Michael Smith defeats Gerwyn Price to progress to world championship semi-final

Michael Smith powered his way into the semi-final of the William Hill World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London, last night, and now faces Aldershot's James Wade tonight (Sunday) in a battle of two protagonists who have never won the most prestigious trophy in the sport

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 10:38 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 10:40 am
Michael Smith reacts during his quarter-final win against Gerwyn Price

The St Helens sharp-shooter produced a quarter final performance of epic proportions to beat defending champion Gerwyn Price of Wales.5-4 - almost a carbon copy of his stunning win in the previous round over Wales' Jonny Clayton - one of the highly-fancied players.

Both Smith, who was runner-up to three-times champion Michael van Gerwen in the 2019 final, and Price delivered a real shpw-stopper from the moment they stepped up to the oche, averaging more than 100 apiece in the first set alone and it didn't relent until the final nail was hammered into the Welshman's coffin.

Price - favourite to retain his title and the no.1 seed - won the opening set with an impressive 109 average but Smith won the next three legs. breaking Price's throw with a 107 checkout in the second leg to level the match at 1-1.

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Welshman Price took out a 125 and a 130 bullseye finish to win the third set, but despite throwing his first televised nine-darter in the fourth set, Smith averaged a massive 121.33 to level the match at 2-2.

Both players broke each other's throw in the fifth set but it was the three-time Grand Slam champion Price who threw a 108 to break Bully Boy's throw again and win the set.

Smith won the sixth set before Price broke him twice to win the seventh as the tie fluctuated..

A disturbance in the arena temporarily stopped the tie as it was reaching boiling point in the eighth set - Price speaking to the referee about off-putting noises from the crowd on his throw and twice missed match darts to cross the line.

But Smith kept his composure when it mattered most, grabbing the next two sets in style to claim the spoils..

In the other semi-final, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson - both former winners - will come face-to-face.