Michael Smith defeats Mensur Suljovic in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy final

Darts
Suljovic and Smith (PDC Europe)
Suljovic and Smith (PDC Europe)

Michael Smith made the most of his nail-biting victory over Peter Wright by defeating Mensur Suljovic in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy final to land his first PDC title since 2015.

The former world youth champion held his nerve in the deciding leg of his semi-final with in-form Snakebite, who was bidding to win an eighth PDC tournament this season, to triumph 6-5 and set up a meeting with second-seeded Suljovic at the at the Victoria Stadium.

Wright is preparing for an assault on the Premier League Darts crown at the O2 this Thursday night but he'll need to do better on his doubles to stand a chance having missed 14 of his 19 attempts against Smith.

The Scotsman will only see this as a mere blip on what has been a superb season, which also saw him win his maiden TV title at the UK Open back in March, while he so nearly topped the Premier League regular season table last week

Bully Boy's finishing was also poor in the semi-final as he missed 22 shots at doubles, including three in the final leg, but he eventually got the job done before finding another gear in the final.

Smith, who averaged 96.33, saw an early 3-0 lead wiped out as Suljovic won four legs on the trot but after after restoring parity in the next, he took out a superb 132 checkout on the bullseye against the throw in the ninth leg to edge 5-4 ahead.

Suljovic averaged an impressive 99 despite struggling with his doubles throughout the final, landing just four of his 17 attempts, and missed a dart at double 15 to force a decider before watching Smith land double 10 to triumph 6-4 and secure the £25,000 top prize.

It's the fourth European Tour title of Smith's career having bagged his first in 2014 and two more the following year. 

He said: "It's a great feeling - I'm so chuffed. I'd forgotten what it felt like to win a tournament and it feels like I've just won my very first tournament again. This year I've made two finals and I thought I was going to blow it again. 

"The 132 to go 5-4 up won me the game, it was absolutely huge. I didn't fancy the game going five-all because Mensur is amazing."

The 26-year-old from St Helens, who came through his second-round clash with Christian Kist 6-5 on Saturday afternoon, survived another final-leg decider against Dimitri Van den Bergh earlier on Sunday as he hit a key 180 to set up a match-winning 14-darter.

Suljovic overcame Spain's Cristo Reyes 6-3 in the third round thanks to hitting six doubles from 11 attempts and mid-range checkouts of 76, 61, 86 and 64 but he didn't need to be so clinical to see off surprise quarter-finalist Magnus Caris.

The Austrian, who was chasing his first PDC title since breaking his duck at the 2016 International Darts Open, was on the brink of defeat in his semi-final but his opponent Daryl Gurney spurned four match darts before Suljovic took out double top at the first attempt to win 6-5.

Michael van Gerwen opted against defending his Gibraltar Open title this weekend as he gears up for the Premier League play-offs.

Gibraltar Darts Trophy: Daily Results


All games best of 11 legs

Friday May 12
First Round
Afternoon Session
Jeffrey de Zwaan 4-6 Alan Tabern
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Justin Pipe
Richie Corner 5-6 Darren Webster
Matthew Dennant 1-6 James Richardson
Justin Broton 3-6 Matt Clark
Martin Schindler 6-4 Callan Rydz
Magnus Caris 6-1 Dyson Parody
Paul Nicholson 5-6 Chris Quantock

Evening Session
Mario Robbe 0-6 Rob Cross
Rene Eidams 4-6 John Henderson
Ritchie Edhouse 3-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
Steve Beaton 6-4 Mike De Decker
James Wilson 6-1 Dylan Duo
Christian Kist 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Manuel Vilerio 1-6 Darren Johnson
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Anthony Lopez
Click here for full Friday review

Saturday May 13
Second Round
Afternoon Session
Cristo Reyes 6-5 James Richardson
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Darren Webster
Alan Norris 6-5 Matt Clark
Benito van de Pas 6-1 Martin Schindler
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Chris Quantock
Magnus Caris 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Michael Smith 6-5 Christian Kist
Rob Cross 6-5 Joe Cullen

Evening Session
Darren Johnson 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Alan Tabern
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Peter Wright 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 James Wade
James Wilson 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Ian White 6-3 John Henderson
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Steve Beaton
Click here for full Saturday review

Sunday May 14
Afternoon Session
Third Round
Peter Wright 6-0 Stephen Bunting
Darren Johnson 6-3 Alan Norris
Michael Smith 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rob Cross 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Magnus Caris 6-2 Benito van de Pas
James Wilson 6-3 Ian White
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Simon Whitlock

Evening Session
Quarter-Finals
Peter Wright 6-5 Darren Johnson
Michael Smith 6-5 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Magnus Caris
Daryl Gurney 6-3 James Wilson 

Semi-Finals
Michael Smith 6-5 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Daryl Gurney

Final
Michael Smith 6-4 Mensur Suljovic 


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