Missed doubles cost Michael Smith in Premier League draw with James Wade

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Michael Smith has been haunted throughout this year's Unibet Premier Darts League by an inability to polish off many of his rivals when having the first chance of a match-winning double or to clinch a crucial leg.

The St Helens ace has matched all his opponents in terms of scoring but lacked his normal deadly finishing.

It was a similar story in Sheffield last night (Thursday) when he was held to a 7-7 draw by James Wade but with a better completion rate would have demolished The Machine.

A high-quality opening saw Wade respond to finishes of 76 and 94 from the World Championship finalist with a 144 checkout to level in leg four, only for Smith to then fire in a 128 bull combination.

Double 10 in leg six saw Bully Boy claim the first break to move 4-2 up, but his missed doubles in four of the next five which allowed Wade back in to move 6-5 up.

A brilliant 161 checkout from Wade saw him secure a point, but Smith took the final two legs to share the spoils.

"It's a frustrating result," said Wade, the 2009 Premier League champion. "I got a point, which I guess is quite important at this stage of the season, but I'm not happy with how I played.

"Michael played better than me but I was fortunate he didn't hit his doubles."