Michael Smith seals Premier League darts playoff spot and wins in Sheffield | Darts

A tearful Michael Smith put aside his friendships to win a Premier League shootout against Nathan Aspinall and book his place in next week’s play-offs at the O2 Arena.

The 2023 world champions joined Luke Littler, Luke Humphries and Michael van Gerwen in London after defeating close friends Aspinall 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the last round of the league in Sheffield.

Smith then celebrated his progress in style by winning Steel City Night 16, defeating Littler in the semifinals and Humphries in the final.

But that ended after his first win against Aspinall, with whom he had recently spent the holidays. That came largely thanks to a memorable bullseye, bullseye, double 16 132 checkout.

Smith tearfully apologized after his teammate’s hopes of making the playoffs ended. “It’s a little overwhelming,” he said. “I’m crying more than when I won the world championship. It must have been good.

“That number 132, I knew it was going to hurt him. I wanted to do cartwheels and backflips, but my opponent was Nathan, so I had to stay calm and be respectful. I apologized to him, I wanted him to be with me, it’s difficult, but I’m really happy that I won, I said before the semi-final that I had nothing left. ”

Smith’s semi-final victory over Littler puts him in a good position for next week’s play-off semi-final between the two sides, but the teenager is at the top of the league table thanks to his quarter-final victory over Peter Wright. I made sure to stand up.

Littler also set a new record as his 42 points were the highest ever scored in this format of the Premier League. Humphries will face Van Gerwen in the other semi-final next week.

This could be his last Premier League campaign as Wright has seen a decline in form over the past year, winning just two games in 16 games each week.

Gerwyn Price also has doubts about whether he will compete again in the competition after losing to Humphries in the quarter-finals. “I’m so happy it’s over, the dust has settled and this is the end of the Premier League for me,” he wrote on Instagram. “From now on, I want to put all my effort into ranked matches. I’d like to say it was fun, but I’d be lying. #No more.”