Unicorn ace Michael Smith was beaten in the final of the Premier League in London.

Michael van Gerwen won the title for a fourth time and a third consecutive year with an 11-4 victory over Smith at the O2.

Smith was up against an inspired Van Gerwen as the Dutchman so nearly broke the world record for the highest average in the final of a TV ‘Major’. He averaged 112.37. In the 2015 Masters Final, Van Gerwen averaged 112.49

But the Team Unicorn star can still be mighty proud of his Premier League season. He has grown up as a man and as a darts player. His consolation is the biggest pay cheque of his career - £120,000 - and by reaching the final, he has also guaranteed his place at the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts.

“I guess I ran out of steam in the final. Ultimately I am disappointed not to go on and win because I played really well all night. But Michael played like a World No.1 and that was incredible!”

“I have to be happy overall with the Premier League. I know I am close to that first big title. My confidence won’t be knocked by losing the final. I move on with the belief that I belong,” Smith added.

It has still been a heck of a journey for Smith. To finish second in the league and then reach the final. He has earned new respect and there is no doubt the St Helens star will fulfil his darting destiny by winning ‘Major’ TV titles.

But nobody would have beaten Van Gerwen on Thursday night.

He started off the final with legs of 12, 12 and 11 darts before Smith got on the board. Van Gerwen went on to establish an 8-1 lead and at that stage was averaging just shy of 122!

Smith though refused to throw the towel in. He nailed finishes of 125 and 104 to stay in it and hit six 180s in the final. But there was no stopping Van Gerwen who won it in style with a 112 check-out.

In the semi-finals, Smith stunned Gary Anderson in the all Unicorn clash. The Scot losing in the PL semi-finals for a third straight year as the apprentice got the better of the master with a confident, assured and clinical performance.

There were seven 180s in the first five legs as Smith opened up a 4-1 lead. Crucially Anderson missed four darts to level at two apiece and another two chances went begging in the 10th leg to make it 5-5.

Whenever he was under pressure Smith responded superbly. A 120-finish made it 7-4 and although he blew four darts for an 8-4 advantage it didn’t matter. He took his 180 tally to eight and then sunk Anderson with an 11 darter followed by a 14 darter to win it.

Take a bow Michael Smith!

Results: S/Finals:

Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Rob Cross

Michael Smith 10-6 Gary Anderson


Michael van Gerwen 11-4 Michael Smith

Story by STUART PYKE at the O2 Arena


Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Posted in Unicorn Darts