Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright were involved in a fiery confrontation at the Players Championship Finals, with security having to intervene to separate the pair on a dramatic day of action in Minehead.
Wright ran out a 6-5 winner in an ill-tempered second-round affair, but Lewis appeared incensed by Wright’s behaviour, with the two former world champions embroiled in a tetchy post-match exchange.
‘Jackpot’ made a blistering start to establish a 3-0 cushion, but the world No 2 fought back to force a deciding leg, where he fired in a 14-darter to seal his progression.
Referee Kirk Bevins was tasked with trying to separate the pair post-match, although security staff soon arrived on the scene to usher Lewis away, with the two-time world champion continuing to remonstrate.
Wright played down the controversy in his post-match interview on ITV4, joking: “We were discussing whose turn it was to send a Christmas card. That’s all it was!”
Nevertheless, Lewis took to social media and launched a scathing attack on ‘Snakebite’, insisting that Wright was ‘nothing but a cheat’.
“I honestly did nothing wrong. Even I was bewildered with what was going on and trying to process it whilst trying to concentrate on my darts, so at the end of the game I wanted to find out what was his problem, because I didn’t have a clue what was going on,” tweeted the 36-year-old.
“He said to me there was a loose floorboard and I found it! So my response to him was you took me out my rhythm you had a game plan, and as world number 2 it’s disgraceful and you’re nothing but a cheat.
“He knew what he was doing as soon as I went 3-1 up he started muttering things… And shaking his head at me which put me in a situation that made me feel uncomfortable.
“The people who I fall out with always have to be the ones to apologise because they know I’m not a cheat; never have been, never will be!
“Trouble does seem to follow me around I can’t deny it, but it’s only because I’m a genuine person who wears my heart on my sleeve and people try to take advantage of that. I will always speak my mind!
“For those saying I’m a sore loser and this that and the other, I’m the best loser because I say it exactly as it is. I don’t try to hide anything; I say what I see. Peter will say nice things about me in the interview as he knows I’ve done nothing wrong and he’s bang out of order.”
Wright’s bid for a maiden Players Championship Finals crown will continue on Sunday afternoon, after the Scot fought back from 5-2 down to defeat Damon Heta in round three, and he’ll take on Michael van Gerwen in a mouth-watering last eight tie.
Six-time winner Van Gerwen continued the defence of his title with victories over his old adversaries Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson on Saturday, although the three-time world champion was less than impressed with the conditions at Butlin’s Minehead Resort.
“The conditions we are playing in are absolutely ridiculous. No one is playing their A-game. It’s about competing against the conditions, the standard of this tournament has not been good enough. No one has the balls to say anything. I will say it,” he told ITV4 after overcoming ‘The Flying Scotsman’.
World No 1 Gerwyn Price suffered a shock exit against Brendan Dolan courtesy of a profligate display in the last 16, and Dolan will now play top seed Jose De Sousa for a place in the semi-finals, after ‘The Special One’ accounted for Darius Labanauskas and William O’Connor.
Elsewhere, 2018 champion Daryl Gurney survived TEN match darts against Michael Smith in round two, before posting a 104 average to defeat world No 4 James Wade in a quality third-round contest.
This sets up a meeting with fifth seed Ryan Searle, who rallied from 5-1 down to defeat Ryan Joyce, before producing a classy display to dump out European Champion Rob Cross and secure a spot in his second televised quarter-final.
Meanwhile, Jonny Clayton maintained his bid for a fifth televised title of 2021 after edging out Luke Humphries in a 19-leg epic to round off Saturday’s action, and he’ll face 2014 semi-finalist Vincent van der Voort, who registered wins over Andy Boulton and Danny Noppert.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2021 Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals
Schedule of Play
Saturday November 27
James Wade 6-5 Callan Rydz
Rob Cross 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Gary Anderson 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Peter Wright 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Martin Schindler
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Scott Mitchell
Danny Noppert 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Andy Boulton
Ryan Searle 6-5 Ryan Joyce
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Michael Smith
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Ritchie Edhouse
Damon Heta 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Luke Humphries 6-5 Ross Smith
William O’Connor 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Peter Wright 10-8 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Gary Anderson
Brendan Dolan 10-8 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 10-9 Luke Humphries
Ryan Searle 10-8 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 10-7 James Wade
Jose de Sousa 10-7 William O’Connor
Vincent van der Voort 10-7 Danny Noppert
Sunday November 28
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)
Jose de Sousa v Brendan Dolan
Daryl Gurney v Ryan Searle
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Jonny Clayton v Vincent van der Voort