Michael Smith wins first title

Michael Smith defeated St Helens rival Dave Chisnall 6-5 to win the second UK Open Qualifier at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday – dramatically claiming his maiden PDC ProTour victory.

The 20-year-old followed up Saturday’s success in the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event, when he hit a nine-darter and reached the final before losing to Shaun Griffiths, by claiming his first professional title in Barnsley.

Smith had never won past the last 16 on the PDC ProTour before, but broke that run in style with a brilliant day of darts.

After defeating Louis Blundell, Gary Mawson and Nick Fullwell by only dropping five legs in his first three games, Smith came from 5-2 down to defeat Robert Thornton in the last 16.

He then avenged a 6-1 loss to Vincent van der Voort in Saturday’s UK Open Qualifier with a 6-2 quarter-final victory, and then overcame world number six Simon Whitlock 6-4 in the semi-finals to earn a place in the final.

The youngster made a superb start to the decider, taking out 106 for the first leg, 72 for the second and double top to lead 3-0, before Chisnall hit back with a 98 finish, double eight to break and a 12-darter to square the game.

The pair shared the next two, before Smith hit a 180 and took out 85 to move a leg away from victory.

The duo opened the tenth leg with maximums, with Chisnall taking out 82 on tops to force a deciding leg – with both players suffering nerves in a tense and dramatic finale.

Smith hit two 140s to be first to a finish but missed double top for a 104 finish and two further darts for the match, only for Chisnall to see a dart at tops to grab the title land low.

Smith returned, and took out double five with his third dart to claim the win and his maiden title.

“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” said Smith. “Hitting the nine-darter yesterday was one achievement and now I’ve done this, and it’s unreal.

“On Saturday I missed a lot of doubles when I lost to Vincent but playing in the Youth Tour event got my confidence up. Doing so well in that made me do what I did today.

“I thought I’d end up losing in the last 16 again like I have done a few times before but as soon as I got past that stage I thought nobody was going to stop me.

“I live up to my ‘Bully’ nickname, hitting 12-dart legs, 180s and 140s and not missing my doubles this time.

“Playing Dave in the final made it easier for me because we’d played twice in Players Championships in Germany recently and he beat me both times, so I owed him one for that!

“When I went 3-0 up and started to miss a few doubles I thought I might lose it, but I battled through, kept my head high and won it.

“Now I’ve won one tournament nothing’s going to stop me. I want to get into the top 64 this year and keep my Tour Card, then get into the top 32 and challenge the best players in the world.”

Chisnall’s run saw him reach his first PDC ProTour final since winning through January’s Qualifying School to earn him a spot on the PDC circuit, and followed three successive quarter-finals ahead of Sunday’s event.

He had to defeat Stephen Hardy, Kevin Painter, Colin Monk, Co Stompe and Shane O’Connor to reach the quarter-finals, where he edged out Wes Newton 6-5 after the Fleetwood ace missed two darts to take victory in the deciding leg.

Chisnall then enjoyed a good tussle with local favourite Darren Johnson in the semis before prevailing 6-4, and picked up £3,000 for his day’s work alongside ensuring a spot in June’s UK Open televised finals in Bolton.

Whitlock suffered disappointment in the semi-finals for a second successive day in Barnsley, while Johnson’s run was his best-ever on the PDC ProTour.

Mark Webster and Mark Walsh joined van der Voort and Newton in reaching the last eight, while Saturday’s UK Open Qualifier winner Steve Brown was amongst the last 16 losers alongside young duo Arron Monk and Shane O’Connor.

UK Open Qualifier 2
Preliminary Round
Jamie Atkins 6-1 Matt Padgett
Adrian Gray 6-3 Ian Jopling
Sam Allen 6-3 Aodhagan O’Neill
Matt Jackson 6-1 Nicky Bache
Mark Stephenson 6-3 Lee White
Adam Smith-Neale 6-4 Simon Craven
Andy Relf 6-5 Gary Welding
Brian Woods 6-1 Nick Malkin
Richie Corner 6-5 Mareno Michels
Andrew Hibbert 6-1 Mike Roberts
Dean Jones 6-3 Darrell Claydon
Jimmy Mann 6-2 John Henderson
Stuart Dutton 6-5 Shaun Griffiths
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Stephen Hardy
Peter Hudson 6-5 Darren Latham
Paul Schofield 6-5 Tim Hope

First Round
Kevin McDine 6-2 Devon Petersen
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 James Richardson
Jelle Klaasen 6-0 Gary Eastwood
William O’Connor 6-3 Jamie Atkins
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Dave Smith
Alex Roy 6-1 Norman Fletcher
John Part 6-3 Paul Rowley
Dennis Smith 6-3 Adrian Gray
Mark Frost 6-4 Andy Brown
Michael Barnard 6-1 David Coyne
Robert Thornton 6-2 Michael Rosenauer
Richie Burnett 6-1 Sam Allen
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Mark Jodrill
Colin Lloyd 6-1 Simon Jones
Michael Smith 6-2 Louis Blundell
Gary Mawson 6-2 Matt Jackson
Dave Ladley 6-5 Andy Smith
Mark Jones 6-4 Steve Maish
Mark Webster 6-4 Ian Lever
Mark Stephenson 6-1 Mick McGowan
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jon Archer
Lee Palfreyman 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
Peter Wright 6-2 Andy Pearce
Colin Osborne 6-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Martyn Turner 6-0 Andy Pearson
Steve Beaton 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Nigel Birch
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Andy Relf
Gary Anderson 6-1 Dyson Parody
Steve Brown 6-1 Mick Todd
Denis Ovens 6-0 Andy Hodges
Nigel Heydon 6-3 Brian Woods
Ken Dobson 6-2 Peter Manley
Wayne Jones 6-2 Ryan Harrington
Scott Rand 6-2 Alan Tabern
Mark Walsh 6-3 Richie Corner
Joe Cullen 6-0 Steve Perkins
Matt Clark 6-2 Andy Hutchings
Steve Evans 6-0 Matthew Edgar
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Andrew Hibbert
Dennis Priestley 6-2 Kevin Dowling
Wayne Atwood 6-1 Mark Tiller
Andy Jenkins 6-2 Mike Gillet
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Dean Jones
Mark Hylton 6-1 Mako Kantele
Chris Thompson 6-2 Darren Whittingham
Darren Johnson 6-3 Terry Temple
Mervyn King 6-2 Jimmy Mann
Jamie Caven 6-4 Ian White
Wayne Mardle 6-3 Mike Nott
Shane O’Connor 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Roland Scholten 6-2 Stuart Dutton
Co Stompe 6-4 Geoff Whitworth
Steve Grubb 6-5 Steve Hine
Colin Monk 6-2 Steve Cupitt
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Kevin Painter
Tony Eccles 6-4 Simon Burt
Barrie Bates 6-5 Ashley Holgate
Wes Newton 6-0 Steven Pearson
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Peter Hudson
Mark Lawrence 6-2 Stacy Bromberg
Jason Crawley 6-3 Justin Pipe
Arron Monk 6-0 Dylan Duo
Tony Ayres 6-0 Paul Schofield

Second Round
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Kevin McDine
William O’Connor 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Alex Roy
Dennis Smith 6-5 John Part
Michael Barnard 6-4 Mark Frost
Robert Thornton 6-3 Richie Burnett
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Colin Lloyd
Michael Smith 6-1 Gary Mawson
Mark Jones 6-3 Dave Ladley
Mark Webster 6-4 Mark Stephenson
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Lee Palfreyman
Colin Osborne 6-1 Peter Wright
Steve Beaton 6-1 Martyn Turner
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Mark Dudbridge
Steve Brown 6-2 Gary Anderson
Nigel Heydon 6-5 Denis Ovens
Wayne Jones 6-4 Ken Dobson
Mark Walsh 6-4 Scott Rand
Matt Clark 6-1 Joe Cullen
Steve Evans 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Dennis Priestley 6-4 Wayne Atwood
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Chris Thompson 6-5 Mark Hylton
Darren Johnson 6-4 Mervyn King
Wayne Mardle 6-3 Jamie Caven
Shane O’Connor 6-2 Roland Scholten
Co Stompe 6-3 Steve Grubb
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Colin Monk
Barrie Bates 6-2 Tony Eccles
Wes Newton 6-3 Paul Nicholson
Mark Lawrence 6-5 Jason Crawley
Arron Monk 6-4 Tony Ayres
Losers £200

Third Round
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 William O’Connor
Dennis Smith 6-2 Terry Jenkins
Robert Thornton 6-4 Michael Barnard
Michael Smith 6-2 Nick Fullwell
Mark Webster 6-2 Mark Jones
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Colin Osborne
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Steve Beaton
Steve Brown 6-3 Nigel Heydon
Mark Walsh 6-4 Wayne Jones
Matt Clark 6-0 Steve Evans
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Dennis Priestley
Darren Johnson 6-5 Chris Thompson
Shane O’Connor 6-1 Wayne Mardle
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Co Stompe
Wes Newton 6-1 Barrie Bates
Arron Monk 6-4 Mark Lawrence
Losers £400

Fourth Round
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Dennis Smith
Michael Smith 6-5 Robert Thornton
Mark Webster 6-2 Michael van Gerwen
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Steve Brown
Mark Walsh 6-2 Matt Clark
Darren Johnson 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Shane O’Connor
Wes Newton 6-1 Arron Monk
Losers £600

Michael Smith 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mark Webster
Darren Johnson 6-5 Mark Walsh
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Wes Newton
Losers £1,000

Michael Smith 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Darren Johnson
Losers £2,000

Michael Smith 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – leg by leg
1-0 – Michael Smith takes out 106 on tops for the opening leg
2-0 – Chisnall misses two darts to win the leg and Smith finishes 72 on tops to break
3-0 – Smith posts double top at the first time of asking for the third successive leg
3-1 – Chisnall finishes 98 in two darts to get off the mark
3-2 – Chisnall misses the bull for a 92 finish but returns – after Smith sees darts at double top and double ten miss – to hit double eight and break back
3-3 – Chisnall levels in 12 darts, scoring 140, 180 and 145 before checking out double nine
4-3 – Smith edges back in front by finishing 80 in two darts
4-4 – Smith hits a 171 to leave 130, but when he misses the bull Chisnall finishes 68 on double 16 to level
5-4 – Smith posts a 180 and finishes 85 on double 14 to move a leg away from his first PDC title
5-5 – Both players open with a 180 but Chisnall sends the game into a deciding leg by taking out 82 on tops
6-5 – Smith prevails in a dramatic deciding leg – missing three darts for victory before Chisnall sees a dart at double top for an 80 finish land low, and the youngster takes out double five with his third dart for the title


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