Super Smith seals 1st title of the year with PC14 success
Michael Smith picked up his 1st title of the year on Tuesday, in defeating John O’Shea 8-5 in the final of Players Championship 14, as the midweek PDC Pro Tour double header commenced at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan.
7x Major finalist, Smith, made best use of six of his fellow Premier League stars being absent in Wigan by going all the way on Tuesday, as he recorded victories over Tony Martinez, Ricardo Pietreczko, Ricky Evans, Martin Lukeman, James Wilson and Damon Heta, to set up a clash with O’Shea in the final.
Nothing separated the pair in the early stages of the decider, with six straight holds of throw before Smith broke O’Shea’s throw for the first time in leg 7 to move ahead at 4-3. ‘Bully Boy’ then won the following leg in 14 darts before O’Shea halved the deficit in leg 9 to move 5-4 adrift. Smith then won back-to-back legs in 14 and 13 darts respectively to move within one of victory, with O’Shea needing to win four on the spin to keep his maiden PDC title hopes alive. ‘The Joker’ did pull one leg back, before Smith sealed the victory in leg 13 with a 17 darter to take the title, the £12,000 1st prize and a 15th ranking title of his career.
Former World Masters winner, O’Shea’s run to a first PDC final after winning his Tour Card for the first time at Q School in January, saw him record victories over Nick Fullwell, Nathan Aspinall, Damian Mol, Ross Smith, Maik Kuivenhoven and Dave Chisnall.
Elsewhere, there were Quarter Final runs for Krzysztof Ratajski and Ritchie Edhouse, with the likes of Luke Humphries, Dirk Van Duijvenbode and Raymond Van Barneveld all suffering early exits, as Ross Smith fired in a perfect leg during his first-round victory over Geert De Vos.
The PDC Pro Tour midweek double header concludes on Wednesday with Players Championship Fifteen taking place in Wigan, with the 128 players returning to compete for a further £100,000 in prize money, with play beginning at 12:00 BST. Play will be broadcasted across two streaming boards on PDC.TV and various bookmaker websites worldwide, with all live scores and results on tv.dartconnect.com.
Players Championship 14
James Wilson 6-4 Max Hopp
Michael Smith 6-4 Martin Lukeman
Ritchie Edhouse 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Damon Heta 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-0 Shaun Wilkinson
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-2 Joe Cullen
John O’Shea 6-3 Ross Smith
Michael Smith 6-4 James Wilson
Damon Heta 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
John O’Shea 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Michael Smith 7-2 Damon Heta
John O’Shea 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith 8-5 John O’Shea