Michael Smith inches off nine-darter in Grand Slam win
Michael Smith has qualified for the quarter final stages of the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts at Wolverhampton and now faces three-times world champion Michael Van Gerwen in a battle for a last four spot tomorrow night (Saturday).
Bully Boy ousted Bradford' s Joe Cullen from the tournament last night (Thursday), earning a convincing 10-5 triumph in a game when both players were guilty of missing far too many doubles and the main highlight was the St Helens' ace coming within a whisker of a nine dart finish.
Smith, still seeking a major TV title, made the better start and had a chance to go 4-1 ahead but squandered darts at double one which allowed Cullen to finally hit double 16 and stay in touch at 3-2.
The pair shared breaks following the first interval before Bully Boy regained the initiative at 4-3 and quickly extended his lead to 6-4. A double five with one dart in hand enabled the local lad to move 7-5 in front, thanks to sinking tops and double nine.
He also came within a hair's breadth of completing a nine dart 15th leg finish but kept his composure to cross the winning line.