by George Willoughby
The Iceman has played some excellent darts but has struggled for winning form in the ongoing Premier League.
One of the most consistent performers in world darts right now is Gerwyn Price. The Iceman has been performing at a world class level. Currently ranked third in the world, the man from Markham is flying the flag high for Wales. Price is still very early in his career in the sport – earning his first tour card back in 2014 – but that has not stopped him from competing against some of darts’ best.
Just recently, Gerywn Price came runner-up in this year’s UK Open. His appearance in the final marked the second time he has competed for the title. Unfortunately, as was the case in 2017, he fell just short of glory. Losing to world number one Michael Van Gerwen is nothing to be ashamed of, but the standards Price sets himself meant he left the Minehead stage in frustration. Seemingly in control, The Iceman missed a dart at double 20 to extend his lead to 6-2. He followed this up by also squandering an opportunity on double 16 for 7-3.
Synonymous with Michael Van Gerwen’s success is his ability to capitalise on his opponents’ mistakes. So, when Price continued to miss darts at doubles, MVG worked his way back into the match. The Dutchman had led the game just once after winning the opening leg of the match. He regained control at 8-7 punishing Price’s inability to take advantage of his opportunities.
The Iceman had it all to do when MVG checked out a scintillating 136. However, just as it seemed the match was over, Price never gave up and hit back with a break of the Van Gerwen throw. He gave himself just one dart at the bullseye to send the match to a decider, but to his agony, the dart strayed into the bed of the 25. As expected, MVG closed the match out with the relief on his face to clear to see.
Gerwyn Price had a double percentage of just 28%. Not many players can have 32 darts at doubles against the world number one, but Price’s scoring was superb throughout.
Price would have to quickly forget the opportunity missed at Minehead as he would be back in Premier League action. He would have the chance for vengeance against Michael Van Gerwen, who entered Thursday evening third in the table.
Both players came out quickly averaging over 100 through the first three legs of the match. As expected, either player trying to find a break of throw was a troublesome task. MVG thought he would secure the first of the game, but Price took out 157 to go into a 4-3 lead.
It was a back-and-forth affair with some high quality darts, but the turning point in the match came in the 11th leg. Van Gerwen took the lead and would close out the match in style. MVG averaged an impressive 106.27 with Price the victim of another great performance from the previously crowned UK Open champion.
The Welshman will face Nathan Aspinall in round seven in Newcastle.