Big guns bow out in Gibraltar
Phil Taylor’s hopes of retaining the Gibraltar Darts Trophy title were ended in the second round of the £100,000 European Tour event on Saturday, as Michael van Gerwen also crashed out at the Victoria Stadium.
Taylor, who defeated Jamie Lewis to take last year's title in Gibraltar, went down 6-4 to Michael Smith as the youngster repeated his win over the Stoke great from the 2014 World Championship with another assured display.
Taylor had opened up a 3-1 lead early on, but Smith finished 91, 101 and 124 as he squared the game at 4-4, before breaking throw on double top to move ahead and then punishing missed doubles from his opponent to secure the win.
Smith now meets Jamie Caven - who saw off John Henderson 6-3 - in Sunday afternoon's third round, and said: "I'm so happy to win.
"I know that I've got the game to beat Phil and I showed it today. He missed a few doubles but I felt good and was comfortable, and I hit the right shots at the right time.
"I've just knocked out the defending champion s there's no reason I can't go all the way on Sunday."
World champion Van Gerwen went down 6-5 in a high-quality clash with fellow Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas, with the emerging star averaging 106.72 to the world No 1's 103.91.
Van de Pas opened the game in stunning fashion with a 10-dart leg and took out 135 on his way to leads of 3-0 and 4-1.
Van Gerwen hit back to level, taking out 132 and 140 in the process, but Van de Pas made him pay for missed doubles in a key ninth and though the pair traded 180s as the game went to a deciding leg, the PDC newcomer produced a brilliant 12-darter to snatch victory.
Van de Pas will now take on James Wade, who was a 6-3 winner against Andy Hamilton, while another former World Championship finalist, Peter Wright, was eliminated 6-4 by Swindon's Johnny Haines.
World No 3 Adrian Lewis was a narrow 6-5 winner over Dean Winstanley, hitting an 11-darter in the deciding leg as he moved through to face Robert Thornton, who was a 6-4 winner against Daryl Gurney.
Gary Anderson ended home hopes with a fine 6-2 win over Dyson Parody.