Premier League Darts: Michael Smith silences ‘imbeciles' to win opening night in Cardiff
St Helens ace Michael Smith won the first night of new Premier League Darts season after a disappointing few months which saw him knocked out of the world championships before the quarter finals.
He won his first game in Cardiff on Thursday night 6-5 against seven time Premier League winner Michael van Gerwen then following that up with a 6-5 win against fans favourite Luke Littler in what might have been the best game of the night.
His easiest game came in the final against the home town favourite Gerwyn Price, where he cruised his way to a 6-2 victory. Smith dropped the first leg but went on to win five straight against the Welshmen.
The night was not without its controversy, both Smith and Luke Humphries were met with whistles from the Welsh crowd when playing against Littler, with the commentators describing them as ‘imbeciles'.
A frustrated Smith told the crowd to shut up after this victory against Littler.
Following the game, Smith acknowledged that no matter where they go Littler is always going to be the favourite, saying: “I actually thought in the semi-final Luke Littler was Welsh, it's going to be every week, it doesn't matter where it is. Everyone's fallen in love with him. He's even bigger than Phil Taylor, who won 16 world titles. Luke is the most popular thing in darts."
Smith’s faces Price in the second round of Premier League Darts in Berlin on the 8 February.
The first night of the darts was everything we had hoped for, but Smith made the biggest impact of the evening. It was the statement win that he needed and will look to carry on next week. With it only being the first night Smith may have proven he is the man to beat and will look to continue his form into the next round
Quarter Final results
Rob Cross 6-3 Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Luke Littler 6-2 Luke Humphries
The semi final results were
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Rob Cross
Michael Smith 6-5 Luke Littler
Nathan Aspinall vs Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith vs Gerwyn Price
Luke Littler vs Rob Cross
Luke Humphries vs Peter Wright