Michael Smith won his first Cazoo Premier League night of 2023 by defeating Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 in Thursday’s Glasgow final at the OVO Hydro.
The World Champion had seen Chris Dobey and Gerwyn Price claim victory in the Premier League’s opening two weeks, but delighted a packed Hydro to scoop the £10,000 bonus and five valuable league points.
World number one Smith was too strong for Price in his quarter-final tie in Glasgow, before coming from 4-2 down to win his semi-final against another Welshman, Jonny Clayton, in a deciding leg.
However, he saved his best display for the final to average 109.42 in moving to the top of the league table.
Smith led 2-0 and 3-1 before Van den Bergh took out 86 on the bull to respond – only for the Grand Slam of Darts winner to power in a 140 finish for a 12-darter.
Van den Bergh produced legs of 13 and 14 darts to pull back to 5-4, but Smith ended his hopes on double ten to complete a memorable night in Scotland.
“I’m delighted – I just want to win nights like this,” said Smith, who had to wait until Night 16 to claim a nightly win last year.
“At least I didn’t have to wait until Week 16 to get my win! Apart from the Gezzy game, I felt good tonight.
“I was more nervous playing Gezzy because he won last week. He was up for it but I managed to pull through, and then against Jonny I had a 100 average.
“I had a few dodgy legs on doubles but everything else felt really good, and I had to keep believing in what I’ve been doing.
“Obviously I want to make the top four, I want to be in the finals night and I want to keep winning. I know I can’t win every game I play, but when I’m playing well I know I can win and that’s what the Premier League’s about.”
Van den Bergh had defeated Scotland’s Peter Wright in their quarter-final tie with a 6-4 success, before producing a sensational display in the semis.
2023 Cazoo Premier League
Night Three – Thursday February 16
OVO Hydro, Glasgow
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Peter Wright
Michael Smith 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Chris Dobey
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh