St Helens’ interest in the Grand Slam of Darts is over.
Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting were all beaten in the last 16 of the Wolverhampton tournament on Wednesday night and can have no complaints about the outcome.
Smith, however, gave his mentor and two times world champion Gary Anderson a real scare in one of the best TV games in recent years.
‘Bully Boy’ stormed into a 4-1 lead before the first break with a staggering 107 average, claiming legs of 12 and 11 darts and a 110 finish.
But when they returned to the oche, Scotland’s Anderson recovered his composure to spark a run of seven straight legs and eventually he went on to win the tie 10-6.
“I was in trouble for a while there but I’d missed a couple of doubles and I could have been 3-2 up when I was 4-1 down,” said Anderson.
“Michael was tremendous for those first four or five legs and he’s something else when he gets going but then he wavers a little. If he’d kept it up, he would probably have won 10-2, or something like that.”
No. 3 seed Anderson added: “He’s a lovely lad and he deserves all the success he’s having - but I hate playing him.
“He’s a fantastic player but he’s so hard to play against!”
Smith’s ‘stablemate’ Chisnall, who has not been in the best of form this year, bowed out 10-8 to Lakeside champion Glen Durrant - the first BDO player to reach the quarter-finals since 2013.
It was then left to Bunting to try and restore St Helens’ pride in the final match of the night but his hopes of reaching the last eight were thwarted by Peter Wright who won their showdown 10-4 with an average of 104.
“I had to play well because Stephen has been coming back into form lately ,” said Wright.
“We had a fantastic game in the World Grand Prix and he let me off then so I had to be on form today.”