Inconsistency has often been the Achilles’ heel of Michael Smith and it reared its ugly head again in the opening phase of the Brisbane Masters Darts competition on Friday night.
The St Helens ace, who in recent weeks had been crowned Shanghai Masters champion and finished runner-up in the Melbourne Masters, crashed to a shock 6-1 against Aussie Raymond Smith.
The 38-year-old averaged almost 100 to comfortably beat his namesake and said the result was a massive boost and is likely to lead to him being part of the World Championship in December.
The Australian began the match in style, taking out 125 on tops to set the tone for the rest of the match. He then raced into a 5-0 lead before the Premier League finalist managed to register his only leg.
But no comeback was on the cards, local star Smith delighting the home crowd by pinning double 10 to seal the win.
He said: “To be the first Queenslander to walk out on that stage and play as well as I did, I am happy as I can be.
“Michael missed doubles, I got lucky but at the same time. I played the darts and put myself in that position. When I got the shot I took it.”