Dave Chisnall bowed out of the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts with a 10-7 defeat to Michael Smith in the last 16.
St Helens’ rising star Smith was in stunning form as he reached the quarter-finals for a second successive year on Thursday night, hitting nine 180s at the Wolves Civic.
For his part, Morecambe ace Chisnall took out finishes of 170 and 106 as he shared the opening eight legs but Smith crucially won four of the next five to pull clear to 8-5.
Chisnall finished 61 and 63 to pull back to 9-7, but tops for Smith sealed an impressive win with a 104.59 average as he bids to claim a first major ranking title.
He said: “Chizzy is one of the best players in the world and I’m glad to beat someone like him, who’s not only a good friend who helped me along with darts as a kid but he’s also an idol of mine as well and a really good darts player.”
Both players landed 180s in the opening leg before Smith landed double 10 to move 1-0 in front.
Chisnall hit back, taking out 74 on tops for 1-1 before Smith’s third 180 of the game helped him move back in front.
The second round clash continued to go back and forth with Chisnall’s sensational 170 checkout in leg six to make it 3-3 a highlight.
The Morecambe man then missed the bull for a 164 as Smith dodged a break of throw but Chisnall made no mistake taking out 106 for 4-4.
But that was as good as it got for last year’s finalist, Smith claiming the first break in leg 10 before moving three legs clear for the first time at 8-5.
Smith missed four darts at doubles for 9-5 with Chisnall reducing the arrears to 8-6.
The St Helens ace moved one leg from victory finishing 62 on double 10 before Chisnall kept the game alive by backing up a maximum with a 63 checkout.
He was only delaying inevitable however as Smith progressed 10-7 despite the Morecambe man’s fourth 180.