 finish to take it to a deciding leg. The turning point came as the Riot missed double tops to go 4-2 up, and Wright hit S20, D18, D20 to make it 3-3.

Rydz then put together an impressive series of darts but missed double 5 for the set, before Wright missed double tops, then Rydz missed his checkout, then Wright missed double tops with three darts before eventually, the youngster hit D1 to seal the set. 

However, Wright swept through the eighth to take it to a decider. He then went 2-0 up but somehow Rydz fought back under pressure to make it 2-2, but when it came to crunch time, Wright had the experience to seal the win. 5-4 to Peter Wright, who booked his place in the semi-final, but boy was he pushed all the way. 

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