De Sousa and Price clinch Players Championship crowns in Dublin
Jose de Sousa and Gerwyn Price added to their PDC title hauls as the penultimate weekend of Players Championship action took place at Dublin’s CityWest Hotel.
Price was inflamed with emotion as he edged out an in-form Krzysztof Ratajski in a heated and explosive final. The Welshman lifted his fourth title of the season and scuppered the Pole’s perfect record in PDC finals – which was extended to six following his Gibraltar Darts Trophy bonanza last weekend.
The 34-year-old opened his bid with back-to-back 6-1 thrashings of Adrian Gray and Poland’s Tytus Kanik, before edging past Simon Whitlock, surviving match darts in the process.
Price’s most scintillating showing of the day followed. He denied an inspired comeback from the Netherlands’ Jermaine Wattimena, averaging 104.8 in a blistering match.
Wins over Cristo Reyes and Ryan Joyce proceeded for the ‘Iceman’, prior to his vocal cords rising in a impassioned final.
Price was denied a second double of the year at the penultimate hurdle, as Glen Durrant pulled off an impressive 7-6 win over the Welshman in the Players Championship 28 semi-finals.
Three-time BDO world champion, Durrant, lost out in the final as Portugal’s Jose de Sousa doubled his title tally, just a matter of weeks after lifting his maiden PDC honour.
De Sousa saw off Mark Dudbridge, Stephen Burton and Mark Webster on his way to the last 16 – where he eased past his fellow Iberian thrower, Jesus Noguera.
After averaging 107.5 in a 6-1 demolition of Burton, de Sousa produced his second ton-plus average, pinning a stunning 103.3 in a 6-3 win over Kim Huybretchs to book his semi-final spot.
Austrian Darts Championship winner, Mensur Suljovic, was next to be blown away by de Sousa as the Madrid-based ace averaged 98.6 in a comfortable but convincing 7-3 victory.
De Sousa raced into a 4-1 lead against ‘Duzza’ in the final, and despite having to oversee a valiant comeback from the Middlesbrough man, clinched the £10,000 cheque and his second PDC title.
“The final was not my best game,” said de Sousa. “It was a complicated game. This final was a moment of magic for me, a great moment.
“If I play my best game I can beat almost anyone. I practice so hard, every day and I want to make a big future for myself.
“I didn’t think this was possible, I could not imagine this.”
Elsewhere, Spain’s Cristo Reyes returned to form as he reached the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon. He denied both Ted Evetts and Glen Durrant during an astonishing effort.
Alan Norris pulled off an exceptional performance as he saw off Michael van Gerwen in Saturday’s second round, while David Evans defeated Gary Anderson as Mark Webster fought past the in-form Krzysztof Ratajski.
Photography: Chris Dean/PDC