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Van Gerwen blasts “ridiculous” playing conditions in Minehead

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Wright edges past Searle to clinch Players Championship Finals title

Players Championship Finals 2021 Day Three preview and order of play | Final eight collide in Minehead

Jamie Shaw in Players Championship Finals 28 Nov 2021
Wright and Van Gerwen go head-to-head (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The final eight face off for the right to claim the 2021 Players Championship Finals title in Minehead on Sunday.

The penultimate major tournament of the season has provided drama, upsets and controversy over the last two days and is now set for an unmissable conclusion across two sessions.

With play having been held across two stages simultaneously, the focus now reverts solely to the Main Stage as the players aim to defy the tricky conditions in their quest to land the £100,000 top prize.

The pick of the afternoon’s Quarter-Finals sees world number two and three collide as Peter Wright takes on rival Michael van Gerwen.

The pair last met in a TV major in July’s World Matchplay, with Wright running out a 17-10 winner with a stunning 110 average to reach the final before going on to clinch the title.

Runner-up in the Grand Slam seven days ago, Wright is looking to claim this trophy for the first time and has defeated Keane Barry, Adrian Lewis and Damon Heta in close-run contests so far this weekend.

His controversial comeback win over Lewis ended with the two-time World Champion confronting Wright on stage, before later accusing the Scot of being “a cheat”.

Van Gerwen, meanwhile, has come through a tough section of the draw to remain in the running for a magnificent seventh Players Championship Finals title.

The defending champion, whose last major ranking title came in this event 12 months ago, began by defeating Kevin Doets 6-3 before replicating that result against Raymond van Barneveld and going on to defeat Gary Anderson 10-6.

Van Gerwen has been vocal in his criticism of the playing conditions this weekend, branding them as “absolutely ridiculous”, but will now look to channel that frustration into retaining his title and gaining revenge on Snakebite.

The opening match of the afternoon sees top seed Jose de Sousa take on former World Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan.

De Sousa, the 2020 Grand Slam champion, is appearing at this stage of the competition for the first time, having seen off Devon Petersen, Darius Labanauskas and William O’Connor.

The Portuguese star, however, has not averaged below 94 in each of his outings so far and will be determined to raise his game against the in-form Northern Irishman.

Dolan sensationally dumped out world number one Gerwyn Price on the main stage last night to reach the Quarter-Finals of this event for the first time in eleven appearances.

Winner of a ProTour event this season, Dolan is bidding to reach his first major ranking Semi-Final since the 2012 European Championship.

Local hero Ryan Searle faces 2018 Players Champion Daryl Gurney in what promises to be a high-scoring thriller.

Searle, who is provisionally ranked 20 in the PDC Order of Merit as things stand, edged out Simon Whitlock and Ryan Joyce in last-leg deciders before defeating Rob Cross 10-7 on Stage Two.

The number five seed is looking to reach his first PDC major Semi-Final, having lost in the Quarter-Finals of the World Grand Prix last month.

Gurney, one of only two former champions left standing in the field, has marked a timely return to form this weekend with wins over Alan Soutar, Michael Smith and James Wade – averaging 104 in the latter contest.

Jonny Clayton steps up his pursuit of a fifth televised title of the year with a show-down against a resurgent Vincent van der Voort.

Clayton, the reigning Premier League and World Grand Prix champion, averaged below 90 in his early wins over Alan Tabern and Scott Mitchell, before averaging 96 in a nail-biting 10-9 success over Luke Humphries last night.

Van der Voort, meanwhile, is into his first Quarter-Final at this venue since 2014, having seen off Jelle Klaasen, Andy Boulton and Danny Noppert all on Stage Two.

The action gets under way from 1pm GMT, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.

WATCH THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

Players Championship Finals 2021 Day Three Schedule

Sunday November 28

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)

Quarter-Finals
Jose de Sousa v Brendan Dolan
Daryl Gurney v Ryan Searle
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Jonny Clayton v Vincent van der Voort

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

Semi-Finals
De Sousa/Dolan v Gurney/Searle
Wright/Van Gerwen v Clayton/Van der Voort

Final

Plus
PDC World Youth Championship final

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