Michael Smith produced one of the best performances of his career on the Liverpool stage as his Premier League campaign reached new heights.
The Team Unicorn star demolished Raymond van Barneveld 7-0 at the Echo Arena....only the 9th whitewash in the history of the competition.
But there was big disappointment for Gary Anderson who missed crucial doubles and lost for the first time to Rob Cross.
It was Smith though who stole the show with a fabulous display as he dismissed Van Barneveld in just 14 minutes.
“It was about time I showed what I can really do in the Premier League. I only live 15 miles from Liverpool, so this is my home event and I was determined to get up there and put on a show,” he said.
It was ruthless, professional, stylish and clinical.
Smith started with an 86 finish on the bull. Then came the first maximum as he doubled his lead. After Barney missed four darts at doubles, the St Helens sharp shooter nailed a 70 check-out to break again.
In leg four he wired the bull for a 179 finish and incredibly, that was the only dart he missed at a finish! He nailed 7/8 on the doubles in an astonishing display. Smith broke again with a 13 darter, then took out 116 and he finished with a two dart 76 check-out to seal the spectacular victory.
Would you believe that Anderson was first to the double in the first seven legs and failed to make that advantage count. At three all, he should have taken control but wired D12 for a 144 finish. Cross kept punishing and Gary had a dart at D19 for a 155 check-out as well.
In all, 13 missed darts at doubles for the Scot who now has it all to do in the second half of the PL season.
Mensur Suljovic was eliminated on Judgement Night, along with Gerwyn Price, after his lost to Michael van Gerwen.
On a desperately sad night for darts, our friend and colleague Eric Bristow passed away after collapsing at the Echo Arena. A real character, a legend and one of the big reasons that the sport of darts is where it is today. ‘The Crafty Cockney’ - he was 60 years-old and will be sorely missed. Story to follow.....
Simon Whitlock 7-3 Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld 0-7 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson 5-7 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
Daryl Gurney 6-6 Peter Wright
1 - Michael van Gerwen 16pts
2 - Michael Smith 14pts
3 - Rob Cross 12pts
4 - Simon Whitlock 10pts
5 - Gary Anderson 9pts
6 - Daryl Gurney 9pts
7 - Raymond van Barneveld 8pts
8 - Peter Wright 6pts
9 - Mensur Suljovic 4pts
10 - Gerwyn Price 2pts
By STUART PYKE in Liverpool
Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC