Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright returned to his winning ways last weekend as he beat Michael Smith in Sunday’s final to take down the Melbourne Darts Masters title at the Hisense Arena, one round after beating Mighty Michael van Gerwen in the semis one round earlier.
Wright now becomes the fifth World Series winner after five events in 2018 after Michael van Gerwen won in Auckland a week ago, the first of three Antipodean-hosted World Series events, the next of which takes place this coming weekend in Brisbane. Your other 2018 winners are Gary Anderson, who won Las Vegas; Mensur Suljovic, who won the German Darts Masters back in May; and this week’s losing finalist, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith, who claimed the Shanghai Darts Masters in July.
Wright, who won the 2017 German Darts Masters, now scoops his second World Series title after overcoming Michael Smith 11-8 to end his run of bad form in which he hadn’t won a televised final in 2018. Even more perversely, in 2017 he become only the fourth man ever to win 10 during a calendar year, demonstrating just how far he’d fallen this season.
The path to taking Melbourne
His return to form came in earnest when he overcame last week’s Auckland Darts Masters champion Van Gerwen 11-5 in the last four, a win aided by a sloppy MVG firing three successive darts into the bullseye as his usual poise deserted him. In the evening’s other semi, Smith defeated the third seed, Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson 11-5 to make the final.
During said final, Wright averaged around two points less than his rival as he banked 97 under 99. For the rest of the match they were almost inseparable, matching each other almost dart for dart and throw for throw, scoring five 180s and two ton-plus finishes each.
The deadlock continued for thirteen sets before Wright finally made a breakthrough and landed a 130 checkout to break throw and take the 14th leg to lead 8-6. Once ahead, Wright found his rhythm to score a third break in a row with a 131 as part of a 12-darter. This was followed by a 15-darter to hold his throw and take down a 10-7 margin. By the time he returned to the oche, all he had to do was close out the 11-8 win.
The players now head to Queensland to compete for the inaugural Brisbane Darts Masters from August 17-19 at the BCEC.
2018 World Series of Darts winners so far
- Mensur Suljovic – German Darts Masters (May)
- Gary Anderson – US Darts Masters (July)
- Michael Smith – Shanghai Darts Masters (July)
- Michael van Gerwen – Auckland Darts Masters (August)
- Peter Wright – Melbourne Darts Masters (August)
Brisbane Darts Masters betting tips
For those that fancy Peter Wright to pick up where he left off, you’ll be pleased to know that Betway have placed an 8/1 price on his head to win outright in Brisbane. Remember, though: we have had five different winners from five events.
If you’re looking for a new name this time around then your best bet would seemingly be Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross, available at 11/2. The 8/11 favourite is, understandably, Michael van Gerwen, just ahead of Gary Anderson’s 11/2. It’s the Scotsman who gets our money this week. Michael Smith — winner in Shanghai — is at 14’s, while the Aussie pair of Corey Cadby (22/1) and Simon Whitlock (33/1) are considered outside chances, as is Raymond van Barneveld at 28/1.