Gary Anderson will play Mensur Suljovic in the Grand Slam quarter-finals after a 10-6 win over Michael Smith in a fantastic, high-scoring battle.
Smith kicked off with five of his first six darts hitting the treble 20, going on to check out 96 for a 12-dart opener. ‘Bully Boy’ then struck another maximum in the second leg, but an excellent 124 meant Anderson claimed a 12-dart leg of his own.
A wonderful 174, followed by a 137 to set up, meant an 11-darter for Smith to go 2-1 up with an average well above 130. Smith continued his fine form, narrowly missing the bull for a 164 before Anderson missed double 15 for a 150 out. The St Helens man struck, and claimed the first break of throw.
The two-time world champion then came within a whisker of claiming a 170 checkout, before Smith calmly dispatched 110 to go 4-1 up at the end of the first session. Smith didn’t let up in the sixth leg, smashing in another 180, but Anderson then claimed a fantastic 164 checkout to hold throw.

An 11-darter sealed a break for Anderson, before the Scot completed the comeback to take the game back to square one. The brilliant darts kept coming. Yet again the width of a wire prevented Anderson from hitting a 170 out, but the miss didn’t deter him from breaking throw. The ‘Flying Scotsman’ made no mistake with tops in the tenth leg, ensuring victory in every single leg in the session and a 6-4 advantage.
Anderson carried on where he left off in the third session, breaking throw before starting the 12th leg with four perfect darts, going on to make it 8-4. While Smith’s form dropped following a stunning start, Anderson just got stronger and stronger. Despite that, the 27-year-old protege was able to claim the 13th leg with a 68 checkout.
The 2011 Grand Slam finalist was in no mood to give his friend any hope of a comeback. After the pair traded 180s, Anderson nailed tops to go within a leg of victory. 2015 semi-finalist Smith failed to find a treble with any of his first nine darts on throw, meaning Anderson had a clear run to check out 24 and seal the win. Yet Anderson fluffed his lines with six missed match darts, and Smith somehow held throw.
Anderson’s charity did not extend too far though. Another maximum, his sixth of the night, set him on the way to the winning double.

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Author: Ed McCosh