Prolific Price crowned world champion after brushing aside Anderson at Alexandra Palace
Gerwyn Price secured World Darts Championship glory on Sunday evening at Alexandra Palace as he comfortably overcame Gary Anderson.
Welshman Price fulfilled his darting dream in the sport’s showpiece staging, completing an emphatic 7-3 victory over the two-time champion to lift the famous Sid Waddell Trophy.
‘The Iceman’ ousted compatriot Jamie Lewis, Brendan Dolan, Mervyn King and Daryl Gurney in deciding set thrillers, before denying Stephen Bunting to reach his first ever World Championship final.
Seven years after earning his place amongst the professionals, Price now becomes the latest maiden world title holder, and as a result of his success leapfrogs Michael van Gerwen to top the darting ladder.
“This means everything to me. It means the world,” Price told Sky Sports, having also secured the World Grand Prix, World Series of Darts Finals and World Cup of Darts titles this season.
“I bombed numerous opportunities to win it towards the end, but I knew that I had put myself in such a good position that I would have another chance. Gary missed to give it to me and I’m glad I took it.
“I’ve never felt pressure like that in my life. It was so tough to hit that winning double, but the feeling after doing it is so difficult to explain. I’m the world champion – it’s unbelievable.
“I’m proud to be world number one too. It’s probably even tougher to achieve that than it is to become world champion. To manage both is incredible for me.”
A wasteful Anderson missed four set darts in a nervy opener, with two-time Grand Slam of Darts winner Price capitalising on his Scottish counterpart’s errors, reeling off three legs on the bounce to snatch the ascendancy.
Anderson responded with successive 15-darters and combination outshots of 71 and 128 to move on the cusp of restoring parity, before Price squandered two darts at double eight to hand his opponent the second stanza.
At one apiece, a determined Price began to make his mark, recording a remarkable 120 average in the third set to regain his slender advantage, prior to doubling his lead in the succeeding set.
Price’s proficiency continued to gather pace and his expertise in the finishing department remained imperative, as the Welshman nailed clutch checkouts of 84 and 120 to move 3-1 in front.
Further essential combination finishes of 76, 83 and 95 awarded Price with a three-set advantage, with his priceless double tops hitting moving the 36-year-old closer to a maiden world crown.
Consecutive ton-plus finishes soon followed for Price, followed by an impressive nine-darter attempt – which saw him narrowly miss double 12 for perfection, in a winning set that witnessed him average a record-breaking 136.64.
“He’s a bystander, he’s an onlooker” were the words of commentator Wayne Mardle in regards to the struggling Anderson as he fell two legs behind in set seven, but the Scotsman subsequently reeled off three in succession to reduce the deficit to 5-2 in Price’s favour.
‘The Iceman’ edged the eighth set and regained his four-set advantage, though, the Welshman would proceed to squander nine match darts, allowing his opponent to remain in contention in a one-sided contest.
A mini-onslaught resumed for the Scotsman as he fabricated a two-nil lead in the subsequent set, but Price’s moment finally arrived, pinning back-to-back 13-darters followed by a scrappy final leg to reign triumphant.
Price was soon under the spotlight in the epicentre of the deserted Alexandra Palace auditorium, setting his sights on the iconic trophy, before lifting it aloft with a great deal of jubilation.
The proud Markham man joins illustrious company in Leighton Rees, Richie Burnett, Mark Webster and more recently Wayne Warren as darts’ Welsh world champions.
After returning home to celebrate with his wife and two daughters, a delighted Price will be announced for the first time as the reigning world champion at the Masters towards the end of this month.
2021 WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP
Alexandra Palace, London
Sunday January 3
Gerwyn Price 7-3 Gary Anderson
(3-2, 1-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-2)
(Featured Image: Chris Dean/PDC)