‘Big weight off shoulders’ - Merseyside’s Micheal Smith wins his first major darts title

The St Helens darts players destroyed Stockport’s Nathan Aspinall 16-5 in the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

<p>Michael Smith wins the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.</p>

Michael Smith wins the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

Patience is a virtue - and it will not be lost on Michael Smith. The 31-year-old St Helens lad - one of the best darts players on the planet - finally put to bed his seemingly inability to win a major TV ranking title when he destroyed Stockport’s Nathan Aspinall 16-5 in the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

Bully Boy - twice a world championship finalist without getting over the line and previously losing eight out of nine top finals - lived up to his nickname by blowing away his good friend and rival and then sinking the match-winning double 20 before rolling over on the oche with his hands firmly placed on his eyes in sheer joy and ecstasy.

Now his focus will be firmly fixed on the biggest prize of all - the world championship which started next month.

An ebullient Smith, who averaged 96 and landed nine 180s ,said after picking up the £150,000 first prize: "I was nervous in the first few legs and was shaking like hell but Nathan started missing doubles and let me in. Every time I got a shot, I took it out and then I started to find my scoring.

"No one can take this title away from me now and it’s a big weight off my shoulders"