Home Sport Michael Smith in tears and apologises to rival after sealing Premier League...

Michael Smith in tears and apologises to rival after sealing Premier League play-off spot


Michael Smith broke down in tears after beating Nathan Aspinall in tonight’s Premier League Darts meeting in Sheffield. The two friends went head-to-head in the quarter finals in what was essentially a qualifier for the O2 Arena, with ‘Bully Boy’ eventually prevailing 6-3.

 

The victory meant a semi-final clash with Luke Littler later in the evening but more significantly, ensured Smith cemented a top four finish in the table. Defeat was particularly cruel on Aspinall, who has spent the majority of the 16 weeks well placed to get to London.

The tension between the two was apparent in the early stages, and there was little rapport before the 2023 world champion pulled away at 4-3 up. And there was an emotional embrace on stage afterwards before a tearful Smith faced the cameras.

“That 136 went in and then the 132 and I just knew that would have hurt him,” he said. “I wanted to do cartwheels and backflips and everything. I had to keep it calm and collected and just apologise to Nathan. I do feel sorry for him because I want him there as well as me so that was really hard.”

 

Smith even described the win as more emotional than his 2022 success at the Ally Pally. Along with Littler, he will be joined at the O2 by Michael van Gerwen and Luke Humphries.

“I am crying more than I did when I won the Worlds,” Smith said. “Playing Nathan there, he was outscoring me. I wasn’t playing well at all.”

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