Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright aiming not to lose a Premier League Darts game as he maintains unbeaten start with a draw against Robert Thornton
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk star Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright maintained his unbeaten start to Premier League Darts with a hard-fought 6-6 draw against fellow Scot Robert Thornton in Exeter last night.
Despite dropping a 6-4 lead, the point was enough for ‘Snakebite’ to retain his position at the top of the league after week five, as fellow title contenders Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis also played out a draw, alongside Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall.
Thornton, who competed twice last night as Wes Newton was absent through illness, started in excellent fashion against Wright as he raced to a 2-0 and 3-1 lead after hitting two 180’s in the opening leg to break the Suffolk star.
But Wright fought back, and following a superb 116-finish, perservered to win three sets in a row to lead 4-3.
Snakebite then led 6-4 as he looked to be on course for another victory, but Thornton firstly punished Wright for missing his favoured double-16 before hitting an 11-dart leg in the decider to rescue a point.
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“I expected a tough game and it was that, and though I’m happy with a draw it feels like a point lost,” said Wright afterwards.
“I had a dart at the double 16 and should have got it - that’s my favourite double - but the way Robert started the game was amazing. I had to ride it out and then jump on top of him when he gave me a chance, and that’s what I did.
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“My target’s not to lose a game in the league, so if I can keep this up that’s great.”
Along with fellow Suffolk dart player Andrew ‘Goldfinger’ Gilding, Wright nows heads to Minehead for the Coral UK Open, where he begins his challenge for the £50,000 title tonight against Michael Smith, the World Youth Champion in Round Three.
“I’ve got a hard game against Michael,” added Wright. “He’s probably wanting revenge for me beating him in the World Championship, but I’ll be saying different and hopefully I’ll get the win again.
“It could be a weekend, and if I can get some nice draws and get to the final, maybe I could get my first big title.”
Bungay-based ‘Goldfinger’ Gilding was set to take on Wes Newton in Round Three tonight but with Newton still ill, Gilding has been given a bye into Round Four (the last 32 of the competition).
Gilding famously upset all the odds to qualify for the PDC-ranked competition - most notably when he progressed to the second Coral UK Open Qualifier final in Wigan last month after beating the likes of Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, Jelle Klaasen and James Wade.
You can watch the UK Open live on ITV 4 all weekend with proceedings kicking off this afternoon with the preliminary rounds.
As things stand, according to the sponsors’ website, Coral, Wright stands at 16/1 to win the competition, while Gilding’s odds are 325/1.