Paddy Power Champions League
BBC Paddy Power Champions League of Darts
GARY ANDERSON lifted the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts title for the first time with an 11-4 victory over Peter Wright in the final in Brighton on Sunday.
The two-time World Champion made it four televised titles for the year thanks to a series of spectacular displays throughout the weekend at The Brighton Centre as he clinched the £100,000 top prize.
Anderson avenged his 2017 Champions League final defeat to Mensur Suljovic with an 11-4 triumph in the semi-final before seeing off his fellow Scot by the same scoreline in the final.
Having survived two missed match darts against Michael van Gerwen in their final group game earlier in the day which would have eliminated the World Matchplay winner, Anderson recovered to fire in three ten-darters during a dominant display in the final.
“I’m over the moon to win, it was a hard weekend and I struggled at times but came good in the end,” said Anderson, who has also won the UK Open, World Matchplay and US Darts Masters in 2018.
“I just turn up and play my game but it’s going alright so far this year. It’s been a good weekend.” Anderson also landed seven perfect darts in his bid for a nine-darter which would have earned the Brighton crowd a share of a £50,000 prize offered by sponsors Paddy Power.
“I had a good go at the nine-darter, I really tried for the fans all weekend,” he added. “Now I’m looking forward to having a few days at home – my little man [son Tai] will love this trophy!”
Anderson flew out of the blocks in the final, breaking the Wright throw three times as he raced into a commanding 6-1 lead.
Wright, who came from 8-5 down to defeat Van Gerwen 11-9 in the semis, fought hard to stay in the game but a 4-7 deficit was as close as he came to halting his World Cup of Darts teammate’s march to glory.
Anderson reeled off the next four legs in typically quick fashion, ending the game with three ten-dart legs and a 65% checkout rate to land his maiden Champions League title.
Despite falling at the final hurdle, it was a positive weekend for Wright, who had previously failed to make it out of the group stage in the previous two years of the event.
“I think I just ran out of steam,” Wright admitted. “I played really well but I had nothing left in the final. “Gary is the man to beat at the moment and I believe I lost to the best player of the weekend. “It was a pleasure to play in front of such an amazing crowd.”
Saturday September 22nd
4x Group Matches
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Rob Cross (B)
Peter Wright 10-7 Simon Whitlock (B)
Daryl Gurney 10-8 Gary Anderson (A)
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 Dave Chisnall (A)
Rob Cross 10-8 Simon Whitlock (B)
Mensur Suljovic 10-7 Peter Wright (B)
Gary Anderson 10-3 Dave Chisnall (A)
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Daryl Gurney (A)
Sunday September 23rd
Final Group Games
Mensur Suljovic 10-1 Simon Whitlock (B)
Peter Wright 10-3 Rob Cross (B)
Daryl Gurney 10-7 Dave Chisnall (A)
Gary Anderson 10-9 Michael van Gerwen (A)
Gary Anderson 11-4 Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright 11-9 Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson 11-4 Peter Wright
Third In Group £15,000
Fourth In Group £10,000
Phil Taylor won the inaugural event in 2016 with an 11-5 win over Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and James Wade were Semi-Finalists.
In 2017 rank outsider Mensur Suljovic beat Gary Anderson 11-9, with Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld Semi-Finalsits.