Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall make it through to last eight of Grand Slam

Dave Chisnall
Dave Chisnall

St Helens' big guns are through to the last eight of the £550,000 Boyle Sports Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton after negotiating the first knock-out stage.


Michael Smith now meets Lakeside world champion Glen Durrant following his victory over Irishman Daryl Gurney and Dave Chisnall will face Peter 'Snakebite' Wright - both match scheduled for tomorrow night (Friday).

Chizzy, in particular, produced a ruthless performance to demolish debutant Ryan Harrington - the son of former world no.1 Rod Harrington - 10-3 and at the same time reached his 26th major quarter-final in the PDC.

The margin of victory didn't come as a great surprise to anyone given Chizzy's resurgent form this season in which he's won three tournament and reached the World Grand Prix final, while Harrington was very much a surprise qualifier, let alone advancing to the last 16.

The St Helens-born and bred ace is playing with a new-found confidence and if he can maintain this kind of momentum then a sixth major final could well be on the cards.

He's lost the previous five - all against either Michael van Gerwen or Phil Taylor - so he'll just be hoping somebody else can get rid of the world champion in the opposite half of the draw.

Chisnall threw three 180s - two more than his opponent - and pinned almost 50 per cent of his doubles in a dominant display over Harrington and even threatened a whitewash when finishing from 104 to move 4-0 up.

However, Harrington got off the mark with a show-stopping 154 checkout and went on to pick up two other consolation legs.

The 39-year-old, who was runner-up in Wolverhampton back in 2014 when losing 16-13 to Taylor, said: "I'm happy to be through. I'm playing okay and I hit some good shots - it could have been closer but that's the game.

"Luckily for me I'm starting to play well again and hitting my doubles, and I can look forward to Friday now."

Smith had a tougher passage into the quarter finals but eventually overcome Gurney 10-7 in a match which each player had their moments of superiority.

'Bully Boy' made a sluggish start but ended up with a 101.56 average, helped by four maximums and two ton plus checkouts while he also pinned 50 per cent of his doubles.

The St Helens man trailed 3-1 but a pair of 11 darters in the next four legs, including one that was completed with a 100 checkout, levelled matters at 4-4 before a finish from 110 two legs later put him 6-4 ahead.

Gurney, who averaged 100.49, hit five maximums but spurned 11 double attempts, battled back from 8-5 down to trail 8-7 but his resistance would prove to be in vain as Smith closed out the win, with a 13-darter to seal the deal.

Smith is into the last eight of the Grand Slam for the first time since 2015 and, like Chisnall, continued to chase that elusive first major TV title.

Surely, it will happen for both lads one day !