Fresh from his Walk-On World Cup success in March, Wayne Mardle added another title to his growing collection by defeating two-time world champion Dennis Priestley to scoop the inaugural PDC World Cup of Shirts title.
Following the popularity of the Walk-On World Cup, the PDC devised another competition comprised solely of twitter polls, giving the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite darting shirt.
The 32-player event featured 27 current players and five legends – Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, Peter Manley, Mardle and Priestley. Ironically three of those progressed to the semi-finals.
Nevertheless, once again it was Mardle that prevailed, as he mobilised his followers to secure a second title in as many months, which featured wins over four multiple world champions.
‘Hawaii 501’ kicked off his campaign with a convincing win over two-time world champion Gary Anderson, before thrashing Phil Taylor with 77% of the vote to reach the last eight. Mardle defeated ‘The Power’ in the recent Walk-On World Cup and he repeated the feat to topple the Stokie.
The Sky Sports expert breezed into the semi-finals when his colourful garment accounted for Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price, which set up a tantalising semi-final showdown against five-time world champion Van Barneveld.
Mardle defeated RvB in the Walk-On World Cup final and the Dutchman’s iconic orange shirt led him to wins over Ian White, Dimitri Van den Bergh and his compatriot Michael van Gerwen. However, he was unable to topple an irrepressible Mardle, who advanced with 56% of the vote.
Priestley’s route to the final was admittedly less serene. ‘The Menace’ was a comfortable victor against Premier League star Daryl Gurney in his opener, before he battled past Australian number one Simon Whitlock with 55% of the public vote in round two.
The veteran Yorkshireman then toppled South African star Devon Petersen in the last eight, before edging out world champion Peter Wright in an incredibly tight semi-final. Priestley prevailed with 50.3% of the vote, condemning the Scot to a second straight semi-final exit.
Despite this, Mardle was a comprehensive winner in Saturday’s final. There were over 3,000 votes cast throughout the day and the 46-year-old triumphed with a 66% majority to reaffirm his indomitable social media popularity.
Image: Taylor Lanning