A rivalry that many have sides picked on – and a rivalry that many neutrals were licking their lips at the prospect of – Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price. Two of the form players in the sport of Darts going head to head on the Wolverhampton stage – Here’s what happened on Wednesday night:

Price with darts, and opened with a 140. Gary signalled his intent by responding in the same manner, hitting a 140 of his own. Price hit a 134 via two covering darts, before an unlucky visit from Gary, with his first dart landing in the T1, and the second ending up on the ground. But, as this is Gary Anderson, he managed to find a T20 with dart three to make the situation a whole lot more manageable. Price had 88 left, and decided to play on the 16s with Gary on 158. After Gary found a T18 with dart one, you could almost hear a hint of Welsh regret beginning to build, but the second went slightly wide, sparing his blushes. Price returned and found Tops second in hand to win the opening leg. 0-1.

Gary opened up his first leg on throw with a ton, before a trebleless reply of 60 from Price. Gary blocked the 20 with dart one of visit two, switching to the T17 successfully, before moving and returning his aim to the T20, only finding the S1 bed. Price could only muster 60 for a second visit in a row, and Gary punished him to the high hills with his opening 180 of the match. Price was on 182, meaning Gary had time from the 104 he had left. He hit the T16, but ended up in the S8 with dart two, meaning he’d have to return to finish. Now having the option, he decided to leave D16 – and nailed first in hand to level. 1-1.

Price’s trebleless theme continued to open the third, again producing just 60 points. Gary stepped up to leather home a 171, switching to the T17 last in hand as his second dart teetered in the T20 bed. Price replied with a 140, before a Gary 45 levelled the leg out. Gary went two T20s deep before switching to the Bull to hit a 145 for Tops, and after Price wired it from 72, Gary nestled the last dart in hand into the top of D10 to break and lead for the first time. 2-1.

Gary carried on in the same spirit, walloping home another 180 to open the Fourth. Price replied with a 140, before he found his first 180 of the match. Gary roared back, splitting the two darts already in the D20 to only end up with a 140. He got a dart at the Bull from 81, putting it just to the right of the red rapscallion in the middle, before a strange Price visit. He went aggressive from 91, aiming for T17 but hitting the single. He was looking for the double to leave Tops, but again found the single. And when he was looking for the single to leave Tops? He hit the Double. But Gary didn’t let the odd visit before him cause any issues, as he set up D8 and took it last in hand to guarantee the lead at the first interval. 3-1.

Price opened the final leg of the opening session with a ton, before being met with yet another Gary 140. They exchanged tons, before a Price 99 and a Gary 140. Gary had 121 left, but couldn’t find either of the relevant trebles in the first two visits to really capitalise. He was sat on 64, leaving Price a shot at 97. He missed the T19, but found the T18, before pausing and finding D12, releasing a roar as he moved to only losing by one. 3-2.

Interval One: Gary Anderson 3-2 Gerwyn Price

Gary returned to the stage with darts in hand, and opened with a 91, courtesy of a last dart treble. Price replied with a ton, and the pair soon traded off 140s. Price hit 96 courtesy of a last dart T19, but left himself a bogey of 165 in the process. Gary hit 65 to leave himself the Shanghai, and Price 125 to leave Tops. Gary hit the T20 first dart, but wired Tops, and Price broke back second in hand. 3-3.

The match was back on throw, and Price opened with a 134. Gary used his first dart to land another 140, before a Price 137, and another Gary 140 that I had noted down as ‘preposterous’, simply because the first two darts seemed so perfectly set to welcome a third into the hallowed T20. Gary didn’t dwell, however, landing another 140 to reach 81 after nine thrown, and put himself in a promising position to break, and that’s exactly what he did – converting D6 last in hand to retake the lead. 4-3.

Gary was looking to extend his lead to two once more, and opened by once again blocking the T20 bed, hitting a T17 and returning upstairs, but was at least this time able to get a S20 for his troubles. Price could only muster 59 in reply, and a Gary 140 was enough to open up some daylight. The Flying Scotsman then produced one of, quite frankly, the greatest darts I’ve ever seen him throw, moving to the right to overcome two standing blockers to find the T20 he needed in the visit. Honestly, it was something else. Eventually, with Price sitting on a bogey of 163, Gary used the outer bull to set up Tops, and that was taken second in hand to re-establish the two leg lead. 5-3.

Price opened the Ninth with 95, before Gary responded with 83. Price hit a 180, but Gary couldn’t put a huge amount of pressure on with the response, hitting just 41. He proceeded to hit a ton, again one I thought was destined to be more from the first dart. Gary then hit a 177 to leave a straight 100, and was allowed an opportunity when Price spurned two opportunities at Tops from 52. Gary couldn’t find a Treble or a Double when he was looking at two tops, and Price hit the D20 to move back within one. 5-4.

The leg total finally rolled into double figures, and Gary celebrated the match milestone with a 131 opening. Price hit a ton, and Gary an 82 after an opening stray. Price hit a 180, so one visit later, was does Gary do? A beautifully grouped 180 on the left hand side of the bed, of course. He left D4 ready were he allowed to return, and when Price hit the Bull to leave D16, the chances of returning were hanging in the balance, but two wide darts from Price allowed the Tartan Titan to return, and he nailed D4 to lead by two at interval number two. 6-4.

Interval Two: Gary Anderson 6-4 Gerwyn Price

Price had the darts to kick off the final session – from this point until the conclusion, the pair weren’t to leave the stage. Price opened with a 121, sending his second dart astray, whilst Gary opened similarly with a 123, his third dart in hand straying slightly wide. Gary kept up the power scoring, hitting a 137 before a 140 from 144…to leave D2. Cue the eyes of a certain match reporter widening to the size of kiwi fruit. However, he found the D2 second in hand to open up the first three leg lead of the match. 7-4.

Gary opened with a 137, and followed it up with another 180. He hit yet another 180 to leave…D2. Cue the kiwi eye analogy. This time, it didn’t fade as quickly, as instead of planting his second dart into D2, he planted it into D17 to bust his score. I’ve never seen him move to retrieve his darts as quickly as he did then, and he knew he was unlikely to get another opportunity with Price leaving 38 off of 178. Gary found D2 first in hand on his return, to make it back to back legs won in the segment, and put the two time World Champion within two. 8-4.

Price opened with a 180 back on throw, and Gary responded as he had so often, smashing home a 140. Price hit a 140 for himself, and was in finishing range first. He had 94 left, hitting the T18 first in hand, before going above and beneath with the next two to allow Gary back in. He had 129 on the board, and was as lethal as ever on the T19, leaving 72 with two in hand. He opted to go up to the T20, hitting the single, before intentionally or unintentionally hitting Tops to leave D6. He didn’t get a go at it, as Price hit D10 to hold. 8-5.

Gary opened with a 91, once again after going down to the T17 with the second dart. Price opened with 85, but Gary produced back to back trebleless visits, both of 60 points, and Price hit a 140 and 180 in the corresponding visits. Gary hit a ton to leave 190, but it gave Price time to leave Tops off of 96. Gary then decided to try and repeat his heroics against Michael Smith in that Pro Tour final, looking for three bulls to leave a double. The first went in, but the second was a 25, and he subsequently abandoned the idea and went to the 20s to score 95. Price hit Tops with the first dart in hand to break and move back within two. 8-6.

Gary needed to stop Price in his tracks – but Price was looking to get back within one, and he opened with a 180. Gary replied with a 140, and both indulged in one treble visits before the pair exchanged 180s. Gary was left on 81, and Price on 45. Price had first shot, and put two over the top wire from 45. Gary was given a shot at the 81, and grabbed it with both hands, as he killed it in two to move within a leg of his first Grand Slam Quarter-Final since 2019. 9-6.

Gary opened up his first shot at the match with a 140, and it seemed as if the stars may be starting to align when Price replied with just 43. Both produced 140s in their second visits, before Gary hit a ton and Price another 140. Gary found a T20 last in hand to leave himself D12 from 121, and came well in with the first dart, before bending the wire, and eventually burying the last dart in hand to secure the victory. 10-6.

Result: Gary Anderson 10-6 Gerwyn Price

The Stats:

Average – 104.96

180s – 6

Checkout Success – 10/22 (45%)

Highest Checkout – 81

The Verdict:

This man is absolutely phenomenal.

I talked up the performance against Steve Lennon, but he blew that out of the water using dynamite and fireworks.

Over the longer format, against one of the few players you’d expect to give him a real challenge at the moment, he made it look easy at times.

I play tons of darts. I’ve gotten better in recent times, but this game is hard. But he makes it look so easy. I’ve always said that darts provides no better sight than Gary Anderson in full flow – but sadly that wasn’t something we saw a huge amount for the few years preceding this one.

I’ve always said it’s an honour to hold this role, match reporting for Dunvegan. I get to write about my idol regularly, and I hope that a few of you enjoy what I produce.

But writing these reports when Gary’s is playing so beautifully? It adds an extra level of joy to this job.

Never, EVER, write off a Scot. Particularly one with 2x World Championship Titles, 2x Premier Leagues, 1x World Matchplay…I’d go on but I’d be here all day.

It’s a rematch with Luke Humphries in the Quarter Finals on Friday night – more details to follow in the Preview, so keep your eyes peeled.

He was using his Phase 6s with two tone shafts and world champion flights.

SOURCE-Ryan Segal

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