St Helens darts ace Michael Smith crashes out of World Grand Prix

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Sorry old pal! That was probably the message from Ian 'Diamond' White to his practice partner, Michael Smith, after the Potteries ace stormed to a 3-1 victory over the number five seed in the World Grand Prix last night (Tuesday)

White, who is in the quarter finals of the Dublin event for the first time, said::''I'm delighted to win but it was hard work.

''Michael's my practice partner and a close friend so it's hard playing someone you know so well.

"I thought I could have won the first set, but I kept myself focused and not many players win seven legs in a row against Michael .

"I wanted to get towards the latter stages to give myself a chance and I'm glad I'm still going. It's coming up to the end of the year so every major tournament is big and I want to prove to everyone that I can play up there."

White led 2-1 early on, only to miss his chance to close out the set as the son of St Helens capitalised on two missed doubles with a 14-darter before winning the deciding leg on double 10.

White, though, opened set two with a 12-darter to spark a run of seven successive legs as he moved into a 2-1 lead in the game and also took the advantage in set four.

Smith hit back to win two of the next three as he saved the set, but the fightback was brief as tops sealed White's spot in the last eight.

St Helens will at least have one player in the last eight as Stephen Bunting and Dave Chisnall meet tonight (Wednesday) in a second round clash.