DARTS: Smith is knocked off top spot

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Michael Smith lost his first match in the Unibet Premier Darts League on Thursday night but had only had himself the blame.

The St Helens ace, who had won his opening four games, looked on course to maintain his 100 per cent record against Rob Cross in Leeds when leading 5-3 - and having had chances to win the first five legs - but allowed the world champion to bounce back and nick both points on offer.

Inspired by finishes of 111 and 121 on the bull in the final leg, the Hastings star chalked up his third win after a shaky start in the competition.

Cross said: “That bull finish at the end was massive for me.

“I’m starting to feel more comfortable and relaxed now but I need to begin matches quicker.

Smith’s defeat allowed world no. 1 Michael van Gerwen to draw level with him on eight points but also take over top spot on a superior legs difference from their five matches to date.

Next Thursday, Bully Boy faces Peter Wright in Nottingham.