Gerwyn Price has accused rival Peter Wright of mind games which the Welshman claims cost him his chance of becoming world champion.
The Iceman has blamed Wright for the collapse in Price’s form that saw him lose 6-3 in Monday night’s PDC World Darts Championship semi-final.
Price turned in a surprisingly below-par display, rarely finding any rhythm and finishing with an average of just 89.94.
It was a thoroughly disappointing night for the former Neath and Cross Keys rugby player who many were tipping to go all the way to the world title after thrashing Glen Durrant 5-1 in the quarter-finals on Sunday night.
Price had talked up his friendship with Wright ahead of the match, but things got a little heated early on after “Snakebite” won the first set and went to share a joke with the Iceman, but Price ignored the taunt.
It looked likely to be nothing, but when Price claimed the second set he was clearly over-celebrating in front of Wright to offer some retaliation.
The game was then played with a frosty atmosphere until its conclusion when there was no handshake between the players, something Wright bizarrely put down to there being no toilet paper backstage and not wanting to spread germs.
Later in the evening, Price posted on Instagram that he had been upset by Wright’s attempt at banter and it put him off for the rest of the game.
He wrote: “Great tournament pity about the ending but I will learn, desperate measures to achieve a win…thanks for the support…see you all in 2020.
“He wanted to have a joke downstairs but not have one on stage – it’s not my problem.”@snakebitewright reacts to victory over Gerwyn Price in a highly-charged encounter to reach his second world final 🐍🎥 #WHDarts
Full press conference 👇
— Live Darts (@livedarts) December 30, 2019
“Suppose I’ll be the bad guy once again #whatsnew ‘Thanks everyone for the support over the last 2 weeks, it was a great tournament for me and I loved every minute.
“It’s not a rule that you have to shake hands before during or after a game.
“It was the biggest game of my career and I was fully focused, before and after such 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 Championship final spot.
“Players know what they are doing and do this when they know there’s a threat. ‘Happy new year everyone x”
Wright was also unhappy with Price after the match, not seeing a problem with continuing the joke from backstage, and believing the Iceman’s retaliation was uncalled for.
“Before the match me and Gezzy were winding each other up,’ Wright told Sky Sports.
“‘He said he was going to win the first two sets and I would change my darts.
“I like Gezzy but I don’t appreciate what he done, but there we go. It spurred me on, it wound me up and I did what I needed to do on the dartboard.
“He wanted to have a joke downstairs and then not have one on stage. It’s not my problem.’
Wright now goes on to face Michael van Gerwen in the PDC World Darts Championship final on New Year’s Day in a repeat of the final from 2014, which MVG won 7-4.
The Iceman will be looking forward to some time off before returning at the Masters which gets underway on 31 January in Milton Keynes.