Cullen Bullied Out By Rampant Smith

Red Dragon Darts

The final day of darting action in 2022 saw the remaining six ties in the fourth round take place in the capital, on Friday, as the quarter-final line-up was finalised at Alexandra Palace. Two-time runner-up Michael Smith easing through to the last eight.

Fourth seed Smith produced an imperious display to storm through to the last eight at Ally Pally, averaging over 103 to complete a 4-1 win against Masters champion Joe Cullen.

Smith produced a blistering mid-game burst to seize the initiative, reeling off four straight legs in just 49 darts to move 2-1 ahead, only for Cullen to stop the rot with a spectacular 153 checkout.

However, Smith came through an edgy fourth set to extend his cushion, before rounding off the victory with a sublime 12-darter in a fifth-set decider, having kicked off the leg with seven perfect darts.

“I finally turned up and it felt good,” declared the Grand Slam champion, who averaged 103, landed ten 180s and converted 40% of his attempts at double.

“I think the first set was important. Being 1-0 down against Joe could have been a big game-changer, and I knew I couldn’t afford to throw sets away.

“I want to play the best players, I want to beat the best players and I want to show how far my game has come, and winning this title would mean everything.”

Smith’s reward is an all-St Helens clash against Stephen Bunting for a place in the semi-finals.

The quarter-final action will take place on a blockbuster double session on January 1, with Clayton and Van den Bergh kicking off proceedings, before the all-St Helens tie between Smith and Bunting.

The evening session will then see 2021 World Champion Price play German trailblazer Clemens, before Van Gerwen and Dobey collide for a place in Monday’s last four.

Click here to view match stats & results

2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship
Friday December 30
Afternoon Session
3x Fourth Round
Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-0 Kim Huybrechts (3-0, 3-2, 3-1, 3-0)
Gabriel Clemens 4-1 Alan Soutar (3-0, 1-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-2)
Michael Smith 4-1 Joe Cullen (3-2, 0-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-2)

Evening Session
3x Fourth Round
Chris Dobey 4-2 Rob Cross (1-3, 3-0, 0-3, 3-2, 3-1, 3-2)
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode (3-1, 3-1, 1-3, 3-2, 3-0)
Stephen Bunting 4-1 Luke Humphries (3-1, 3-0, 1-3, 3-2, 3-0)

Sunday January 1
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith v Stephen Bunting

Evening Session (1930 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals
Gerwyn Price v Gabriel Clemens
Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey

Best of nine sets


Images: Kieran Cleeves / PDC

Images: PDC

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