Gerwyn Price comeback thwarts Simon Whitlock at the Grand Slam of Darts

Price celebrates a dramatic triumph (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gerwyn Price produced an epic fightback from 9-5 down to defeat Simon Whitlock 16-15 in a fiery encounter, while Mensur Suljovic also progressed to the Semi-Finals in Wolverhampton for the first time.

Price had his back to the wall at 7-3 and 9-5 down and was either behind or level during the entire contest before surviving a total of five match darts from Whitlock and snatching victory.

The passionate Welshman adopted his trademark 'heart on sleeve' approach as he defied twelve 180s from a free-scoring Whitlock to set up a show-down with Suljovic on Saturday afternoon.

Whitlock began in style with a 146 checkout to clinch the first leg before Price took out 80 to level at two apiece, but the Australian then cleaned up 68 to edge back in front.

Whitlock then clinched four of the next five legs to open up a 7-3 advantage before a 100 checkout saw Price break back and reduce the deficit to 9-6.

Three missed darts at doubles from Whitlock in the following leg allowed Price to close the gap further, but a 78 finish saw 'The Wizard' restore a two-leg cushion at 10-8.

Back-to-back legs from Price hauled him back on level terms for the first time, though he was instructed by referee Russ Bray to tone down his antics on the stage.

Whitlock went back in front before landing an 11-darter to lead 12-10, while a 171 and tops handed Price a 13-darter to trail 13-11.

Price cleaned up 71 to level up once again but after missing four darts to take the lead, atoned for his error in the next leg with a 72 finish to make it thirteen-all.

Whitlock regained command with successive legs to go to the hill, only to miss two darts at tops to allow Price to save his skin.

The European Championship finalist then squandered a further two match darts as Price pinned double ten to force a decider - in which Whitlock missed a fifth chance to seal the win and the Welshman snatched victory on double 12.

Earlier in the evening, Suljovic recorded a commanding 16-9 victory to end the run of Belgian ace Dimitri van den Bergh.

Suljovic produced a clinical all-round display, averaging 98.5 with seven 180s and 53 per cent on the doubles to overpower the World Youth Champion.

The world number seven landed a 167 checkout to go 2-0 up and soon found himself in a commanding 8-3 lead, before Van den Bergh battled his way back to 12-8 behind.

 However, that was as close as the young gun got to restoring parity as Suljovic won four of the last five legs to romp into the final four.

"I was worried I was going to go out in the group stage so it's amazing to reach the semi-finals," said Suljovic.

"I had to be at my best against Dimitri, he is a brilliant player and as always I have to thank the crowd for supporting me - they were great."

Saturday sees the second pair of Quarter-Final ties take place as Gary Anderson faces BDO debutant Michael Unterbuchner and defending champion Michael van Gerwen meets in-form Jonny Clayton.

Grand Slam of Darts 2018 Results


Friday November 16 

Quarter-Finals
Mensur Suljovic 16-9 Dimitri van den Bergh
Simon Whitlock 15-16 Gerwyn Price


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Gerwyn Price comeback thwarts Simon Whitlock at the Grand Slam of Darts

Gerwyn Price produced an epic fightback from 9-5 down to defeat Simon Whitlock 16-15 in a fiery encounter, while Mensur Suljovic also progressed to the Semi-Finals in Wolverhampton for the first time.

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