Smith sinks big names on way to final

By Liam Moakes 16/04 Updated: 24/04 15:13

Buy photos » Saturday's finalists Andy Smith and Raymond van Barneveld served up an excellent match. Picture courtesy of PDC. (s)

STUDLEY'S Andy Smith defeated world champion Adrian Lewis on his way to reaching the final of Saturday's Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier at the Barnsley Metrodome.

The Pieman was eventually beaten 6-3 in the final by five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, who was the star of the weekend as he also won Sunday's sixth qualifier at the same venue and hit a nine-dart finish in his victory over Michael Barnard on the way to success on Saturday.

Smith added a valuable £3,000 prize money to his PDC Order of Merit tally as a result of Saturday's efforts and he remains a healthy 19th in the world rankings.

It was a day to remember for Smith who defeated world number six Wes Newton 6-4 in the second round, under 21 world champion Arron Monk 6-3 in the third round and Mark Jones 6-3 whilst hitting two 161 checkouts in the fourth round - having also earlier seen off Kevin McDine and Ian Jopling - to set up a last eight clash against world champion and world number two Lewis.

The Pieman continued his fine form to see off the Stoke star 6-1 and then defeated Jamie Caven 6-4 in the semi-final to book his place in the final against Barney, who had defeated Smith's best friend in darts, Terry Jenkins, 6-4 in the other last four encounter.

Smith opened the final with a 180 and took the opening leg, but van Barneveld won four of the next five to take command, with only an 11-dart finish from the Englishman stemming the tide as the Dutchman hit three 180s, a 12-darter and a trio of 14-dart finishes to lead 4-2.

Smith almost paid the price for opting against throwing for the bull on a 161 finish in the seventh leg as he missed six darts at double 16 and eight, only to be allowed back in by two misses from van Barneveld to reduce the gap to 4-3.

However, van Barneveld took out double four for a 13-darter in the next and then finished 117 on tops to seal the triumph.

Smith had won a Players Championship in Barnsley last June, but fell one win short of another title as he took the £3,000 runner-up prize this time.

On Sunday Newton gained revenge over Smith for his defeat 24 hours earlier as he defeated the Pieman 6-4 in the preliminary round.

Meanwhile, 19th seed Smith has been drawn to face Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts in the first round of the Austrian Open when the inaugural European Tour event is held at the Arena Nova in Wiener Neustadt.

The £81,200 tournament will be held from April 27-29 and features 64 players competing for the £15,000 first prize in the first of five European Tour events being staged by the PDC this year.

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