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World Darts Championship: Michael Smith stuns nine-dart Gerwyn Price as Peter Wright wins a thriller | Darts News

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‘Bully Boy’ ends the hopes of world No 1 Price to reach semi-finals against James Wade; Gary Anderson makes it through to his seventh semi-finals at the Worlds where he will tackle fellow Scot Peter Wright for a place in Monday’s final

Last Updated: 02/01/22 1:38am


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Price gave the Ally Pally crowd something to celebrate hitting the THIRD nine-darter at this year’s Worlds

Price gave the Ally Pally crowd something to celebrate hitting the THIRD nine-darter at this year’s Worlds

Michael Smith ended the title defence of Gerwyn Price at the World Championship, despite a magnificent nine-dart finish from the world No 1 in a quarter-final classic at Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day at the darts.

‘Bully Boy’ produced arguably his greatest-ever performance on the biggest stage of them all to defeat Price and set up a semi-final date with James Wade, who whitewashed Mervyn King earlier in the day.

Peter Wright survived an onslaught from young Callan Rydz to reach the final four where he will play fellow Scot Gary Anderson.

Smith shared his thoughts after winning an incredible contest to reach his second World Championship semi-finals

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Smith shared his thoughts after winning an incredible contest to reach his second World Championship semi-finals

Smith shared his thoughts after winning an incredible contest to reach his second World Championship semi-finals

Smith dethrones Price in Ally Pally stonker

Despite a 121 from Smith, it was the Welsh ace who edged the opener with a 109.98 average. However, the 2019 finalist bounced back with three straight legs, including a 107 to make it a level game.

A superb 130 finish saw Price break Smith's throw in the third set

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A superb 130 finish saw Price break Smith’s throw in the third set

A superb 130 finish saw Price break Smith’s throw in the third set

The world No 1 planted a neat 125 checkout and a 130 on the bullseye as he wrapped up the third set to retake the lead.

Price then made history by throwing the third nine-darter of the Worlds in the second leg of the fourth set, but it was ‘Bully Boy’ who eventually claimed it with checkouts of 96 and 130 – averaging an incredible 121.30.

'Bully Boy' won the fourth set thanks to this astonishing 130 finish of his own

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‘Bully Boy’ won the fourth set thanks to this astonishing 130 finish of his own

‘Bully Boy’ won the fourth set thanks to this astonishing 130 finish of his own

A 108 sealed the fifth set for ‘The Iceman’ but Smith wasn’t going anywhere and he bounced back to whitewash his opponent and restore parity at 3-3, winning the set with just 38 darts (11, 13 and 14) and an average of 118.66 this time.

The defending champion cleaned up 74 to edge the seventh set in a decider, but after squandering two match darts, Smith punished Price to send the contest into a decider.

Smith moved within one leg of the semi-finals with this ice-cool 126

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Smith moved within one leg of the semi-finals with this ice-cool 126

Smith moved within one leg of the semi-finals with this ice-cool 126

‘Bully Boy’ broke throw in the first leg and he followed it up with a gutsy 126 on the bullseye to edge closer to victory. And the 31-year-old sealed an unforgettable night on double 12.

Smith told Sky Sports: “When I hit the 126 I started shaking like mad. I had to compose myself. I’m in the semi-final and one step from living out my dream. This is my chance.”

World Darts Championship – New Year’s Day Evening Results

QF Peter Wright 5-4 Callan Rydz
QF Gerwyn Price 4-5 Michael Smith

Wright wins epic against dynamite kid

An emotional Wright set up a semi-final encounter with two-time champion Anderson after battling his way through an epic

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An emotional Wright set up a semi-final encounter with two-time champion Anderson after battling his way through an epic

An emotional Wright set up a semi-final encounter with two-time champion Anderson after battling his way through an epic

Rydz made an explosive start with a 152 checkout and the 23-year-old from Newcastle upon Tyne showed why he is one of the most talked about players in world darts by cleaning up 94 with a 110 average to take an early lead.

Rydz won two legs in the second set with identical 106 finishes

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Rydz won two legs in the second set with identical 106 finishes

Rydz won two legs in the second set with identical 106 finishes

‘The Riot’, who will break into the top 32 in the world after the tournament, continued his stunning checkout streak with identical 106 finishes in the first and third legs before firing in a calm 105 to claim the second set with a 99 average and six out of seven on doubles.

A 112 from Wright helped him on his way to the third set, but back came debutant Rydz to punish ‘Snakebite’ with a 97 break of throw and double two for a 3-1 lead in the race to five.

Wright took out this spectacular 140 in the opening leg of the fifth set

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Wright took out this spectacular 140 in the opening leg of the fifth set

Wright took out this spectacular 140 in the opening leg of the fifth set

The 2012 champion was not giving up that easily though and he nailed 140, 91, and 84 for an 11-darter to reduce the deficit. He came millimetres away from a nine-darter in the third leg of the sixth set. After landing eight perfect darts he went below double 12.

'Snakebite' came so close to making the third nine-darter at this year's Worlds...

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‘Snakebite’ came so close to making the third nine-darter at this year’s Worlds…

‘Snakebite’ came so close to making the third nine-darter at this year’s Worlds…

Wright did draw level with a roof-raising 96 (20, D18, D20) and he opened his account in set seven with a 96 two-dart combination. Rydz then punished Wright for crucial missed doubles to clinch it 3-1, although the Scot swept through the eighth to send the contest into a decider.

The quarter-final inevitably went to a tie-breaker but it was ‘Snakebite’ who showed his years of experience to come through an incredible tungsten encounter.

“I love Gary Anderson to bits. Hopefully the game is as good as that one or even better,” Wright said.

Live World Darts Championship

January 2, 2022, 7:30pm

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World Darts Championship – Sunday’s semi-finals at the Worlds

James Wade vs Michael Smith
Peter Wright vs Gary Anderson

World Darts Championship – New Year’s Day Afternoon Results

QF James Wade 5-0 Mervyn King
QF Luke Humphries 2-5 Gary Anderson

Ando stays on course for third title

Gary Anderson won over the crowd after an impressive victory  against Luke Humphries

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Gary Anderson won over the crowd after an impressive victory against Luke Humphries

Gary Anderson won over the crowd after an impressive victory against Luke Humphries

Luke Humphries made a storming start, winning all three legs without reply, averaging 102.48. Anderson replied by winning the next in a deciding leg, despite just 25 per cent on the doubles.

Anderson broke Humphries with this 104 checkout to take control of the third set

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Anderson broke Humphries with this 104 checkout to take control of the third set

Anderson broke Humphries with this 104 checkout to take control of the third set

‘The Flying Scotsman’ pinned tops for a 104 en route to winning the third set against the throw, but back came Humphries to claim the fourth 3-1 and restore parity. The 51-year-old picked the Berkshire thrower’s pocket with a magnificent 110 to regain the upper-hand.

Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

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Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

Anderson landed this perfect 148 just for a hold of throw

A classy 148 followed a fine double 11 under pressure put Anderson on the brink of a semi-final berth. And a fourth ton-plus finish of 108 helped the Scot on his way to completing a 5-2 victory with a 96.3 average and eight 180s in total.

Wade through under the radar?

James Wade feels he shouldn't be seen as going under the radar after hammering Mervyn King

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James Wade feels he shouldn’t be seen as going under the radar after hammering Mervyn King

James Wade feels he shouldn’t be seen as going under the radar after hammering Mervyn King

King was left to rue two missed darts for the first set with left-hander Wade, making his 18th consecutive appearance at the Worlds, snatching it in a decider with double 10. Aldershot ace Wade doubled his lead with a second 180, despite an average of just 86.79.

Wade, who has enjoyed a more simple passage through to his first appearance in the quarter-finals for five years, hit tops for a 3-0 lead before cleaning up 70 to move one set away from wrapping up victory.

And ‘The Machine’ breezed into his fourth semi-finals at Alexandra Palace by pinning his favourite double 10 to complete a demolition job on the 55-year-old veteran.

“I’m not under the radar,” Wade said. “People like (Wayne) Mardle don’t think I’m good enough. But I won more than he did.”

Join us for the conclusion of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on Sky Sports Darts. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts



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Chelsea and Liverpool prove Premier League excitement, even if title is a foregone conclusion

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LONDON — Manchester City have shown themselves to be in a league of their own, so the Premier League should be thankful that Chelsea and Liverpool are still able to keep us all entertained. Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge helped neither team and only consolidated City’s vice-like grip on the top spot, but football is about jeopardy, risk and overcoming flaws, and when it all comes together, you get an unforgettable game like this one.

Even before City moved 11 points clear at the top of table with a 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday, this second-versus-third clash was always a case of both sides needing to win to maintain faint hopes of catching Pep Guardiola’s winning machine. City’s win at the Emirates was their 11th successive Premier League victory and they have all been won with such monotonous ease, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven, that every three points is now met with little more than a shrug of inevitability.

Barring an unlikely collapse in the second half of the season, City will win a fourth league title in five years and you will struggle to count on the fingers of one hand the times they have had to dig deep into their reserves to overcome adversity during that period. Guardiola has built one of the all-time great teams in English football history during his six years at the Etihad, but they may simply be too good to contribute to games like this one.

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Chelsea and Liverpool gave us such a pulsating encounter because they both have weaknesses that can be exploited by their opponents. And as a result, they both had to take risks in an attempt to secure a crucial victory.

And they also had to go into the game with unwanted distractions hovering over both clubs.

Chelsea, with three wins from their past eight in the league, were without £97.5 million striker Romelu Lukaku, dropped by coach Thomas Tuchel because of an outspoken interview about his failure to impress so far at Stamford Bridge since returning to the club from Internazionale in the summer. And Liverpool were without manager Jurgen Klopp, goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino — all isolating because of COVID-19.

City, in contrast, have enjoyed a remarkably serene run of successes since losing to Crystal Palace in October, which is why they are free-rolling to another title. But the Premier League is regarded as the most exciting in world football because of games like this, and teams like Chelsea and Liverpool and the drama they create.

From the first minute, when Sadio Mane was fortunate to escape a red card for appearing to strike Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with an elbow after just 14 seconds, the game was incident-packed. Azpilicueta later said it was a “clear red card” when interviewed after the game.

Christian Pulisic, playing centrally in the absence of Lukaku, wasted a golden chance to open the scoring on seven minutes when, with only stand-in keeper Caoimhin Kelleher to beat, he was indecisive and allowed the youngster to smother the ball. It proved a costly miss when, two minutes later, Mane took advantage of his lucky escape from a sending off by pouncing on a mistake by Trevoh Chalobah to score.

Chelsea were in disarray and Liverpool looked like the team that won the title in 2019. When Mohamed Salah made it 2-0 on 26 minutes with a stunning near-post finish after gliding past Marcos Alonso, it seemed as though Liverpool were about to give Chelsea the kind of hammering they inflicted on Manchester United during a 5-0 rout at Old Trafford earlier this season.

Liverpool were unable to score a third, though, and two Chelsea goals in the space of three minutes at the end of the first half turned the game on its head.

When Kelleher punched Alonso’s in-swinging free kick clear on 42 minutes, the keeper looked to have done well to deny the Chelsea defender. But the ball dropped the Mateo Kovacic on the edge of the penalty area and, as he was backpedaling, the midfielder somehow guided a volley beyond Kelleher and into the net. It was a spectacular display of technique by the former Real Madrid player and it gave Chelsea a foothold back into the game.

And it took them just three minutes to score the equaliser when Pulisic atoned for his earlier miss by latching onto N’Golo Kante‘s pass before beating Kelleher with a precise left-foot shot past the Republic of Ireland international. As the chaos continued on the pitch, Mason Mount almost put Chelsea 3-2 up in first-half stoppage time with a scuffed volley that bounced just wide of the post.

When a game is so eventful in the first half, it rarely delivers a second half of the same quality because of coaches plugging the holes that had led to the earlier excitement. But while the goals stopped flowing, the entertainment didn’t.

Salah forced a crucial save from Edouard Mendy with a 25-yard lob on 57 minutes and Mane was also denied by the Chelsea keeper. Kelleher, not to be outdone, then produced a stunning save to prevent Pulisic from scoring his second of the game.

In total, there were 25 chances over the 90 minutes, with both sides registering six on target. Neither could find a winner, though.

“For the outside world it was quite a good game to watch, but we came here for three points and didn’t get them,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said.

Even if one team had done enough to claim all three points, it’s difficult to imagine they would have been able to close the gap on City, who are destined for another title. And the challenge facing both chasing clubs only grows more daunting in the next month, with Salah (Egypt), Mendy and Mane (both Senegal) now heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

But the Premier League still knows how to excite, even if the title is already a foregone conclusion.

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Michael Scudamore has Do Your Job in mind for Doncaster | Racing News

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Doncaster’s Lightning Novices’ Chase could be next on the agenda for Do Your Job following his creditable effort in defeat at Kempton over the festive period.

Runner-up to My Drogo and Belfast Banter in Grade Two and Grade One novice hurdles in the spring, Michael Scudamore’s stable star made a successful start to his chasing career at Warwick in November.

The eight-year-old fell at the eighth fence when stepped up in class for the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, but bounced back to finish second to Edwardstone in the Wayward Lad last week.

With Scudamore keen to avoid a rematch with the winner, who is seemingly bound for the Kingmaker at Warwick, Do Your Job could instead bid for Grade Two honours at Doncaster on January 29.

Reflecting on his Kempton performance, the trainer said: “I was very pleased. He jumped well and travelled well and did everything right, he was just beaten by a better horse on the day.

“The main objective was a clear round really and maybe if we hadn’t fallen at Sandown we might have pressed on a bit more and made it more of a staying race.

“The most important thing was to get a clear round under his belt and get some more experience over fences for him.

“I think we’ll stick to novice races while we can and we might look to the race at Doncaster. That is what we have pencilled in at the moment, anyway.

“It would certainly be Plan A to try and avoid Edwardstone and I was very pleased to read he was going to go for the Kingmaker. Hopefully they stick to that plan!”

While Do Your Job looks set to remain in novice company on his next start, Scudamore admitted is considering a step into the handicap arena for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham – a race he won with Next Sensation in 2015.

He added: “I’m sure he’ll have an entry in that. He also ran very well at Aintree last year, so there’s that to consider as well.

“He looks like a horse that could have the right sort of profile for a Grand Annual and we’ll see nearer the time.

“In some ways it might make more sense to go for a handicap now, but as we saw at Kempton some of these novice events don’t have a lot of runners in them and there’s some decent prize-money on offer, so it seems silly to pass them over when you’ve only got one chance to run in them really.”



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Adiwang hopes to fight Saruta next

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Lito Adiwang was booted out of ONE Championship strawweight rankings after coming up short against Jarred Brooks. ‘The Thunder Kid’ is already itching to step back inside the cage and hopes to fight a ranked fighter next.

Of the fighters in the ONE Championship strawweight division rankings, the 28-year-old Filipino seeks to score a date with No.2-ranked Yosuke Saruta.

“I want a big comeback. I still want a big name. I want to challenge Yosuke Saruta. Maybe if ONE allows it, and he wants it, then I’ll take it. Saruta is someone who I really want to test myself against,” said Adiwang in an interview with ONE Championship.

The 28-year-old admits it is a dangerous fight and a huge risk to take. The high-risk, high-reward scenario is something that Adiwang would like to take as he seeks to put his name back in the rankings again by beating a former champion.

“It’s a big risk for me because I’m coming off a loss, but I want a great comeback and a big name in my return so I don’t fall far off from the rankings.”


Lito Adiwang seeking for a better year in 2022 at ONE Championship

Adiwang now holds a professional record of 13-4 and has been competing in ONE Championship since October 2018. He won his first five fights before receiving his first loss against Koha Minowa via a split decision two years later.

The Benguet-based fighter had three fights in 2021. However, he also suffered his second loss in ONE Championship against Jarred Brooks.

Still in his prime, Adiwang goes back to the drawing board and seeks to polish his MMA skills in 2022.

“I have to check my mistakes inside the Circle, but I also have to check my mistakes outside the Circle. It has to be a balance. Sometimes, I forget other personal obligations and those are the things that I have to work on. I have to balance things out based on last year. I have to correct this in 2022.”




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