Super Smith secures Players Championship 10 success

Michael Smith (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Michael Smith claimed his first title of 2021 with victory over Ross Smith in Sunday's Players Championship 10 as PDC Super Series 3 continued in Niedernhausen.

The world number eight followed up two titles last November with another Players Championship triumph, as he produced consistently high-standard darts throughout Sunday's event.

He followed up a trio of 6-3 wins - against Geert Nentjes, Luke Woodhouse and William O'Connor - by averaging a sensational 114.5 in defeating Premier League joint-leader Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 in the last 16.

Smith then saw off Martin Schindler 6-3 in the quarter-finals before overcoming Aaron Beeney 7-4 in the semis, and eventually took victory in the final by the same three-leg margin.

The opening ten legs of the final were shared as both Smiths held throw on five occasions, with Ross taking out a 104 finish as well as a 13-darter and a 14-dart finish.

He was then denied a chance to break when waiting on 40 in leg 11 as Michael took out 130, before the former World Youth Champion followed a 180 with a 90 checkout for a 12-darter in the next to claim the first break and a 7-5 cushion.

Michael Smith then posted his fifth 180 of the game to be first to a finish in leg 13, and held his nerve on double ten to close out the win.

"It's great to get the win," said the St Helens star. "Ross played well in the final, but the 130 finish was important and then I left 90 in the next leg and took it out for a 12-darter. I knew then it was game over."

Having not been selected for the 2021 Unibet Premier League, Smith admitted he had additional motivation going into his tie with Van den Bergh.

"I felt like I should be in the Premier League," he said. "No disrespect to the ten players who are in, but I felt like I should be in ahead of them and that was a point to myself that I'm still good enough."

Ross Smith followed up four quarter-final appearances on the circuit in 2020 with his best-ever run on the PDC ProTour, also producing some brilliant darts during the day.

He averaged 105 in a 6-1 win over Danny Noppert, and over 98 in the quarter-finals and semi-finals as he saw off Jose de Sousa and Berry van Peer respectively.

Saturday's Players Championship 9 winner De Sousa landed a nine-dart finish during his sensational whitewash of Jermaine Wattimena as he averaged 117 in the last 16, only to lose out in the last eight.

Stephen Bunting also achieved a nine-darter as he completed a second round whitewash of Ron Meulenkamp.

The day was also memorable for semi-finalists Beeney and Van Peer as they reached the last four for the first time in Players Championships.

Van Peer's display was his best on the senior circuit since September 2016, as he defeated World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks, former Premier League stars Jelle Klaasen and Dave Chisnall as well as whitewashing Rusty-Jake Rodriguez.

For prison officer Beeney, it was a mark of his continued progress since winning a Tour Card in 2020 as he enjoyed his best-ever finish on the professional circuit.

The 37-year-old enjoyed wins over former World Champions Rob Cross and Raymond van Barneveld amongst five victories before he lost out to the eventual champion.

Van Barneveld's quarter-final appearance saw the Dutch legend take another step towards qualification for July's Betfred World Matchplay, having also won a Players Championship earlier this year.

Last week's Hylo PDC Europe Super League winner Schindler and former World Cup finalist Lennon joined Van Barneveld and De Sousa in the quarter-finals, while Austrian brothers Rowby-John and Rusty-Jake Rodriguez reached the last 16.

PDC Super Series 3 continues on Monday from 1400 local time (1300 BST) with Players Championship 111 on the third of action in Niedernhausen, with coverage to be streamed through PDCTV and bookmakers' websites worldwide.

Watch live coverage from two streams throughout the event in PDCTV - with subscription options including a £2.99 One-Day Pass and a £3.99 Four-Day Pass.

See full results in the Match Centre.

See match stats with DartConnect.

Stephen Bunting completed his 6-0 win over Ron Meulenkamp with a nine-dart finish.
Jose de Sousa landed a nine-darter in his 6-0 win against Jermaine Wattimena as he averaged 117.

2021 Players Championship Ten - PDC Super Series 3 Day Two
Sunday April 25, H+ Hotel, Niedernhausen
Last 16

Jose de Sousa 6-0 Jermaine Wattimena
Ross Smith 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Berry van Peer 6-0 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Steve Lennon 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Aaron Beeney 6-5 William Borland
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Martin Schindler 6-4 Jose Justicia

Ross Smith 6-3 Jose de Sousa
Berry van Peer 6-3 Steve Lennon
Aaron Beeney 6-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael Smith 6-3 Martin Schindler

Ross Smith 7-2 Berry van Peer
Michael Smith 7-4 Aaron Beeney

Michael Smith 8-5 Ross Smith