Darts results: Gerwyn Price wins; Michael Smith beats Stephen Bunting at European Championship

Gerwyn Price (Picture: PDC/Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe)
Gerwyn Price (Picture: PDC/Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe)

Gerwyn Price produced a rousing comeback to beat Nathan Aspinall 10-6 in the European Championship, earning a quarter-final clash with Vincent van der Voort in the process.

Price found himself 5-0 down early on, his opponent hovering around a 110 average, but from that point it was all about The Iceman as he produced a sustained spell of world-class darts to progress.

Fourteen- and 15-dart legs got Price off the mark, before he upped the ante with a brace of 180s and total domination of the eighth leg.

A second 12-darter in succession followed, again courtesy of two maximums, and the match was level when he took out 98 on double 12 for yet another 12-dart leg.

To his credit, Aspinall regathered himself to edge back in front, but then Price took his game up another notch, first levelling, then throwing an 11-dart leg, before finishes of 76 and 132 put him clear at 9-6.

The latter was quite brilliant - outer bull, treble 19, bull - and took the stuffing out of a magnanimous Aspinall, who offered a pat on the back to Price as even the crowd turned in favour of the Welshman.

There would be no further fireworks in what turned out to be the final leg, Aspinall by now off colour as Price took it in a regulation 16 darts, but still Price averaged 103.85 and threw seven maximums in a dizzyingly brilliant half-hour.

"I deserved to be probably 3-2 down, I thought 'keep in there', but to be 5-5 going into the next break - I'm full of confidence," said Price on ITV4.

"I think the 132... what a shot, that probably won the game for me in the end. I thought I was going to pass out! That's probably a one in 10 shot."

As for the crowd, who were audibly won over, he added: "It felt like Cardiff all over!"

Price's reward is a meeting with van der Voort, never behind in a 10-5 victory over Chris Dobey, who was made to pay for 17 missed darts at double.

Smith ends Bunting hoodoo

Michael Smith overcame some double trouble and a dose of on-stage discomfort to beat Stephen Bunting 10-7 at the European Championship.

Smith got ice stuck in his throat as he looked to close out victory over an opponent who has had his number of late, but composed himself to take out 100 for a relatively convincing win.

Not that Bully Boy reached the heights of Friday, when he averaged upwards of 106 to beat Ian White, but he didn't need to be with Bunting also below his very best.

Smith started the match in style, taking out 158, and was 3-0 ahead before Bunting got on the board by taking a sloppy fourth leg.

A 124 finish from Smith saw him restore a two-leg advantage at 4-2, but in a match of big finishes Bunting was able to keep tabs on him with a 146 checkout to get it back to 5-3.

The next four legs were exchanged, Bunting bagging another 100-plus finish in the process, before Smith took the next two to establish a comfortable 9-5 lead in the best-of-19 shootout.

Then came the discomfort, which helped Bunting close the deficit to two yet again, but with that behind him Smith finished in style by hitting tops twice to gain revenge for a narrow 2016 defeat to the same opponent here.

"I'm glad to come back (on Sunday) and hopefully improve upon this game," said Smith, before explaining: "A big piece of ice got stuck in the back of my throat - I was that close to being sick on stage!

Looking ahead to a potentially busy Sunday, in which the winner will be required to play three times, he added: "I know how to be a lazy so and so and stay in bed all day and sleep, relax, get focused for two, three hours and then come back for the semis and final."

Next for Smith is a meeting with Jeffrey de Zwaan, who followed up his surprise victory against Peter Wright by beating friend and compatriot Jermaine Wattimena 10-6.

Six 180s and over 50 per cent on his finishing saw the 23-year-old qualify for his first televised quarter-final since the World Matchplay in 2018.

The meeting with Smith will be only their second televised clash, with the Englishman winning the first match at the World Championship in 2015.

"It was a really tough game, we are from the same country so I really wanted to beat him," said de Zwaan.

"I lost my first World Championship match against Michael Smith, but I have a good record against him since then so I will do my best and see what happens."

Saturday results & Sunday schedule

Saturday October 26 (1900 BST)
Second Round (Best of 19 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Vincent van der Voort 10-5 Chris Dobey
  • Michael Smith 10-7 Stephen Bunting
  • Gerwyn Price 10-6 Nathan Aspinall
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan 10-6 Jermaine Wattimena

Sunday October 27
Afternoon Session (1245 BST)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Ricky Evans v Rob Cross
  • Dave Chisnall v Daryl Gurney
  • Michael Smith v Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Vincent van der Voort v Gerwyn Price

Evening Session (1900 BST)
TV Channel: ITV4
Semi-Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Two Matches

Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

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