Michael Smith says he will not be getting carried away after setting up a PDC World Championship quarter-final clash with Gerwyn Price by edging past Jonny Clayton 4-3 in an Ally Pally classic on Wednesday (Price 8/15, Smith 6/4 – Match Betting).
Wednesday 29th December results:
Jose de Sousa 3-4 Alan Soutar (R3)
Nathan Aspinall 0-4 Callan Rydz (R3)
Gary Anderson 4-3 Ian White (R3)
Gerwyn Price 4-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode (R4)
Jonny Clayton 3-4 Michael Smith (R4)
Thursday 30th December Order of Play:
Raymond Smith vs Mervyn King (R4) – 12:40
Alan Soutar vs Callan Rydz (R4) – 14:15
Chris Dobey vs Luke Humphries (R4) – 15:45
James Wade vs Martijn Kleermaker (R4) – 19:10
Gary Anderson vs Rob Cross (R4) – 20:45
Peter Wright vs Ryan Searle (R4) – 22:15
Bully Boy (9/2 to win title) was able to come through the rollercoaster contest by winning the 10th leg of the deciding set to remain in the hunt to win his first major televised title.
The former World Youth Champion was certainly delighted to get the better of the in-form Clayton, describing the match as worthy of being the final, although he is not looking beyond his New Year’s Day clash with world number one and defending champion Price.
“That deserved to be the final, it was a great game,” Smith told reporters. “I won’t be getting carried away. It’s only one game and I had poor spells. Jonny played so well that he brought a better level out in me.
“In the past I’ve probably been guilty of wanting it too much so I’m not making that mistake this year. I will focus on my darts and see how far that attitude can take me.”
Price (2/1 to win title) was certainly in ominous form in his fourth-round clash with Dirk van Duijvenbode, as after losing the first set he reeled off 12 straight legs to reach the last eight for the third year in a row.
The remaining third-round matches were also contested on Wednesday, with two-time world champion Gary Anderson edging past Ian White 4-3, while seventh seed Jose de Sousa was dumped out by the same scoreline by Alan Soutar and Nathan Aspinall was humbled 4-0 at the hands of Callan Rydz.
Anderson’s reward for reaching the last 16 will be a heavyweight tussle with another former champion at Ally Pally in Rob Cross on Thursday (Anderson 6/4, Cross 8/15 – Match Betting), while Soutar and Rydz will also meet for a place in the quarter-finals (Soutar 3/1, Rydz 1/4 – Match Betting).
Peter Wright will also be in fourth-round action, with the 2020 world champion set to face Ryan Searle (Wright 4/9, Searle 7/4 – Match Betting), while James Wade will take on Martijn Kleermaker (Wade 3/10, Kleermaker 12/5 – Match Betting) and qualifier Raymond Smith will be up against the evergreen Mervyn King (Smith 19/10, King 2/5 – Match Betting).
There will also be a clash between Chris Dobey and Luke Humphries and both of those players should be fresh after their respective third-round opponents, Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall, were forced to withdraw from the tournament due to positive Covid-19 tests (Dobey 10/11, Humphries 10/11 – Match Betting).