Michael Smith rediscovers winning formula with Players Championship win in Wigan

Michael Smith showed glimpses of his best form as he powered to his first title of the year.

Since making the UK Open final back in March, Bully Boy has struggled for form, winning just 22 of his next 40 competitive games. 

Smith's inconsistent results also saw him slide to second-bottom in the Premier League table, as hopes of making the tournament's semi-finals remain slim.

However, Smith appeared to take a major step in the right direction as he powered to victory in Tuesday's Players Championship 14 event.

The St Helens-based player beat surprise package John O'Shea 8-5 in the final to claim the £12,000 prize.

Smith was certainly made to work for the win as his opponent took a 3-2 lead with checkouts of 105, 50 and 120.

The 31-year-old kept his cool and rallied off five of the next six legs to move 7-4 ahead.

O'Shea went within two legs of the Premier League player, but missed crucial doubles in the 13th leg as Smith secured the title at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

Bully Boy began his run to the final with a 6-3 win over Tony Martinez and a commanding 6-2 victory over Germany's Ricardo Pietreczko.

Ricky Evans was his next victim as Smith produced the highest three-dart average of the day - an impressive 103.51.

Victories over Martin Lukeman, James Wilson and Damon Heta followed as the Englishman reached the final.

Ross Smith also enjoyed a memorable showing in Wigan as he produced a nine-darter in the very first leg of his first-round match. The player reached the round-of-16 before losing to eventual finalist O'Shea.

Players Championship 14 results

Quarter-Finals

Michael Smith 6-4 James Wilson

Damon Heta 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse

Dave Chisnall 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski

John O'Shea 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven

Semi-Finals

Michael Smith 7-2 Damon Heta

John O'Shea 7-4 Dave Chisnall

Final

Michael Smith 8-5 John O'Shea

Photo Credit: PDC

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