Melbourne Darts Masters results: Peter Wright defeats Michael Smith in final to claim World Series of Darts title

Peter Wright beat Michael Smith to win the Melbourne Darts Masters (Pic: PDC/Ian Curry)
Peter Wright beat Michael Smith to win the Melbourne Darts Masters (Pic: PDC/Ian Curry)

Peter Wright beat Michael van Gerwen in the semis and Michael Smith in the final to claim the Melbourne Darts Masters title.

Wright became the fifth winner from five World Series events in 2018 and secured his second title on the PDC’s world tour after victory in the German Darts Masters in 2017.

The triumph also ended his barren run of not winning a tournament in 2018 having become only the fourth man ever to win 10 during a calendar year in 2017.

It was the two outsiders from the last four who came though to contest the final as Wright beat top seed and last week's Auckland Darts Masters champion Van Gerwen 11-5 while Smith defeated third seed and World Matchplay king Gary Anderson 11-5 in a fine semi-final performance.

The most eye-catching moment in the semi-finals was MVG's last visit before Snakebite wrapped up victory as the Dutchman fired three successive darts into the bullseye (more on the semi-finals below).

During the final, Wright averaged almost two points less than Smith in the final (97 vs 99) while they matched each other almost dart for dart with five 180s and two ton-plus finishes each.

The game wrent on throw for the first 13 legs until Wright pulled out a magnificent 130 checkout to take the 14th leg and lead 8-6, only for Smith to instantly responded with a break of throw of his own for 8-7.

A third break in a row went Wright's way in even greater style than the first with a 131 outshot this time doing the damage as he completed another 12-darter for 9-7.

A 15-darter was enough to confirm the break with a solid hold for 10-7 and Wright held his throw at the next time of asking for a fine 11-8 win against what was a stern challenge from the atlent Smith.

Super semi-final form

Snakebite had actually been in better form in his semi-final battle with Van Gerwen as he averaged 104.24 and hit six 180s to do what few people can and outscore the Dutchman during his 11-7 success.

Van gerwen also had double trouble as he converted just seven of his 24 shots at the outer ring while his highest checkout was just 94 as he failed to take out a three-figured outshot.

Bully Boy Smith was in fine form during his semi-final as he averaged just a tick over 100 and smashed in eight maximums to see off Anderson 11-5.

Anderson, like Van Gerwen, also struggled on doubles when hitting just five of 21, and although Smith was not too much better when converting 11 of 30, his better scoring meant he had enough chances to get the job done.

Post-match reaction

“It wasn’t the best final ever in terms of averages and scores but it was a battle and I’m so happy to prove winning on the World Series in Germany last year wasn’t a fluke,” said Wright after the final.

“I lost a bit of my confidence over the last few months and felt like I was getting smashed up by a lot of players and was really struggling with my game.

“Winning here feels great, I got to the final last year but couldn’t beat Phil so to go one better this year is a sign that I can start to turn things around."

It was Smith’s second final on the World Series in 2018 but unlike in Shanghai the former World Youth Champion was unable to claim the title with a final victory.

“Fair play to Peter he deserved that tonight, It was a tough match and he got the job done,” said Smith.

“It’s another final for me though and more proof that I’m getting to where I want to be, things are starting to improve and I’m happy.”

Melbourne Darts Masters: Tournament Results

Friday August 10
First Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Ray O’Donnell
  • Michael Smith 6-2 Tim Pusey
  • Rob Cross 6-2 Haupai Puha
  • Gary Anderson 6-2 James Bailey
  • Peter Wright 6-0 Mike Bonser
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Raymond Smith
  • Simon Whitlock 6-4 Corey Cadby
  • Kyle Anderson 5-6 Damon Heta

CLICK HERE FOR DAY ONE REVIEW

Saturday August 11
Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)

  • (1) Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Simon Whitlock
  • (4) Peter Wright 10-4 Raymond van Barneveld
  • (2) Rob Cross 9-10 Michael Smith
  • (3) Gary Anderson 10-7 Damon Heta

CLICK HERE FOR DAY TWO REVIEW

Sunday August 12

Semi Finals (Best of 19 legs)

  • (1) Michael van Gerwen 7-11 Peter Wright (4)
  • Michael Smith 11-5 Gary Anderson (3)

Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Peter Wright (4) 11-8 Michael Smith

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