Gerwyn Price has apologised for his behaviour during his World Darts Championship defeat to Peter Wright after initially criticising his opponent - while he's also shared a WhatsApp exchange in which they've comically buried the hatchet.
The two-time Grand Slam of Darts champion was favourite to reach his first Ally Pally final but he produced a frustratingly poor performance that Snakebite punished to deservedly win 6-3 and set up a New Year's Day clash with Michael van Gerwen.
However, the main talking point was the lack of handshake from the two players at the end of a frosty encounter that stemmed back to Wright trying to engage in some banter at the end of the first set before Price responded with over zealous celebrations in the next.
Snakebite explained to RTL 7 after his win: "When we got here, we had practice and we wound each other up, he said he’s going to win the first two sets and that I am going to switch back to my Diamond darts. When I pinched the first set, I gave him a little poke and he didn’t like it."
Price, who had brilliantly thrashed Wright in the Grand Slam of Darts final to continue his redemption with the sport's fans after becoming a villain for his antics against Gary Anderson 12 months earlier, certainly didn't look impressed and when he levelled the match in the second set he let Wright know about it.
Although the first six sets were shared, Price was well below his best throughout and when Wright stormed clear to book his second World Championship final spot, neither player attempted to shake each other's hand.
In reference to the fine Price received for the Grand Slam of Darts - that was later reduced to £10,000 - Wright added: "He’s a bully, a big bully and he should have been fined more."
Price initially responded to the criticism he was receiving from fans and pundits by tweeting a statement that read: "Thanks everyone for the support over the last two weeks, it was a great tournament for me and I loved every minute.
"It's not a rule that you have to shake hands before during or after a game. It was the biggest game of my career and I was fully focused. Before and after such an important game banter is acceptable but not during when players are fully focused trying to do a job having just bombed the first set.
"I was upset with what Peter did and I think it was out of order considering the circumstances, I never settled afterwards which really peed me off. I was rubbish from this point onwards which cost me a World Championship Final spot. Players know what they are doing and do this when they know there's a threat."
However, the following morning he sent a new statement saying: "I've had time to reflect on last night's game and personally I'm peed off with myself I let my fans and family down in the biggest game of my career and letting Peter get to me.
"I've been in this position before in games but never in a World Championship semi-final.
"I overreacted to what Peter did after set one it might of been banter but I was so in the zone and just missed a load of set darts and I wasn't ready for what he did.
"I will learn and everyone makes mistakes but I'm still new to this and still learning. I apologise to everyone who thinks I've done wrong and yeah maybe I was a bit OTT. It's a difficult place up on that stage and sometimes emotions get the better of you.
"I also apologise for not shaking his hand, it's not a rule but should of bit my tongue and done it and walked off. At the time I just wanted to get offf the stage and get home as you can imagine.
"It's been a tough year for me and to come out at the end of it playing as well as I have I should be really proud. I have personally apologised to Peter for my reactions. I wish Peter and Michael all the best in the final tomorrow night."
Price later appeared to draw a firm line under the incident, posting a WhatsApp exchange he had with Wright in which the pair aim to move on from the events of the previous evening.
Wright, meanwhile, apologised to Price for his part in the fall-out, with a message having been passed on via his wife, Jo.
In his note to Price, Wright said: "Sorry for being a (clown emoji) in the first set. I understand now and I shouldn't of done nothing to you sorry.
"I think your class and proved to the whole world you are and you and your family have gone through so much s*** like we have. so I hope we can still be friends as I would still class you as mine."
In his comment to the post on Twitter, Price said: "Hopefully this can be parked and left behind... love the bloke to bits.
"During my tough time this year Peter and Jo stuck by me and kept me positive, glad we have made up xxx."
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