Peter Wright burst into tears and blasted “I’ve finally done it” after becoming the fourth Scottish World darts Champion.
The Livingston star delivered a sensational performance to beat World No.1 Michael van Gerwen 7-3 at the Ally Pally last night.
Snakebite, the second oldest champ at 49, was dominant throughout and hardly allowed MVG a chance to land the £500,000 winning cheque.
Wright said: “I can’t believe it, I’ve finally done it. I couldn’t believe I missed two darts at the double 10 to win it, and I thought ‘oh no not again’.
“But I finally hit it and it’s got such a nice ring to it to be World Champion. I’m so happy for me and thanks for my family for all their support.
“I used to get beaten all the time by Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, all these players keep coming through like Gerwyn Price and I’ve finally done it.
Van Gerwen admitted: “I can only blame myself his finishing was phenomenal. I had chances to go in front of him, I didn’t take them and if you do that to a player like Peter Wright you won’t win.
“I will be back next year stronger. Peter all credit to him because he got away with a scare early on and played a phenomenal championship. I need to do better next time.
The Ally Pally broke into a spine-tingling “Peter, Peter Wright” before his walk-on, incredible reception for a Scot in London. In contrast, the Palace was a cacophony of boos for the Dutch star as he entered the arena.
Wright, decked out in purple hair and shirt, was outstanding in purple patches. He started like a freight train with a 180 and 140 in the opening leg but missed three darts to checkout and MVG swooped in with 88 for an early break.
But Snakebite immediately hit back but a brilliant 86 with bull from the World No.1 forced it level. However, MVG then missed bull for 170 kill and Wright took the opening set with tops.
Wright was slightly the better player and crucially broke MVG with 81 in the second set. Then another wonderful leg saw Wright take tops for a 2-0 set lead.
That just seemed to anger the beast MVG. He then broke Wright’s throw and set in just 37 darts to halve the deficit in what seemed a blink of an eye.
Back came Wright with a break and a glorious 140 finish but he missed a dart at tops to extend his lead again – and of course MVG gobbled up the chance with double eight to restore parity.
The mean, green juggernaut was really hitting top speed now but Wright continued to fight with seven perfect darts to keep it level in the fifth set. Remarkably six missed doubles for MVG let Wright sneak ahead with tops. More gasps as Van Gerwen missed another finish and the Scot was 3-2 up with a classy 96 checkout.
The Dutchman was under pressure and missing and this time it was Wright snaffling the opportunity to take out 80 and win the sixth set without reply.
Snakey was in command, MVG was all fluoro but no fluidity and the Scot took his seventh leg in succession.
But MVG, as you would expect, was far from finished. He rattled the next four legs off to get back within one in sets and lead the eighth set. Both were averaging 105 in an absorbing encounter.
In the decider a massive moment, Van Gerwen missed tops and Wright cooly took out 50 with double 16 to lead 5-3.
Would that bottle that MVG questioned hold for the Scot?
Suddenly Van Gerwen was snatching darts and Wrighty was on the brink of glory with a nerveless tops finish and 6-3 in front.
Bizarrely MVG then marched off the stage thinking there was a break when there wasn’t and had to start the final set having walked straight back on.
Wright then broke the Dutchman in the first leg and final set and was now just two legs from history.
However Van Gerwen was still battling and came within one dart of a perfect leg to stop the rot.
Snakebite then delivered another ice in the veins cool 76 finish to go within one leg and within touching distance of glory.
Then Wright’s bottle held to nail the final dart, appropriating double 10 and finally end his 10-final MVG losing hoodoo and become the fourth Scottish World Champion.
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)
Photography courtesy of Taylor Lanning (@taylanningpix)