Michael Smith is still seeking his first major TV darts title.
It was a question of so near yet so far for the 28-year-old St Helens ace who was beaten 11-7 in the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes UK Open by former world champion Rob Cross at Butlin's Minehead last night (Sunday)
Despite far from 100 per cent fit due to a leg problem, Bully Boy had stormed through the earlier rounds, in which he beat Daryl Gurney, Steve Beaton, big John Henderson and Jermaine Wattimena.
But in a showdown between two of the leading lights in the sport, which was expected to reach dizzy heights, both players struggled to produce their best
Ultimately, it was the more clinical finishing from Cross that proved to be the difference as Smith, rather uncharacteristically, only converted five of 19 double attempts.
Fellow son of St Helens Dave Chisnall made progress in the competition, beating Luke Humpries 10-8 and Martin Schindler 10-5 before suffering a shock 10-9 defeat at the hands of Simon Stevenson.
Two other local lads were shown the exit door in the earlier rounds - Stephen Bunting losing to Steve Lennon and Alan Tabern going out to John Muran.