World Darts Championship: Michael Smith stuns nine-dart Gerwyn Price as Peter Wright wins a thriller


‘Bully Boy’ ends the hopes of world No 1 Price to reach semi-finals against James Wade; Gary Anderson makes it through to his seventh semi-finals at the Worlds where he will tackle fellow Scot Peter Wright for a place in Monday’s final

Last Updated: 02/01/22 12:00am

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Price gave the Ally Pally crowd something to celebrate hitting the THIRD nine-darter at this year’s Worlds

Price gave the Ally Pally crowd something to celebrate hitting the THIRD nine-darter at this year’s Worlds

Michael Smith ended the defence of Gerwyn Price at the World Championship, despite a magnificent nine-dart finish from the world No 1 in a quarter-final classic at Alexandra Palace on Super Saturday at the darts.

‘Bully Boy’ produced arguably his greatest-ever performance on the biggest stage of them all to defeat Price and set up a semi-final date with James Wade, who whitewashed Mervyn King earlier in the day.

Peter Wright survived an onslaught from young Callan Rydz to reach the final four where he will play fellow Scot Gary Anderson.

Smith ends Price hopes of retaining title

Smith shared his thoughts after winning an incredible contest to reach his second World Championship semi-finals

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Smith shared his thoughts after winning an incredible contest to reach his second World Championship semi-finals

Smith shared his thoughts after winning an incredible contest to reach his second World Championship semi-finals

Despite a 121 from Smith, it was the Welsh ace who edged the opener with a 109.98 average. However, the 2019 finalist bounced back with three straight legs, including a 107 to make it a level game.

A superb 130 finish saw Price break Smith's throw in the third set

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A superb 130 finish saw Price break Smith’s throw in the third set

A superb 130 finish saw Price break Smith’s throw in the third set

The world No 1 planted a neat 125 checkout and a 130 on the bullseye as he wrapped up the third set to retake the lead.

Price then threw the third nine-darter of the Worlds in the second leg of the fourth set, but it was ‘Bully Boy’ who eventually claimed it with checkouts of 96 and 130 with an average of 121.30.

'Bully Boy' won the fourth set thanks to this astonishing 130 finish of his own

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‘Bully Boy’ won the fourth set thanks to this astonishing 130 finish of his own

‘Bully Boy’ won the fourth set thanks to this astonishing 130 finish of his own

A 108 sealed the fifth set for ‘The Iceman’ but Smith wasn’t going anywhere and he bounced back to whitewash his opponent and restore parity at 3-3, winning the set with just 38 darts (11, 13 and 14) and a 118.66 average.

The defending champion cleaned up 74 to edge the seventh set in a decider. After Price squandered two match darts, Smith punished his opponent to send the contest into a decider.

Smith moved within one leg of the semi-finals with this ice-cool 126

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Smith moved within one leg of the semi-finals with this ice-cool 126

Smith moved within one leg of the semi-finals with this ice-cool 126

‘Bully Boy’ broke throw in the first leg and he followed it up with a gutsy 126 on the bull before sealing a phenomenal win on double 12.

Smith told Sky Sports: “When I hit the 126 I started shaking like mad. I had to compose myself. I’m in the semi-final and one step from living out my dream. This is my chance.”

World Darts Championship – New Year’s Day Evening Results

QF Peter Wright 5-4 Callan Rydz
QF Gerwyn Price 4-5 Michael Smith

Wright wins epic against dynamite kid

An emotional Wright set up a semi-final encounter with two-time champion Anderson after battling his way through an epic

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An emotional Wright set up a semi-final encounter with two-time champion Anderson after battling his way through an epic

An emotional Wright set up a semi-final encounter with two-time champion Anderson after battling his way through an epic

Rydz made an explosive start with a 152 checkout and the 23-year-old from Newcastle upon Tyne showed why he is one of the most talked-about players in world darts by cleaning up 94 with a 110 average to take an early lead.

Rydz won two legs in the second set with identical 106 finishes

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Rydz won two legs in the second set with identical 106 finishes

Rydz won two legs in the second set with identical 106 finishes

‘The Riot’, who will break into the top 32 in the world after the tournament, continued his stunning checkout streak with identical 106 finishes in the first and third legs before firing in a calm 105 to claim the second set with a 99 average and six out of seven on doubles.

A 112 from Wright helped him on his way to the third set, but back came debutant Rydz to punish ‘Snakebite’ with a 97 break of throw and double two for a 3-1 lead in the race to five.

Wright took out this spectacular 140 in the opening leg of the fifth set

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Wright took out this spectacular 140 in the opening leg of the fifth set

Wright took out this spectacular 140 in the opening leg of the fifth set

The 2012 champion was not giving up that easily though and he nailed 140, 91, and 84 for an 11-darter to reduce the deficit. He came millimetres away from a nine-darter in the third leg of the sixth set. After landing eight perfect darts he went below double 12 for what would have been the third perfect leg of the Worlds.

'Snakebite' came so close to making the third nine-darter at this year's Worlds...

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‘Snakebite’ came so close to making the third nine-darter at this year’s Worlds…

‘Snakebite’ came so close to making the third nine-darter at this year’s Worlds…

Wright did draw level with a roof-raising 96 (20, D18, D20) and he opened his account in set seven with a 96 two-dart combination. Rydz then punished Wright for crucial missed doubles to clinch it 3-1, although the Scot swept through the eighth to send the contest into a decider.

The quarter-final inevitably went to a tie-breaker but it was ‘Snakebite’ who showed his years of experience to come through an incredible tungsten encounter.

“I love Gary Anderson to bits. Hopefully the game is as good as that one or even better,” Wright said.

Live World Darts Championship

January 2, 2022, 7:30pm

Live on

World Darts Championship – Sunday’s semi-finals at the Worlds

Peter Wright vs Gary Anderson
James Wade vs Michael Smith

World Darts Championship – New Year’s Day Afternoon Results

QF James Wade 5-0 Mervyn King
QF Luke Humphries 2-5 Gary Anderson

Ando stays on course for third title

Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

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Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

Luke Humphries made a storming start, winning all three legs without reply, averaging 102.48. Anderson replied by winning the next in a deciding leg, despite just 25 per cent on the doubles.

Anderson broke Humphries with this 104 checkout to take control of the third set

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Anderson broke Humphries with this 104 checkout to take control of the third set

Anderson broke Humphries with this 104 checkout to take control of the third set

‘The Flying Scotsman’ pinned tops for a 104 en route to winning the third set against the throw, but back came Humphries to claim the fourth 3-1 and restore parity. The 51-year-old picked the Berkshire thrower’s pocket with a magnificent 110 to regain the upper-hand.

Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

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Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

A classy 148 followed a fine double 11 under pressure put Anderson on the brink of a semi-final berth. And a fourth ton-plus finish of 108 helped the Scot on his way to completing a 5-2 victory with a 96.3 average and eight 180s in total.

Wade through under the radar?

James Wade feels he shouldn't be seen as going under the radar after hammering Mervyn King

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James Wade feels he shouldn’t be seen as going under the radar after hammering Mervyn King

James Wade feels he shouldn’t be seen as going under the radar after hammering Mervyn King

King was left to rue two missed darts for the first set with left-hander Wade, making his 18th consecutive appearance at the Worlds, snatching it in a decider with double 10. Aldershot ace Wade doubled his lead with a second 180, despite an average of just 86.79.

Wade, who has enjoyed a more simple passage through to his first appearance in the quarter-finals for five years, hit tops for a 3-0 lead before cleaning up 70 to move one set away from wrapping up victory.

And ‘The Machine’ breezed into his fourth semi-finals at Alexandra Palace by pinning his favourite double 10 to complete a demolition job on the 55-year-old veteran.

“I’m not under the radar,” Wade said. “People like (Wayne) Mardle don’t think I’m good enough. But I won more than he did.”

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