SENSATIONAL PRICE SCOOPS HUNGARIAN DARTS TROPHY TITLE
Gerwyn Price scooped his fourth PDC European Tour title with a sensational 8-2 defeat of Michael Smith in Sunday's Hungarian Darts Trophy final in Budapest.
The PDC's first visit to Hungary proved hugely successful as bumper crowds at the Papp Laszlo Arena enjoyed three entertaining days of action - including a 4,500 crowd on Sunday evening.
World Champion Price showed his class to claim the 25,000 pound title, culminating in astounding displays in the semi-finals against Luke Humphries and the final against Smith.
Price had missed double 12 for a nine-darter during his opening game of the weekend on Saturday, and showed flashes of his explosive best form in defeating Damon Heta and Brendan Dolan to reach the last four.
There, he averaged over 107 as he ended Humphries' hopes of reaching a first European Tour final with a 7-4 success which was secured with a 134 checkout to follow three 11-darters which helped him open up a 6-1 lead.
Price then continued that form in the final against Smith, opening the contest with back-to-back 12-darters, the second sealed with a 130 bull finish.
Smith punished missed doubles as he claimed the next two legs to level, but Price regained the lead with another 12-darter before firing in four successive 14-dart legs to surge into a 7-2 advantage.
Price's heavier scoring continued in the next leg, and though he initially missed three match darts, Smith was unable to capitalise and the Welshman returned to pin double ten for glory.
"To pick up the trophy in the first time here is fantastic," said Price, who averaged 108.74 in the final as he claimed the 25,000 pound top prize.
"Michael played fantastic in the whole tournament - I was scraping through and played my best stuff in the semi-final and final, so I'm thankful for that.
"It's good to have crowds back. I appreciate the support today, everyone's been fantastic. Playing behind closed doors is not the same, without the same darts isn't darts but thankfully [they're] all back."
Smith had been bidding to claim European Tour glory for a fifth time - and a first time since 2017 - but will return home with a 10,000 pound runner-up cheque in his pocket.
He defeated rising star Keane Barry in Sunday afternoon's third round before producing stellar displays to defeat World Matchplay champion Peter Wright and Grand Slam champion Jose de Sousa to progress to the final.
However, he paid tribute to World Champion Price after missing out on the title.
"He was relentless - it's hard to break down when someone's not missing," said Smith. "He was fantastic against Luke and again in the final."
Humphries saw off James Wade in Sunday afternoon's third round to gain a measure of revenge for March's loss in the UK Open final, before defeating top seed Joe Cullen to reach his first European Tour semi-final.
De Sousa enjoyed wins over Premier League rival Nathan Aspinall and Czech teenager Adam Gawlas as he booked a semi-final spot.
Gawlas' win over fellow youngster Lewis Williams in the third round saw him reach the last eight, alongside Wright, Dolan and Cullen.
Dolan had ended Michael van Gerwen's ongoing search for a first title of 2021 with a 6-5 third round win over the world number three.
The year's second PDC European Tour event will be the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, which will take place from September 24-26 at the Europa Sports Park. For tickets, visit buytickets.gi.