Nathan Aspinall and Gerwyn Price (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Darts results: Michael Smith wins thriller, Gerwyn Price out, Michael van Gerwen impresses at Grand Slam of Darts

Michael van Gerwen impressed at the Grand Slam of Darts on Saturday, as title rival Gerwyn Price exited the competition and so too did Rob Cross.

Smith stands tall

Michael Smith held his nerve in a deciding-leg shoot-out against Rob Cross to reach the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finals for a second successive year with a narrow 10-9 victory.

Smith had looked to have blown his opportunity to win a tight contest after seeing three match darts go begging in leg 17, as Cross finished 70 and then landed tops to force a deciding leg.

The world number four, though, followed 11 earlier 180s by kicking off the final leg with a 177, before pinning double 12 for a 13-darter to set up a last eight last with Jose De Sousa on Sunday.

Cross had earlier come back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 and also took out a match-high 119 finish as he moved 6-5 up, but a three-leg surge from Smith proved key as he edged clear in the second half of the contest.

"I'm happy but also a bit frustrated because I could have wrapped it up earlier, but I'm proud of how I handled that last leg because I could have buckled," said Smith. "I wanted it so much and I'm happy.

"I was a bit patchy in the game but it was a tough game for me tonight, especially against Rob. He's got a great record against me so it's about time I got one back.

"It was a battle but I can put that to one side and it's a new game tomorrow against Jose. I'm glad I'm in the quarter-finals, it's a tournament that I love and I'm looking forward to tomorrow now."

On a Heta...

Damon Heta reached his first televised ranking quarter-final with a 10-7 win over Devon Petersen to create a rematch with James Wade on Sunday.

The Australian ace had lost out 5-2 to Wade in the opening game of the Group Stage on Monday, but will now get the chance to avenge that loss in a knockout clash after proving too strong for Petersen.

Heta opened up leads of 4-1 and 8-3 to punish a slow start from Petersen, who hit back to 8-6 at one stage.

However, Heta's brilliant 144 checkout in leg 15 - with Petersen waiting on 40 - proved crucial before he closed out the win two legs later.

"I'm stoked," said Heta. "I knew what I was in for but Devon didn't show up as well as he normally does and I took my chances when I got them.

"I was expecting a really tough, close game because I know how good a player Devon is.

"The 144 was very crucial and I had to take it out, and I think that crushed him a little bit because he was getting the momentum back."

The 2019 Brisbane Darts Masters winner added: "I'm looking forward to playing James. I lost to him in the Group Stages and he's such a steady player. I could learn a lot from James but I've beaten him a couple of times and I'll try and do the same again."

MVG powers through

Michael van Gerwen powered into the quarter-finals with a 10-2 defeat of Gary Anderson to continue his bid for a fourth Grand Slam title.

The world number one's return to top form continued as he averaged 102 and defied six 10s from long-standing rival Anderson to clinically set up a quarter-final against Simon Whitlock on Sunday evening.

Anderson responded to an opening 14-darter from Van Gerwen with a brilliant 132 bull checkout in leg two, but paid for five missed darts at doubles as the Dutchman embarked on a run of eight straight legs.

Van Gerwen took out 92, 88 on the bull and 87 at key moments as he moved 9-1 up, and though Anderson finished 81 to keep alive his hopes, any chance of a fightback was ended as a 76 finish moved the three-time winner into the last eight.

"I'm still in the tournament and I feel I played well," said Van Gerwen. "

"There's still room for improvement but I'm happy, and I think I did the right things at the right moments - I hit a couple finishes early doors which gave me confidence.

"Gary played okay in some patches but has a lot of problems with his knee - but if someone's competing in the tournament you have to beat them, simple as that."

Van Gerwen lost to Whitlock in both the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix earlier this year, and added: "Simon beat me before so I've got something to put right, and he is playing some phenomenal darts lately.

"He's starting to get back to good form, but it's up to me to answer that and make sure I do exactly the same back. I know if I play my game, I'm going to beat him."

Defending champion bows out

Gerwyn Price's bid for a hat-trick of Grand Slam wins was ended by Nathan Aspinall, who held firm to win 10-8.

Price fell behind early and the writing appeared to be on the wall when Aspinall moved into a 6-2 lead with a run of 13- and 14-dart legs.

To his credit, Price kept chipping away and when he took out 105 to get within one at 7-6, the tide had turned in his favour - a fact underlined as Aspinall spurned several chances in the next as his lead evaporated.

Price was in front for the first time since the very early exchanges when he took out 75 in the next but Aspinall rallied, capitalising when Price missed bullseye for a 9-8 lead and taking it instead, then hitting the bull himself to take out 92 and win.

Grand Slam of Darts results & schedule

Saturday November 21 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • Michael Smith 10-9 Rob Cross
  • Devon Petersen 7-10 Damon Heta
  • Michael van Gerwen 10-2 Gary Anderson
  • Gerwyn Price 8-10 Nathan Aspinall

Sunday November 22
Afternoon Session (1pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Quarter-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • James Wade v Damon Heta
  • Jose De Sousa v Michael Smith

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Quarter-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Dimitri Van Den Bergh v Nathan Aspinall
  • Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen

Monday November 23 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Semi-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2x Matches

Tuesday November 24
Afternoon Session (6pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Final (Best of 31 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

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