Back in 2016, Michael Smith took five weeks to get off the mark in the Premier League.

2018 is a different matter. Bully Boy is second in the league after two weeks, having won both of his opening matches. Gary Anderson was beaten 7-5 in an excellent comeback win in Dublin. In Cardiff, the former world youth champion defeated Daryl Gurney 7-4. Smith raced into a 3-0 advantage, checking out 124 on the way. Gurney bounced back and the game was level at 4-4. But the man from St Helens took the last three legs to pick up two more precious points.

Dave Chisnall survived Judgement Night with three wins last year. With two wins already, Smith looks on course to avoid an early exit. He can now focus on bigger and better things. The world number nine is in fine form, having won the third UK Open Qualifying event in Wigan last Sunday. The outlook was fully positive for Smith.

“Last week was a struggle against Gary but I’m over the moon with this win,” he said.

“To get two wins out of two is unbelievable and to be on four points after two weeks is great.

“After playing so well at the weekend I wanted to come here and play well too. I could have made it a bit easier but I could have lost too, so I’m happy to win.”

Author: Edward McCosh