Smith Does Enough As Beaton Struggles

Red Dragon Darts

WORLD champion Michael Smith brought the opening weekend of the Betfred World Matchplay to a close with a steady performance against a below par Steve Beaton in a 10-2 win to close Sunday’s play.

With the clock nearing 11pm, Michael Smith seemed keen to not let this one drag into the night.

A 140 and 180 proved useful ballast in leg 1, and after a flurry of missed doubles from both, a 26 dart leg proved enough to make things 2-0.

Beaton got on the board with the next leg, bringing things back to 2-1. But Steve was struggling to match the even timid levels of Smith, a double 5 for Bully Boy taking him to 3-1.

A brisk 12 darter carried Michael to a 4-1 lead at the break, no doubt inspired by the departure of his keen rival van Gerwen in the previous match.

The Bronzed Adonis was trying to find his range, seeming to throw harder than he typically does, and did take the next leg. But he remained off target, even Smith struggling to grow into the game due to Beaton’s below par arraz.

With doubles converted for 5-2, Smith was now in command. It looked as if Steve may have survived the leg when Smith missed some chances at double, but it didn’t last. 6-2.

Beaton is one of only two players in this draw not in the PDC’s main Order of Merit, along with Mike de Decker (defeated last night).

A just north of 80 average will have disappointed. By the end of the mini session, Smith was just two legs away. A 52 out left him on the verge at 9-2. A 12 darter followed.

Smith had barely broke into a sweat and Steve Beaton left the stage comfortably defeated.

“He didn’t start well and he didn’t finish well,” the world champion told Darts World after the match.

“I was just trying to smash him off the board and have a nice easy night and come back on Tuesday but it didn’t go that way.”

“The more he missed, I missed as well. It is another lesson learned and you can guarantee I won’t do that again.”


Images: Taylor Lanning / PDC

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