What a year for Wales

By Polly James 08/01/2021

Polly was quite excited at Wales' superb 2020, with the prospect of them doing well at the World Championships leaving her positively giddy we can only imagine how things progressed:
LUSH. Just lush. I have to admit I’m still on a high from watching Gezzy (Price) and Jonny (Clayton) win the World Cup for Wales! What a year for Wales in darts.

Wayne Warren wins the BDO World Championship, Gezzy wins the Grand Prix, then the World Cup. There have been quite a few moments in 2020 that I’ve been left screaming at the telly in the sheer joy of a Welsh winner.

Now for the REALLY big one, the PDC Worlds. It would be awesome to get a clean sweep of the major titles for Wales and I reckon it’s not beyond reality. Gezzy has been unplayable at times this year and for me he comes across as the hungriest player in the world and that sets him apart from the rest. I think what really interested me was his passion at winning the World Cup. He admitted that it meant more to him than both the Grand Slam wins and Grand Prix. It’s clear that passion runs through his veins. Also watching him at the Slam recently, he was louder than ever. That was an epic match with Nathan Aspinall and it was always going to take a huge performance to end Gezzy’s winning streak. What did make me laugh was Nathan saying he didn’t realize just how loud Gezzy was especially when there are no fans in the arena. He reckoned it was very intimidating. No wonder, he’s a rugby boy!

I definitely won’t underestimate Jonny’s part in the World Cup. He comes across as the quiet guy but he’s a real performer and by all accounts, he’s not really all that quiet. Overall, darts has been incredible this year. Even though missing fans in darts is probably a bigger factor than in any other sport. Yet the competition has been just as fierce. Some of the players have obviously taken time to get used to no crowds. But even the likes of Gezzy and Nathan, who need that adrenalin rush more than anyone, seem to be back at the top of their game now.

The other fascinating aspect now is the unlikely players suddenly getting big results. That seems to be the new trend in 2020. Every tournament seems to unearth a new guy. Dimitri Van den Bergh was obviously always a future champion, but he came of age at the World Matchplay. Then we had Dirk van Duijvenbode in the Grand Prix and even the likes of Jose De Sousa and Adam Hunt were brilliant in the Grand Slam. It just means that these days anyone can seem to put a run together and upset the big guns. And so it’s now the World Championship, wall-to-wall darts from mid-December to the end of the year.

Bring. It. On!


You can hear Polly James on Radio X, FM, online, digital radio and on the Radio X app. Polly is also a social media host for Unibet Premier League.

Original article appears in Darts World magazine (572).


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