Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright won their round one games on day one of the Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals.

Van Gerwen and Price both won 6-2 against Darius Labanauskas and John Henderson respectively. Wright had to overcome Ryan Meikle in a last leg decider.

However, day one of the Players Championship Finals also saw some huge shocks in Coventry, as big names including:

  • James Wade
  • Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Daryl Gurney
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Glen Durrant

All lost in round one.

PDC Players Championship Finals
Michael van Gerwen got off to the perfect start on day one of the Players Championship Finals in Coventry. Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World top three through in different circumstances

It was a comfortable night at the oche for both MvG and The Iceman on day one of the Players Championship Finals.

Van Gerwen, looking to defend the title he won last year in Minehead, produced an emphatic display against Lithuanian’s Labanauskas. The Green Machine fired in a 103.3 average, and hit three ton plus checkouts including a magical 156, as he barely broke sweat. He will face World Cup winner Jonny Clayton, who defeated Mickey Mansell 6-2 in round two.

It was a similar story for Price, who wants to go one better than losing in the final as he did 12 months ago. Winning the first two legs in 29 darts, the other half of the World Cup winning duo did not look back. Taking a 3-2 lead at the interval, Price reeled off three legs in 42 darts to send the Highlander home, and set up a clash with Jamie Hughes tomorrow, who beat Ricky Evans 6-2.

However, things were not plain sailing for the World Champion, and number one seed Wright against Meikle. Snakebite, who suffered an early exit from the Grand Slam last week, went 3-1 up thanks to a stunning 156. However, the Barber would not lie down, winning three of the next four legs to level 4-4.

Another break from Wright on double 16 moved him 5-4, before the 2020 Development Tour Order of Merit winner produced a stunning 167 checkout to level the match contest. However, Meikle’s scoring let him down at just the wrong moment, allowing Wright to hit double 16 again for an 11 darter to eventually get over the line. The World Champion faces Simon Whitlock in round two, after the Wizard defeated Adrian Lewis 6-4.

Big names fall on day one in Coventry

The biggest name to fall on day one of the Players Championship Finals, was the Grand Slam runner up James Wade.

The Machine fell 3-0 behind to young Dutchman Neils Zonneveld, and could not recover, as the 22 year old completed a famous victory with a stunning 122 on the bullseye. Zonneveld faces fellow Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode in round two, after he beat William O’Connor 6-4 in a fantastic game.

Elsewhere, stage two saw a number of big names fall, particularly in the afternoon. The number five seed Krzysztof Ratajski missed a lot of doubles, and it cost him, as Karel Sedlacek dumped the Polish Eagle out with a 6-4 win. The Czech will play Madars Razma in round two, who beat Chris Dobey 6-3.

Karel Sedlacek knocked out Krzysztof Ratajski on day one of the Players Championship Finals. Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The 2018 winner of this event, Daryl Gurney, was also sent home in round one. Superchin was just 2/9 on the outer ring, as he was beaten 6-2 by Callan Rydz.

Callan Rydz beat Daryl Gurney to book a round two match. Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

It means the Northern Irishman drops to world number 11, while Rydz faces Ryan Searle, who knocked the World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 with an outstanding performance.

Finally, the Premier League Champion Glen Durrant played better as he continues to recover from contracting COVID-19. However, Wayne Jones produced a stunning performance to knock Duzza out in round one, hitting a 100 checkout to complete a 6-3 victory. Jones will face Jeffrey De Zwaan in round two, who beat Darren Webster by the same scoreline.

Glen Durrant was knocked out by Wayne Jones in Coventry at the Players Championship Finals. Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

What else happened?

Elsewhere, day one of the Players Championship saw:

  • Boris Krcmar average 107.8 but still lose 6-5 to Michael Smith. Outshots of 142 and 145 saw the Bully Boy through. He faces Gary Anderson in round two, after Ando beat Keegan Brown 6-4
  • Nathan Aspinall survive five match darts in his 6-5 win against Scott Waites. The Asp will take on Ross Smith tomorrow, who took advantage of missed doubles by Kim Huybrechts to win 6-1
  • Rob Cross continue to improve, as he beat Jason Lowe 6-3. He takes on Joe Cullen in round two, who defeated Adam Hunt 6-3.
  • Jermaine Wattimena reel off six straight legs, as he averaged 103.5 to defeat Steve Lennon 6-1. He faces Luke Humphries tomorrow in a rematch of a classic round two game at last year’s World Darts Championship, after Cool Hand took out Devon Petersen 6-3.
  • Gabriel Clemens come through a last leg decider against Martijn Kleermaker. The German Giant’s 6-5 win sees him face Ian White in round two, after White won 6-4 against William Borland.
  • Luke Woodhouse knock out Brendan Dolan 6-4 to make the second round of this event for the second straight year. He faces Andy Boulton, who beat a winner on the Pro Tour this year Ryan Joyce by the same scoreline.
  • Mervyn King average 105.1 to win 6-3 in a fantastic game against Dave Chisnall. King, who made the quarter finals last year, faces Danny Noppert in round two, after Noppie beat Steve Beaton 6-1.
  • Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa continue his hot streak, as he came through 6-3 against Mike De Decker. His reward is a round two contest with Vincent van der Voort, after the Dutch Destroyer won 6-2 against fellow countryman Derk Telnekes
  • In-form Ryan Murray take out last year’s quarter finalist Stephen Bunting 6-4. The Bullet finished 4/19 on the doubles in the contest. Murray plays Damon Heta tomorrow, who comfortably beat Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1.

You can find more reaction from day one in Coventry on our YouTube channel.

Players Championship Finals Day One Results

Afternoon Session

Main Stage

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 William O’Connor

Michael Smith 6-5 Boris Krcmar

Rob Cross 6-3 Jason Lowe

Joe Cullen 6-3 Adam Hunt

Luke Humphries 6-3 Devon Petersen

Ryan Searle 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Simon Whitlock 6-4 Adrian Lewis

Mervyn King 6-3 Dave Chisnall

Stage Two

Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Brendan Dolan

Andy Boulton 6-4 Ryan Joyce

Ryan Murray 6-4 Stephen Bunting

Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski

Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker

Ian White 6-4 William Borland

Jonny Clayton 6-2 Mickey Mansell

Callan Rydz 6-2 Daryl Gurney


Evening Session

Main Stage

Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Scott Waites

Gary Anderson 6-4 Keegan Brown

Niels Zonneveld 6-3 James Wade

Peter Wright 6-5 Ryan Meikle

Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Darius Labanauskas

Gerwyn Price 6-2 John Henderson

Jose De Sousa 6-3 Mike De Decker

Stage Two

Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Derk Telnekes

Jamie Hughes 6-2 Ricky Evans

Ross Smith 6-1 Kim Huybrechts

Damon Heta 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven

Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Steve Lennon

Madars Razma 6-3 Chris Dobey

Wayne Jones 6-3 Glen Durrant

Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Darren Webster

Danny Noppert 6-1 Steve Beaton

Round Two Fixtures

Afternoon Session (12.45 GMT)

Round Two (Best of 11 legs)

Main Stage

Ian White v Gabriel Clemens

Nathan Aspinall v Ross Smith

Michael Smith v Gary Anderson

Joe Cullen v Rob Cross

Jose De Sousa v Vincent Van der Voort

Michael Van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton

Gerwyn Price v Jamie Hughes

Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock


Stage Two

Luke Woodhouse v Andy Boulton

Karel Sedlacek v Madars Razma

Ryan Searle v Callan Rydz

Damon Heta v Ryan Murray

Danny Noppert v Mervyn King

Jermaine Wattimena v Luke Humphries

Wayne Jones v Jeffrey De Zwaan

Niels Zonneveld v Dirk van Duijvenbode

The winners of the round two games will move into round three, which will be played on Saturday evening. Four games will be played on the Main Stage, and four games will be played on Stage Two.