Glasgow glory for Smith on night 3 of the Premier League
Michael Smith won his first Cazoo Premier League night of 2023 in Thursday’s Glasgow final at the OVO Hydro, defeating Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4.
The World Champion had seen Chris Dobey and Gerwyn Price win the first two weeks of the Premier League, but delighted a packed Hydro to win the £10,000 bonus and five valuable league points.
Smith defeated Price in the quarter-finals in Glasgow before rallying from 4-2 down to win the semi-final against another Welshman, Jonny Clayton, in a deciding leg.
He saved his best performance for the final, averaging 109.42 and moving to the top of the league table.
Smith led 2-0 and 3-1 before Van den Bergh responded with an 86 on the bull, only for the Grand Slam of Darts champion to power in a 140 finish for a 12-darter.
Van den Bergh produced legs of 13 and 14 darts to close the gap to 5-4, but Smith ended his hopes on double ten to cap off an unforgettable night in Scotland.
“I’m delighted – I just want to win nights like this,” said Smith, who had to wait until Night 16 to claim a nightly win last year.
“At least I didn’t have to wait until Week 16 to get my win! Apart from the Gezzy game, I felt good tonight.
“I was more nervous playing Gezzy because he won last week. He was up for it but I managed to pull through, and then against Jonny I had a 100 average.
“I had a few dodgy legs on doubles but everything else felt really good, and I had to keep believing in what I’ve been doing.
“Obviously I want to make the top four, I want to be in the finals night and I want to keep winning. I know I can’t win every game I play, but when I’m playing well I know I can win and that’s what the Premier League’s about.”
Van den Bergh defeated Scotland’s Peter Wright 6-4 in the quarter-finals before putting on a spectacular performance in the semi-finals.
The Belgian stunned the Glasgow crowd by defeating Nathan Aspinall 6-1 with a 105.73 average, but was unable to replicate that performance in the decider against an inspired Smith.
Wright is now the only player without a league point after his winless streak continued in Glasgow, where Clayton earned his first victory by averaging 103 in a 6-1 victory over Night One winner Dobey.
The other quarter-final loser on the night was Michael van Gerwen, who came from 4-1 down to force a deciding leg against Aspinall, who won the tie’s 11th leg with a 170 checkout.
On Thursday, February 23, the Cazoo Premier League continues with Night Four at Dublin’s 3Arena, where Smith will face world number two Wright.
Van Gerwen takes on Dobey, Price takes on Van den Bergh, and Clayton takes on Aspinall in front of a sold-out Irish crowd.
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