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'I Like Him But I Don't Appreciate What He Did'

'I Like Him But I Don't Appreciate What He Did'

The annual festive feast of darts always brings a serving or two of beef, and it arrived in spades last night as a beery Alexandra Palace witnessed a rather taut atmosphere on the oche between Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price who were battling it out for a place in tomorrow's world championship final.

Price had laid the foundations for some testy exchanges when, prior to the game, claiming his Scottish rival would "be lucky to win a set." After beating Glen Durrant in the quarter-final over the weekend, the Welshman wasted no time in firing shots at the flamboyant Wright, referring to his facile victory over the tournament's seventh seed in the Grand Slam of Darts final back in November.

"Hopefully I can bring that game again tomorrow and smash him off the board," the 'Iceman' said on Sunday.

The remarks clearly stung, and after winning the first set last night Wright appeared to goad Price before the Welshman repaid the favour after the second set, sneering in his opponent's face along with the trademark fist pump. However, it was the latter who appeared to suffer most from the antics as the 2014 runner-up booked his place in only his second world decider.

As could have been expected, there was no handshake between the players after the game.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the encounter, Wright said:

Before the match me and Gezzy were winding each other up. He said he was going to win the first two sets and I would change darts. I like him but I don't appreciate what he did. He wanted me to concentrate and I did, there you go, you lost.

Meanwhile, Price insisted "it's not a rule that u [sic] have to shake hands before, during or after a game" in a post on Twitter. He went on to say that "before and after an important game banter is acceptable but not during when players are fully focused trying to do a job having just bombed the first set."

I was upset with what Peter did and I think it was out of order considering the circumstances, I never settled afterwards which really peed me off, I was rubbish from this point onwards which cost me a World Championships Final spot.

For Wright the mind games haven't concluded just yet, with Michael Van Gerwen claiming the other spot in the final with victory over Nathan Aspinall and immediately referring to his impressive record over the Scotsman.

Most of the time Peter plays me he blows up and misses darts at double and that's a good thing for myself.

I think he's more scared of me than I am of him.

The Dutchman won his first world title against Wright in 2014, when 'Snakebite' was playing in his first and only final. Since then, he hasn't managed to return to the biggest stage while Van Gerwen has progressed to win the title in both 2017 and 2019.

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Aonghus Ó Maicín

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