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  • Michael Smith Suffers Early Exit In International Darts Open

Michael Smith suffers early exit in International Darts Open

Former world champion Michael Smith suffered an early exit from the NEO.bet International Darts Open on day two in Germany.

Smith, winner at Alexandra Palace in 2023, had looked in control of his second-round match against Ritchie Edhouse after opening up a 5-3 lead in the afternoon session.

Edhouse, though, produced a late rally to draw level and then landed a 160 checkout to take the last-leg decider and book a place in the last 16 of the European Tour event.

Nathan Aspinall averaged 113.14 to complete a 6-2 win over world number 11 Jonny Clayton, while Chris Dobey converted a 170 checkout in his 6-4 success against Krzysztof Ratajski.

Ross Smith came from 5-2 down to beat William O’Connor in a deciding leg, while Ryan Searle also saw off Daryl Gurney 6-5.

Masters champion Stephen Bunting, Danny Noppert and Damon Heta all also advanced to finals day at the WT Energiesysteme Arena.

In the evening session, world number one Luke Humphries – winner of the German Darts Grand Prix a fortnight ago – landed half-a-dozen maximums as he swept past Jose de Sousa 6-2.

Welshman Gerwyn Price started his bid for a third successive International Darts Open title with a 6-4 win over Brendan Dolan.

Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko knocked out James Wade in a deciding leg to delight the home crowd, who were on their feet again when Martin Schindler recorded a 6-3 win over Joe Cullen.

Richard Veenstra dumped out top seed Dave Chisnall as he reeled off four straight legs to seal a 6-2 success while Scotland’s Cameron Menzies survived two match darts as he edged past Josh Rock in a deciding leg.

Gabriel Clemens had the home fans singing once more in Riesa as he held off a fightback from Dirk van Duijvenbode to win 6-4 before the evening action finished with former world champion Rob Cross digging deep to beat Gian van Veen in the last leg of the night.

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