Michael Smith and Ian White were beaten on the opening night at The Masters in Milton Keynes.
Smith left himself too much to do as he lost 10-8 to Mensur Suljovic, while White went down 10-3 to World Champion Rob Cross.
There wasn’t much White could do as Cross hit the accelerator from the off. He didn’t show any nerves and was very cool as he hit seven 180s along the way. White did take out a 136 but from 4-1 down he was all up against it.
Cross nailed a 167 finish and looked very comfortable. Unfortunately it’s now four consecutive 1st Round exits at The Masters for the Unicorn man.
For Smith, he nearly completed a fantastic fightback. He fell five legs behind to Mensur Suljovic. The St Helens star also trailed 1-6 and 2-7 despite hitting a superb 130 check-out.
But from 3-8 down, the Unicorn man then reeled off five straight legs to level the match! But he couldn’t finish the job and a 116 finish from Suljovic gave him the advantage again and he broke Smith to complete the win.
Friday 1st Round results:
Dave Chisnall 9-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Michael Smith
Rob Cross 10-3 Ian White
Peter Wright 10-5 Alan Norris
Three more Team Unicorn stars are on the Saturday menu at Stadium MK. Gary Anderson faces Benito van de Pas, it’s James Wade against Simon Whitlock and Kim Huybrechts takes on defending Masters Champion Michael van Gerwen.
Meanwhile Dimitri van den Bergh can’t do any wrong at the moment! In the same week that the Unicorn star was named PDC Young Player of the Year, the Belgian has just won the latest Pro Darts Showdown event in Australia.
The Belgian beat Phil Taylor 7-5 in the final in Townsville with a 105 average and a 10 darter to clinch the victory! Earlier Van den Bergh beat Andy Hamilton 7-2 in the quarter finals, averaging a sensational 110 with three ton plus finishes. He then won an all Unicorn semi-final 7-3 against Kyle Anderson.
Report by STUART PYKE
Photos courtesy Laurence Lustig / PDC