Gerwyn Price won his first major darts title, but it wasn’t without controversy the likes of which we’ve seldom seen on the oche.
The fiery Welshman was matched up against two-time world champion Gary Anderson in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.
Anderson was the favourite having seen off Michael van Gerwen in the semi finals, but Price has been an established player for a few years and was in a rich vein of form.
His prolonged and emotional celebrations haven’t made him popular with some, and so it proved with the veteran Scotsman.
Price won the first leg and roared in intense fashion as if he’d just won the match, and Anderson looked non-plussed.
Anderson took various leads throughout the match, but was becoming increasingly frustrated with Price’s antics. Price kept clawing back deficits and gaining momentum, and the controversy started when Anderson backed off from throwing, intimating that Price, who was walking back from the board, was putting him off.
It occurred again, and this time Anderson remonstrated with the ‘Iceman’, who stared blankly ahead.
Anderson led 12-9 in the first to 16 contest, and once Price equalised at 13 apiece, he continued with the impassioned celebrations. It then came to a head when Anderson encroached onto the oche while Price was celebrating, and pushed him to hurry up the ex-rugby player.
Price was in the ascendancy on the board despite the crowd’s boos, while his opponent lost the head, in reality. Price prevailed 16-13, and Anderson walked off without offering a handshake, with the prize presentation delayed in order to calm him down.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) November 18, 2018
Many took issue with Price’s demeanour, though some, including commentator Wayne Mardle, were sympathetic towards Price while acknowledging the inflammatory nature of his celebrations. Whichever way you look at it, the fashion in which he claimed the title amid all the boos and drama was nonetheless impressive.
It's a shame that Price wins the Eric Bristol Trophy. I don't care if anyone celebrates when doing a high finish or gaining the lead but after every 3rd Dart in this way it's just disrespectful and has not much to do with sportsmanship.
Congrats to @GaryAnderson180 anyway. #GSoD
— Der_Siebzehner (@Der_Siebzehner) November 18, 2018
Wayne Mardles comment that “he beat Gary Anderson fair and square” is absolutely embarrassing. #GSOD
— Paul Machin (@machinpaul80) November 18, 2018
That is not like anything I've ever seen. This evening's shenanigans will follow Gerwyn Price for the rest of his career. I have no sympathy for Price… Don't blame Anderson for being livid. #GSOD
— Josh Green (@JoshGreenMedia) November 18, 2018
— Stephen Murray (@StephenMurray87) November 18, 2018
Price is a bit of a joker and has overstepped the mark here, but has played some good darts. Gary shouldn't rise to it. #GSOD
— Andy Cleave (@CleaveO) November 18, 2018
Gary Anderson got himself all riled up there, Price didn’t have a go straight at him, Anderson walked straight into the zone and pushed while Price celebrated.. #GSOD
— Chris Avnell (@pureavgas) November 18, 2018
My two penn'orth:
If Gerwyn is found to have made noise while Gary was throwing, I'm assuming that'll be a £3k fine like Justin got.
Gary shouldn't have been in the exclusion zone, which led to the argy-bargy.
— Dan Dawson (@DanDartsDawson) November 18, 2018