Michael Smith may need just a couple more wins to make it to the latter stages of the Unibet Premier Darts League - two years after finishing bottom of the table in his only other appearance in the competition.
He and Aussie Simon Whitlock are the surprise early pace makers - boasting a 100 per record after three rounds of arguably the toughest tournament on the circuit.
Both have six points but Whitlock takes top spot due to having won one more leg than his St Helens rival and just to add spice to their battle they come face to face in Berlin next Thursday .
Smith’s followed up previous wins over Scotland’s Gary Anderson and Irishman Daryl Gurney with a 7-2 demolition of Austria’s Mensur Suljovic in Nerwcastle last night (Thursday).
Bully Boy finished on 72 and 68 to take a 2-0 lead but Suljovic bounced back to draw level.
The St Helens ace replied with an 116 finish and double five edged him 4-2 in front and then finishes of 13 and 14 darts ensured him of least a share of the spoils before double seven sealed a comprehensive victory.
The cold conditions on stage didn’t help but Smith remained ice-cool throughout and the chances of a St Helens player lifting one of the most prestigious competitions in world darts remains a possibility.