Two sporting sons of St Helens are through to the quarter finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London. and both will be dreaming of lifting the coveted crown.
Michael Smith cruised through to the last eight for the second time in his career with a 4-1 win over Ryan Searle last night (Friday) and is quoted as third favourite behind former winners, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson.
He was followed on stage by his St Helens-born compatriot, Dave Chisnall, who whitewashed Welshman Jamie Lewis and both local players will return to the oche today (Saturday) in a bid to reach the semi-final stages of the competition.
Smith takes on Luke Humphries, a shock 4-2 winner over defending champion Rob Cross, and Chizzy faces two-times world champion Gary
Smith took the opening set 3-1 in his showdown with rank outsider Searle, and, after the latter went 2-0 up in the second, the Premier
League finalist came back to win it with a 130 checkout to double his lead.
Back-to-back 11-dart legs helped Smith on the way to a 3-0 lead, but after he missed two match darts in the fourth, Searle stepped in to take double 10 to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
Searle took the opening two legs of set five, but a determined Smith came back once again with three successive legs, sealing the win with a 106 checkout.
Chisnall was even more convincing as he defeated Lewis without losing a set. He won 4-0 for the second consecutive match as he dumped out Welshman Lewis, who reached the semi-finals 12 months ago.
A 118 checkout helped Lewis move two legs clear in the first set but Chisnall overturned the deficit before winning the second set 3-1.
He then overcame a second 118 finish from his opponent to edge set three in a deciding leg, before taking the fourth set 3-1.
Chizzy has now won 11 consecutive sets since going 2-0 behind against Josh Payne in round two.
The semi-finals will be staged tomorrow (Sunday) and the final on New Year's Day.