Michael Smith wraps up quickfire Premier League hat-trick with Sheffield success
Michael Smith made it a hat-trick of Premier League wins on the spin after beating Gerwyn Price in the final in Sheffield.
The world champion followed up victories in Leeds and Manchester to join Michael van Gerwen in winning three successive nights in this year’s tournament.
Smith, who took a fourth victory overall, triumphed 6-3 against Price to keep his hopes of finishing in top spot alive going into next week’s final regular night in Aberdeen.
SMITH WINS NIGHT 15! 🏆
Michael Smith racks up an incredible third successive night win in the Cazoo Premier League!
The world number one defeated in-form Gerwyn Price 6-3 in the final.#PLDarts pic.twitter.com/BeO8yYiaug
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) May 11, 2023
The eighth leg in the final was key as Price missed seven darts to take out eight points, with Smith stealing in to take it against the throw and then claiming victory with a clinical 12-dart leg.
Smith, who beat van Gerwen in the quarter-final before breezing past Jonny Clayton in the last four, will finish top of the table if he wins the night and Price does not get to the final.
The Welshman had beaten Nathan Aspinall and Chris Dobey in the previous rounds and will still be favourite to finish at the summit, which would see him take on fourth place in the play-offs at the O2 in a fortnight.
“Three in a row, it took me 15 weeks to win one night last year and now I’ve won four,” Smith said. “I am still in with a chance of finishing top.
“Me and Gez spoke about it backstage before the match, if it’s me and him in the final next week he finishes top. Hopefully I can be top.
“I know you get nothing out of finishing top but it is the prestige. I have qualifed last week and I could have just laid down and let anyone beat me. But I still need to go to the O2 playing well and winning.”
Clayton is now in pole position to seal that last spot after his run to the semi-final in Sheffield.
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‘The Ferret’ is in a straight shoot-out with Aspinall for the final spot, with the pair going head-to-head in the quarter-final next week in Aberdeen.
Victory will assure the Welshman another appearance at the O2 while even if Aspinall wins the quarter-final he also has to win the semi-final.
“It’s massive,” Clayton said. “All the pressure is on Nathan next week. He has to win, the ball is in my court because if I win I am through. I am going to try and relax and play my game.
“I was shaking like hell up there. It’s two points that are going to be massive.”