St Helens darts ace Michael Smith reaches world championship final

Michael Smith reacting after winning his semi-final at the William Hill World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace
Michael Smith reacting after winning his semi-final at the William Hill World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace
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An emotional Michael Smith was almost lost for words after he reached the final of the William Hill World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London, last night


Smith defeated Stockport's Nathan Aspinall 6-3 and now faces number one seed Michael van Gerwen on New Year's Day.

Close to tears the 28-year-old St Helens ace, told Sky TV viewers: "I've never played to that level before but I'm close to crying on TV."

Tenth seed Smith, who averaged 105.22 during the match, added: "I was very nervous but I got the job done and I'm so happy to be in the final. I'm one step away from living my dream.''

Aspinall averaged 100.53 and said: "I've enjoyed every minute of it. I never expected to get to the semi-final.

"I was so nervous at the start but I made a great game there. I just relaxed. It started flowing and I wanted to give Michael a game. I wish Mike all the best as he deserves to win this."

Bully Boy stormed into a 2-0 lead but tournament debutant Aspinall gathered himself to level at 3-3 as both players produced some big scoring.

But Smith then took control of the match and reeled off the next three sets against the world number 73 and is one victory away from a £500,000 pay day.

Michael Van Gerwen will bid for a third World Championship title as he swept aside Gary Anderson, winning 6-1.

The population of St Helens will be glued to their TV sets on Tuesday night !