Gerwyn Price lost to Ryan Joyce
Scroll down to watch Mensur Suljovic's antics

Darts results: Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith, Damon Heta and Josh Rock suffer shock exits on day one of the Players Championship Finals

Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith crashed out of the Cazoo Players Championship Finals after suffering shock first-round defeats on Friday.

An awful sporting day for Wales got even worse at the Butlin's Minehead Resort when Price succumbed to Ryan Joyce in a deciding leg.

The Iceman, who lost his Grand Slam of Darts crown last week despite a strong of high-quality displays, found himself trailing his Geordie opponent 3-0 and 4-2 before winning back-to-back legs in 12 and 11 darts to level the scores.

Price had to come from behind again to take the match all the way only for Joyce to pinch it with his fourth match dart of the leg having spurned all three at double 16 in his previous visit before the Welshman fluffed three of his own.

Smith also slipped to defeat in a deciding leg less than a week after landing his maiden major title.

Bully Boy finally ended his wait for glory at the Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday and many claimed it would open the floodgates for him on the big stage.

That may well prove to be the case in the coming months and years but not this weekend, as he suffered a 6-5 defeat to Richie Edhouse in the opening round.

In a hard-fought encounter, Smith came from behind to open up a 5-3 lead but after missing a match dart at double top, his opponent came back to keep the game alive with an incredible shot at double eight.

Edhouse pinched the next leg against the throw to force a decider after the St Helens man missed another attempt to finish the match on the bullseye - and he held his nerve with the darts to claim one of his finest career wins.

Smith averaged 98 compared to his opponent's 86 but missing as many as 11 darts at doubles in such a short format will always cause problems.

Meanwhile, Mensur Suljovic may find himself in hot water for his antics during a 6-2 defeat against James Wade.

The Austrian was trailing 4-0 and averaging below 80 in a first-round encounter at the Butlin's Minehead Resort when he missed six clear darts at double 12 to pull a leg back.

Clearly frustrated with the situation, he would subsequently fire one dart at double 12 in each of his opening four visits in the next leg - hitting it once and going inside for single 12 on the other three occasions - but remarkably still managed to take it in 24 darts as Wade missed four attempts for the match.

Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 with his first dart of the leg
Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 with his first dart of the leg

Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 at the start of his second visit of the leg
Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 at the start of his second visit of the leg

Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 at the start of his third visit of the leg
Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 at the start of his third visit of the leg

Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 at the start of his fourth visit of the leg
Mensur Suljovic opted for double 12 at the start of his fourth visit of the leg

Suljovic would pull another back but it merely delayed the inevitable as the Machine booked his place in round two with an average of 89 compared to his opponent's 79.

At worst, such behaviour may go down as 'not playing to the best of his ability' and could prompt a fine but if nothing else it will be widely regarded as unsporting.

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Elsewhere, top seed Damon Heta suffered a shock exit while man of the moment Josh Rock also crashed out in Minehead.

The Australian, who won two of this season's 30 Players Championship events this season and collected more prize money than anyone else, once again struggled to transfer his electric floor form onto the televised stages as he lost 6-5 to the little known Ricardo Pietreczko.

Heta has suffered early exits in all of this year's majors except the UK Open at this same Butlin's resort, where he reached the quarter-finals, and the World Cup, which he won alongside Simon Whitlock for Australia.

Pietreczko, who won his maiden PDC Tour Card back in January, is making his Players Championship Finals debut having sneaked into the field as the 64th and final seed while his only other major experience is this year's UK Open.

But he defied the odds and any big stage nerves to come through a nervy last-leg decider and clinch victory with a 92 average compared to Heta's 96.

Meanwhile Rock was another early casualty as he crashed out to Cameron Menzies 6-3.

The Northern Irishman, who hit the headlines for his nine-dart finish against Michael van Gerwen at the Grand Slam of Darts, was expected to set up a rematch with the Dutchman in Minehead but couldn't get past Menzies.

The Scotsman produced a fine display, averaging 99 compared to Rock's 96 and hit five of the nine maximums in the match.

Elsewhere, third seed Nathan Aspinall paid the price for a profligate display as he succumbed 6-4 to Martijn Kleermaker, and the Dutchman will play Matt Campbell for a place in the last 16, after the clinical Canadian accounted for Steve Beaton.

However, six-time champion Michael van Gerwen avoided the same fate as his main rivals, reeling off three straight legs to come through a high-quality tussle against Suffolk’s Ryan Meikle.

Van Gerwen – chasing a record-extending seventh title at this event – closed out a 6-3 victory to create a tie against Cameron Menzies, who impressed in defeating Josh Rock by the same scoreline.

“It’s only a short format so you have to play your best if you want to win games,” reflected Van Gerwen, who averaged 102 and converted six of his 11 attempts at double.

“Cameron Menzies is a good player and when he’s on it, he can do some real damage, but I don’t care who I play, you have to beat them all to win this tournament.”

Second seed Luke Humphries also avoided an early exit, producing a professional display in his 6-3 success against Nathan Rafferty, and Mike De Decker now awaits, after the Belgian toppled Jim Williams in a contest featuring nine 180s.

Danny Noppert produced the performance of the opening day in Minehead, converting stunning 140 and 164 finishes in consecutive legs to complete a 6-1 demolition of Simon Whitlock.

Noppert - making his first Minehead appearance since a UK Open triumph in March - averaged 106 and defied five 180s from Whitlock to book a meeting with ten-time TV title winner James Wade, who swept aside a below-par Mensur Suljovic.

European Champion Ross Smith produced a flawless display of finishing to dispatch debutant Gian van Veen, converting all six of his attempts at double to set up a mouth-watering showdown against Jonny Clayton – a whitewash winner against John O’Shea.

Former World Champions Rob Cross and Gary Anderson will collide in another tasty tussle, after both men produced battling displays in wins over Kevin Doets and Gabriel Clemens respectively.

Fourth seed Dirk van Duijvenbode recovered from 4-2 down to defeat Mickey Mansell in a last-leg decider, and his reward is a second round clash against 2018 winner Daryl Gurney, who ran out a comfortable 6-3 winner against Keegan Brown.

Masters champion Joe Cullen reeled off four straight legs to ease past Rowby-John Rodriguez and set up a second round tussle against Kim Huybrechts, who posted a 101 average in his 6-4 success against Grand Slam semi-finalist Raymond van Barneveld.

Former finalist Dave Chisnall returned to winning ways on the big stage, defying a spirited rally from Niels Zonneveld to move through to an encounter against Scott Williams, who dumped out Grand Slam quarter-finalist Alan Soutar earlier in the day.

Jose De Sousa reeled off five consecutive legs to record an emphatic 6-2 win over Dutch debutant Danny Jansen, and the Portuguese ace will face Krzysztof Ratajski in round two, after Poland’s number one saw off William O’Connor.

UK Open semi-finalist Keane Barry continued his love affair with Minehead to dump out two-time finalist Adrian Lewis, and the Irishman will return to play Andrew Gilding, who posted a ton-plus average in his 6-2 success against Ricky Evans.

Martin Schindler also averaged in three figures in his 6-4 victory over Vincent van der Voort, fending off the Dutchman’s late rally to create a last 32 tie against Chris Dobey, who breezed past Geert Nentjes 6-1 to advance.

Meanwhile, last year’s finalist Ryan Searle completed an impressive comeback win over two-time runner-up Mervyn King on Stage Two, and he will play Jamie Hughes on Saturday afternoon, after the Tipton star claimed the scalp of Stephen Bunting.

The battle to claim the last piece of silverware before the World Championship continues on Saturday, with 16 second round ties played across the Main Stage and Stage Two in the afternoon.

Round Two winners will then return in the evening session to compete for a place in the quarter-finals, with eight games played across both stages.

Players Championship Finals: Daily schedule & results

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Friday November 25
Session time 1030-1830
First Round (Best of 11 legs)
Main Stage (TV Coverage: ITV4)

  • Rob Cross 6-3 Kevin Doets
  • Joe Cullen 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
  • Ricardo Pietreczko 6-5 Damon Heta
  • James Wade 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
  • Cameron Menzies 6-3 Josh Rock
  • Ross Smith 6-2 Gian van Veen
  • Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 Martin Lukeman
  • Danny Noppert 6-1 Simon Whitlock
  • Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Michael Smith
  • Ryan Joyce 6-5 Gerwyn Price
  • Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Ryan Meikle
  • Luke Humphries 6-3 Nathan Rafferty
  • Dave Chisnall 6-3 Niels Zonneveld

Stage Two

  • Andrew Gilding 6-2 Ricky Evans
  • Callan Rydz 6-5 Madars Razma
  • Daryl Gurney 6-3 Keegan Brown
  • Scott Williams 6-4 Alan Soutar
  • Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Brendan Dolan
  • Mike De Decker 6-4 Jim Williams
  • Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 William O'Connor
  • Keane Barry 6-4 Adrian Lewis
  • Jose de Sousa 6-2 Danny Jansen
  • Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Mickey Mansell
  • Ryan Searle 6-4 Mervyn King
  • Jamie Hughes 6-4 Stephen Bunting
  • Chris Dobey 6-1 Geert Nentjes
  • Martin Schindler 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
  • Jonny Clayton 6-0 John O'Shea
  • Matt Campbell 6-3 Steve Beaton
  • Gary Anderson 6-4 Gabriel Clemens

Saturday November 26
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Second Round (Best of 11 legs)
Main Stage (TV Coverage: ITV4)

  • Dirk van Duijvenbode v Daryl Gurney
  • Ritchie Edhouse v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
  • Ross Smith v Jonny Clayton
  • Luke Humphries v Mike De Decker
  • Danny Noppert v James Wade
  • Cameron Menzies v Michael van Gerwen
  • Joe Cullen v Kim Huybrechts

Stage Two

  • Ricardo Pietreczko v Callan Rydz
  • Andrew Gilding v Keane Barry
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Jose De Sousa
  • Martin Schindler v Chris Dobey
  • Ryan Joyce v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Martijn Kleermaker v Matt Campbell
  • Dave Chisnall v Scott Williams
  • Ryan Searle v Jamie Hughes

Evening Session (7pm)
Third Round (Best of 19 legs)
TV Coverage: ITV4

Main Stage

  • Four games

Stage Two

  • Four games

Sunday November 27
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
TV Coverage: ITV4

Main Stage

  • Four games

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: ITV4
Semi-Finals (Best of 21 Legs)

  • Two games

Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

Plus PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final

What TV channel is the Players Championship Finals on?

The 2021 Players Championship Finals will be broadcast live on lTV4 and through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners. Stage Two will be streamed through PDCTV.

Players Championship Finals: Past winners

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