Last weekend Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright won the Shetland Darts Masters, two weeks after exiting the Premier League of Darts, beating a resurgent Raymond van Barneveld in the final 8-6. Despite having just eight entries, there were a number of sub-plots to the one day tournament.
This was the fifth time the Shetland Darts Masters had been held, with past winners including Phil Taylor (twice), Raymond van Barneveld and defending champion at this years competition, Simon Whitlock. The eight entries for the 2015 edition were Peter Wright, Robert Thornton, Tony O’shea, Vincent van der Voort, van Barneveld, James Wade, Whitlock and John Henderson.
The tournament was refereed by Richard Ashdown (BDO Master of Ceremonies) and play started with the quarter-finals on Sunday…
In an all Scottish match, Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright squeezed through his first match 8-7 against Robert Thornton. Snakebite earning the right to play the BDO’s popular Tony O’Shea in the semi-final.
Tony himself, had an easier passage past Vincent van der Voort, who had been drafted in as a late replacement for Michael van Gerwen (see further down) – I wonder if Tony’s first match would have been quite so easy if the PDC’s World Number One had turned up?
The next match saw two of the PDC’s big guns face each other, in the form of Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade. Credit has to go to Wade, for battling on and appearing in all of the tournaments he’s committed to, after his recent public outpouring regarding his mental health. On this occasion he was out-played 8-2 by Barney, despite an impressive 99 average – Barney’s was an even more substantial 103.
The last quarter-final saw the reigning Shetland Masters Champion, Simon Whitlock, lose out to John Henderson 8-5 – to set-up a Henderson Barneveld semi-final.
Peter Wright 8-7 Robert Thornton
Tony O’shea 8-2 Vincent van der Voort
Raymond van Barneveld 8-2 James Wade
Simon Whitlock 5-8 John Henderson
Barney progressed to the final as you might expect against Henderson, however, Hendo gave a good account of himself and if averages were everything, then he half deserved to be in the final, but it was van Barneveld who progressed 8-5 and would be going all the way.
The second semi-final saw two of my favourite players face each other. Wright eventually triumphed 8-5 as O’Shea couldn’t get going, ending with an 87 average, against Wright’s 96 – so the final would be two of the PDC’s most popular players.
Raymond van Barneveld 8-5 John Henderson
Peter Wright 8-5 Tony O’shea
As I said earlier, if averages won matches, then Barney would be the new Shetland Masters Champion, but Peter Wright was dogged and determined in his home country and eventually ran out an 8-6 winner with a 97 average against Barney’s 100.
Michael van Gerwen
PDC World Number One Michael van Gerwen had been due to appear, but pulled out at late notice after last weeks unfortunate allegations of exchanging intimate messages with a female friend – he issued the following statement:
“It is with regret that I can no longer appear at the Shetland Darts Masters on April 18. This decision was unavoidable and I would like to apologise to the title sponsors Dunecht 4×4, the promoters Shetland Recreational Trust, SDM Promotions and SJ Media Group , everyone involved in the event and most importantly the fans, for my absence.
“I had been looking forward to the event as I was very well looked after the last time I was in Shetland, so I have made a commitment to appear at another event in Shetland later this year or early next year as I do not want to let down the promoters, sponsors and darts fans.
“I’m sure it will be a fantastic night and I would like to wish all the other players the best of luck and all the fans an enjoyable evening. I will see you all soon.”