By Phil Lanning
At The Ally Pally
PETER WRIGHT admitted he believes he will be a double World Champion after an epic win over Gary Anderson.
The Livingston-born ace delivered a huge display to beat his Scottish buddy 6-4 in a proper semi-final slugfest at the Ally Pally last night.
Wright, 51, revealed he was in tears after Ando KO’d him seven years ago but there was no repeat of the pain and now faces Michael Smith in tonight’s final.
He will now bid to emulate Jocky Wilson and Anderson’s two world title wins and said: “Wow. To get a win over Gary Anderson, one of the greatest Scottish darts ever.
“I knew he would come back but I couldn’t stop him. I’ve been struggling with a knee injury and fatigue set in. But I need to rest up and it will be OK for tomorrow.
“I had flashes of brilliance and then I went off but I’m ready for the final.
“I am defending this from two years ago and I have got to try and do a job. I’m here to try and win it for a second time.
“I already believe that I am going to be a double World Champion. Whether it is this year or not, we will see, but tune in.”
Wright is bidding to reclaim the title he won two years ago against Michael van Gerwen but he reckons that defeat to Anderson in 2015 made him a better player.
He added: “I was sat backstage that day and I had missed darts at crucial times. It could have been a lot closer.
“I was in tears. I thought: Why do I want to play this game.
“But I have brushed myself off and become a better champion. I sorted myself out and have gone on and won it since.
“That was quite a few years ago and I’ve learnt, I’ve become a World Champion and a Matchplay champion and No.2 in the world for that reason.
“It is for that reason. It is because you forget the rubbish and get on with the future.”
Wright started the slightly more efficient, taking the opening set with double eight with a break of throw.
Anderson kicked off the second set but Wright took the set in a deciding leg to lead by two. Then The Flying Scotsman missed two darts at doubles and Wright made it 3-0 in sets to take full control.
But back came Ando to take a must-win fourth set to keep him in the contest and then a wonderful 105 finish to narrow the deficit to 3-2 in sets.
Wright then missed double 12 for a perfect nine-dart leg but wrapped up another set in style before Anderson once again pulled it back to trail 4-3.
However, Wright was scoring big and hit another clinical finish with double 16 to take the set and go within one of victory.
Wright then broke the record for the most 180s ever scored in a match with his 23rd before adding a 24th in the final leg and tops checkout to seal an epic win with a 104 average.
Images by Taylor Lanning.