Michael Smith wins Gibraltar Darts Trophy beating Mensur Suljovic in the final
Last Updated: 15/05/17 3:26pm
Michael Smith beat Mensur Suljovic to claim the 2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy and a first PDC title for almost two years.
Smith, playing in his first final since the Austrian Darts Open last June, put in a solid display in the final to beat Suljovic 6-4 and claim the £25,000 title to follow up his trio of previous wins which came in 2014 and 2015.
The 26-year-old averaged 96.33 and hit 50% of his attempts at double to overcome the tenacious Austrian who battled back despite falling into a 3-0 deficit early on.
A blistering 108 checkout was Smith's early highlight as he took early control before Suljovic broke the throw of Smith twice himself and then move into a 4-3 lead.
Smith responded by taking out 81 on double 12 to level the contest, and it was the ninth leg that would prove to be decisive.
With Suljovic sat on 56 to hold throw and move within a leg of the title, the 26-year-old produced a breathtaking 132 finish on the bullseye to break the throw and edge 5-4 up.
A miss at tops for the title in leg 10 from Smith allowed the Austrian a dart at double 15 on a 110 finish to take the encounter to a decider.
Suljovic's effort, though, was just inside the wire, allowing Smith to step in and seal the victory on double 10 and secure the £25,000 top prize.
"It's a great feeling - I'm so chuffed," said Smith. "I'd forgotten what it felt like to win a tournament and it feels like I've just won my very first tournament again.
"This year I've made two finals and I thought I was going to blow it again. The 132 to go 5-4 up won me the game, it was absolutely huge. I didn't fancy the game going five-all because Mensur is amazing "
Smith had to work hard to book his place in the final, requiring 11th leg deciders in each of his previous four matches in the tournament, starting with Saturday's narrow defeat of Christian Kist.
Dimitri Van den Bergh and Rob Cross were beaten before Smith stunned in-form world number three Peter Wright, a winner of three of the four European Tour events held so far in 2017, in the semi-final.
Wright fell at the semi-final stage in his bid to claim a fourth European Tour title of the year, and he now sets his sights on the Betway Premier League Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday, which you can see on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm.