Smith failed to clear first hurdle

Darts ace Michael Smith
Darts ace Michael Smith
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Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall failed to clear the first hurdle in the Unibet Darts Masters at Milton Keynes, the St Helens pair toppling to rivals with 21 world titles under their belts.

Smith went down 10-6 to 16-time world champion Phil Taylor and Chisnall lost 10-5 to five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.

It was a double blow for the local lads but didn’t come as a surprise in a competition which boasted arguably the best eight players on the planet.

Taylor, who is to retire at the end of the next world championships, showed his class by overturning an early deficit to claim eight legs out of 10 to reach the quarter final stages.

Chizzy’s exit also followed similar lines with Van Barneveld coming from 2-0 down, winning seven straight legs to take charge of the game, and eventually romping home.

“Dave let me in with some missed doubles but I played really well in the middle of the match,” said the Dutchman

“It was fantastic and I’m happy with that.

“It’s always hard to come back from two or three weeks off but I played a couple of competition nights in Holland and they helped me. I felt really comfortable.”

But neither Taylor or Van Barneveld progressed to the final which was won by world champion Michael van Gerwen at the expense of Scotland’s Gary Anderson.