By Phil Lanning
MICHAEL SMITH blasted that he should have been picked for the Premier League after winning the Players Championship.
The St.Helens ace 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.
But World No.8 Bully Boy then lashed out saying he should have been picked from the prestigious 16-night event.
He said: “I felt like I should be in the Premier League. 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.
“Being dropped from anything in life is hard to take. Being dropped from the Premier League, I’ve done nothing wrong. I think I made three major finals that year. I had one bad tournament that was the Worlds. My head got the better of me. I got dropped for it.
“After the match I said to Dimitri that was a point to me, not to you. I just wanted to prove that you’re not better than me.
“Again no disrespect to Aaron Beeney. If I wake up in the morning and you say I’m going to be in the semi-finals against Aaron Beeney, I wouldn’t wake up. I’d be ‘oh my god, this should be so easy’.
“He went 7-4 and I kind of got ahead of myself. Against Ross, I was like he’s never been in a final before, he’ll feel it. But I felt it more than he did. A bit of experience came into it and naivety. Over-thinking and getting too confident. Thankfully I managed to win.
“I had a spell for about three years where I wasn’t winning anything. When I first burst onto the scene it was all about floor, you have to be a good floor player to progress in darts.
“It’s great to get the win. 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 that it was game over.”
It was a good day for Scot William Borland who dumped three-times World Champion Michael van Gerwen. While Robert Thornton again showed good form with a couple of excellent wins.
Prison officer Aaron Beeney had a remarkable run to the semi-finals before being KO’d by Michael Smith.
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.
Images by Taylor Lanning.