Michael Smith is through to his second World Championship final in a row after a stunning 6-2 win over Gabriel Clemens at Ally Pally. The German Giant’s spectacular tournament, which saw him become the first German to make it to the final four of this competition came to an end as he was eventually blown away by Bully Boy.
He will face either Michael van Gerwen or Dimitri van den Bergh in the final, as he looks to finally get his hands on the biggest trophy in world darts. This was a spectacular win, arguably his most impressive display of the entire tournament, and Clemens came to the party early on.
In the opening set they traded legs before Smith hit six perfect darts to put himself 2-1 up. In the fourth leg, they traded 180s, as Clemens pushed it to a decider. Both players were on fire but Smith had two trebleless visits to open the door for the German. However, he couldn’t take advantage and Bully Boy cleared up 106 to take the opening set. Smith 1-0 Clemens.
- Smith is 15/8 to win the PDC World Championship with Betfred*
- Gerwyn Price abuse shows we have work to do
- Price dons headphones in shock defeat
Smith raced into a two leg lead in the second set but when he had three darts at D15 to take the set, he missed all three and the German Giant was able to level the scores as he nailed a D8 to break back. With the darts in hand, Clemens put the pressure on, but Smith missed a dart at D20 to take the set - and the German, supported by 800 fans, managed to level it up. Smith 1-1 Clemens.
This was a thrilling semi-final with both players neck and neck as we entered the third. They traded legs yet again but Clemens missed two darts at D16 to hand Smith the opportunity to take the set at D12. He couldn’t take it and for the third set in a row, we went to a deciding leg. Smith once again missed D20 for the set, before Clemens did the same! Bully Boy then had three darts to take the set, but he only needed one. Smith 2-1 Clemens.
A 161 one checkout including a bullseye finish from Smith saw them trade legs again and for the fourth set in a row, we went to a deciding leg. It was a tense encounter, but the German Giant had enough about him to build a big gap and then finish off with D20. We were level again. Smith 2-2 Clemens.
Bully Boy started the fifth in stunning style and raced into a 2-0 lead as Clemens failed to nail the bull for a 124 finish, and Smith took full advantage with a 100 checkout of his own. From there, he had the darts in the third leg and hit D20 to stamp his authority on the match. The first set that didn’t go to a deciding leg was the Englishman's. Smith 3-2 Clemens.
Smith hit his fifth tonne plus finish at the start of the sixth while Clemens hadn’t managed one, yet the pair were neck and neck again. With the German 2-1 up, Smith showed just about enough to take it to a decider, and then he produced some magic. With 83 to see off, he needed a bull on his final dart - and he did it to the delight of the crowd. Smith 4-2 Clemens.
Clemens was on the ropes as Smith reeled off another six perfect darts to take the first leg, and then kept up the pressure to hit D7 and break the German. His spirit also seemed broken as Bully Boy just kept on producing the goods, but he rallied and broke back with an 11 darter of his own. That’s the sort of stuff he has produced so far in this tournament and he made it 2-2 to take it to a decider when he seemed out of it. However, Smith managed to give himself some breathing room and hit the D8 needed to extend his lead. Smith 5-2 Clemens.
They traded legs at the start of the eighth, but as Smith managed to get himself into a position to break Clemens and then nailed the D13 needed to go 2-1. When throwing for the match, he looked like he had blown it, as the German Giant missed three darts at D20. Smith didn’t need another invitation as he hit that same shot to book his place in the final.
After four sets in a row, it finished at Ally Pally, Smith 6-2 Clemens. Another World Championship final awaits tomorrow.
*18+ | Be Gamble Aware