St Helens darts ace Michael Smith bows out in semi-final of European Championship

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Michael Smith continues to be haunted by his inability to win a major PDC title.

The St Helens arrow smith lost 11-7 to Welshman Gerwyn Price in the semi-finals of the Unibet European Championship in Germany last night (Sunday).

It is the umpteenth time the local lad has fallen just short in either the semi-finals or finals of the world's most prestigious competitions during the past few years and led to TV commentator and former World Grand Prix winner Alan Warriner-Little suggesting taking on board a personal adviser to help him eventually cross the winning line.

Warriner-Little said: ''Michael needs a coach in my view and work on what's going on between his ears. I think it's a mental thing because he is one of the best players in the world without doubt.

'''We have coaches in many other sports and not darts as people turn up their noses at the idea but I think Michael would definitely benefit from one.''

Smith reached the semi-final following victory over Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan but found Price a nut to crack.

The one-time rugby player raced into a four-nil lead before Bully Boy levelled the game at five across, only to fade in the latter stages.

Price's crucial break came when he finished on 88 on his way to an 8-5 advantage which also included a 13 darter.

Smith stayed in touch at 9-7 but Price surged towards the finishing line, winning the tie 11-7 and confirming a final with Rob Cross which the former world champion emerged triumphant 11-6.

Earlier the quarter final stages proved to be the end of the road for fellow St Helens-born ace Dave Chisnall who lost 10-5 to Irishman Daryl Gurney.