Michael Smith made it back-to-back Players Championship titles at the PDC Winter Series by overcoming Jose De Sousa 8-7 in…
Michael Smith made it back-to-back Players Championship titles at the PDC Winter Series by overcoming Jose De Sousa 8-7 in the final in Coventry on Wednesday.
Smith, who had ended a two-and-a-half year wait for a PDC ranking title on Tuesday, continued his inspired burst of form to secure a second £10,000 title in as many days at the Ricoh Arena.
The world number four produced four ton-plus averages on his way to victory as he stretched his unbeaten run to 14 games after defeat in Sunday’s World Cup of Darts final with England.
“I’m overjoyed and over the moon,” said Smith. “This is all about confidence and belief.
“Finally getting that title yesterday meant the pressure was off.
“I didn’t do much wrong today, I was checking out finishes when I needed to.
“I managed to pull out a 180 in that last leg, I don’t know where from.
“Last night I got to sleep at 2am because I forgot what it’s like winning and what happens to your phone.
“My phone went stupid until 2 in the morning and it’s going to go even worse now!”
Smith kick-started his path to glory with a solid 6-3 victory over Dutchman Derk Telnekes before averaging 106.1 and 106.8 in 6-1 and 6-3 wins over Matthew Dennant and Damon Heta respectively.
He then saw off World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 before thrashing in-form Gabriel Clemens 6-1 with a blistering 109.9 average in the Quarter-Finals.
The Premier League star clinched his place in the final with a commanding 7-3 triumph over Vincent van der Voort with a 101 average.
It was De Sousa, however, who took control of the final, storming into a 4-1 lead with two 11-darters along the way.
A crucial moment then saw the Portuguese star squander five darts at doubles as Smith finished 65 to stop the rot in leg six.
That was the first of four consecutive legs for Smith as he took out 82 to turn the match on its head and move 5-4 in front.
De Sousa, responded strongly with back-to-back checkouts of 82 and 116 to regain the upper-hand, but only for Smith to claim the next two legs for a 7-6 lead.
De Sousa dug deep and broke throw with double 12 to force a decider, but a timely 180 from Smith saw him seize control before finishing the job on double ten.
De Sousa went one better than Tuesday’s run to the Semi-Finals as he progressed to a sixth PDC ranking final, having notably claimed European Grand Prix glory last month.
The world number 37 started his run with wins over Jason Lowe and Adam Hunt before averaging 101 in a 6-1 rout of Bradley Brooks.
A 6-2 win over Danny Noppert followed in the Last 16 before he survived two match darts from Jeffrey de Zwaan to clinch a 6-5 success in the Last Eight.
His best performance came in the Semi-Finals against Joe Cullen, averaging a staggering 110.5 with seven 180s in a 7-2 demolition.
Day Two of the PDC Winter Series also witnessed two nine-darters, with Andy Hamilton firing in the first during his First Round win over Christian Bunse, before Rowby-John Rodriguez landed a perfect leg in his Second Round win over Boris Krcmar.
Germany’s Gabriel Clemens was one of the stand-out performers as he registered four averages in excess of 105 en route to the Quarter-Finals, including two 112s.
Vincent van der Voort reached enjoyed a run to his first Players Championship Semi-Final since April 2016, while 18-year-old Irish star Keane Barry reached the Last 16 on the ProTour for the first time.
Premier League champion Glen Durrant suffered a second successive First Round exit, going down in a deciding leg to Steve West, while World Champion Peter Wright averaged 107.6 in a 6-5 defeat to Kai Fan Leung – who averaged 106 in a memorable First Round scalp.
PDC Winter Series 2020 Event Two Results
Wednesday November 11
Scott Mitchell 6-2 Jim Williams
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Keegan Brown
Ryan Murray 6-2 Niels Zonneveld
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Matt Clark
Peter Jacques 6-5 Luke Humphries
Jamie Hughes 6-0 Matthew Edgar
William O’Connor 6-1 Harald Leitinger
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 Devon Petersen
Boris Krcmar 6-4 Scott Baker
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 David Evans
Kevin Doets 6-3 Ted Evetts
Michael Smith 6-3 Derk Telnekes
Matthew Dennant 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Damon Heta 6-0 Steve Brown
James Wilson 6-3 Martin Atkins
James Wade 6-1 Yordi Meeuwisse
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Marko Kantele
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 David Pallett
Jeff Smith 6-2 Josh Payne
Rob Cross 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Jan Dekker 6-5 Maikel Verberk
Justin Pipe 6-4 Ryan Searle
Max Hopp 6-4 Carl Wilkinson
John Michael 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-0 John Henderson
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Barrie Bates
Aaron Beeney 6-4 Michael Barnard
Steve West 6-5 Glen Durrant
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Karel Sedlacek
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Conan Whitehead
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Darren Penhall
Kai Fan Leung 6-5 Peter Wright
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Daniel Larsson
Scott Taylor 6-3 Chris Dobey
Steve Lennon 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Gary Blades
Darren Webster 6-0 Mark McGeeney
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Jesus Noguera 6-3 Martin Schindler
Joe Cullen 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Andy Boulton 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Ross Smith 6-5 Joe Murnan
Gavin Carlin 6-2 Ciaran Teehan
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Ian White
Robert Collins 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Reece Robinson
Ricky Evans 6-3 Nick Kenny
Jitse Van der Wal 6-0 Nathan Aspinall
Keane Barry 6-0 Adrian Gray
Mike De Decker 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Richard North 6-5 William Borland
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Wayne Jones
Mervyn King 6-2 Alan Tabern
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Toni Alcinas
Jose De Sousa 6-2 Jason Lowe
Adam Hunt 6-0 Steve Beaton
Bradley Brooks 6-4 Madars Razma
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Christian Bunse – *Hamilton hits a nine-darter*
Danny Noppert 6-3 Richie Burnett
Robert Thornton 6-4 Lisa Ashton
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Callan Rydz 6-2 Scott Waites
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Scott Mitchell
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Ryan Murray
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Peter Jacques
Jamie Hughes 6-4 William O’Connor
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Boris Krcmar – *Rodriguez hits a nine-darter*
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Kevin Doets
Michael Smith 6-1 Matthew Dennant
Damon Heta 6-1 James Wilson
James Wade 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Jeff Smith
Rob Cross 6-3 Jan Dekker
Justin Pipe 6-3 Max Hopp
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-0 John Michael
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Aaron Beeney
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Steve West
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Kai Fan Leung
Steve Lennon 6-2 Scott Taylor
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Darren Webster
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Jesus Noguera
Joe Cullen 6-0 Andy Boulton
Ross Smith 6-4 Gavin Carlin
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Robert Collins
Ricky Evans 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Keane Barry 6-1 Jitse Van der Wal
Mike De Decker 6-3 Richard North
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Mervyn King 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Jose De Sousa 6-5 Adam Hunt
Bradley Brooks 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Danny Noppert 6-3 Robert Thornton
Callan Rydz 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Jamie Hughes
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Michael Smith 6-3 Damon Heta
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 James Wade
Justin Pipe 6-5 Rob Cross
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Luke Woodhouse
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Steve Lennon
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Joe Cullen 6-3 Ross Smith
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Ricky Evans
Keane Barry 6-2 Mike De Decker
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-1 Mervyn King
Jose De Sousa 6-1 Bradley Brooks
Danny Noppert 6-5 Callan Rydz
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Michael Smith 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Justin Pipe
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Joe Cullen 6-4 Mickey Mansell
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5 Keane Barry
Jose De Sousa 6-2 Danny Noppert
Michael Smith 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Darius Labanauskas
Joe Cullen 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Jose De Sousa 6-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Michael Smith 7-3 Vincent van der Voort
Jose De Sousa 7-2 Joe Cullen
Michael Smith 8-7 Jose De Sousa