Ross Smith saw off Michael van Gerwen on Thursday night in the first round of the European Championship in Gottingen in a stunning victory.

Smith took Van Gerwen to a last-leg decider and proved his bottle seeing off the World Number One to throw the tournament wide open on the first night.

‘Smudger’ spoke afterwards and admitted that the decision to keep going in darts was worth it in the end and said that instead of playing Michael, he played the dartboard which is the key.

“Never in a million years did I think I’d be experiencing a night like this from where I was a couple of years ago,” said Smith.

“I made the decision to just keep on going with my career in darts and tonight it all came together.

“I’ve been preparing for this game for two weeks in my outdoor cabin, just focussing on playing the board rather than Michael.

“If you play Michael you lose, it’s as simple as that. He’s the best player in the world by a mile so if you start thinking about beating him then you won’t.

“You’ve just got to play the dartboard and that’s what I did tonight. I showed everyone how well I know I can play.”

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Author: Samuel Gill