ENGLAND’S Michael Smith beat Austrian Mensur Suljovic in a hard-fought final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy to secure his first Professional Darts Corporation title for almost two years and the prize money of £25,000.
But the victory was far from easy for 26-year-old Smith from St Helens who sailed into an early 3-0 lead before his opponent won four legs on the bounce to lead 4-3. Smith then mounted his comeback clinching the leg on double 12 finish.
The ninth leg was decisive. Sulijov looked comfortable eaving himself 56 before Smith landed a blistering 132 finish on the bullseye to snatch the leg.
In the next, Smith had an opportunity to clinch the match at tops but missed the finish leaving Suljovic double 15 but that fell tantalisingly inside the wire. This allowed Smith to step up once more and this time he didn’t disappoint planting his dart in double 10 to take the title 6-4.
This was the fourth European Tour title of Smith's career having grabbed his first in 2014 and two more the following year.
"It's a great feeling, I'm so chuffed," said Smith. "I'd forgotten what it felt like to win a tournament and it feels like I've just won my very first tournament again.
"This year I've made two finals and I thought I was going to blow it again. The 132 to go 5-4 up won me the game, it was absolutely huge. I didn't fancy the game going five-all because Mensur is amazing."
Smith needed battling performances to reach the final needing 11th leg deciders in his previous four matches where he beat Christian Kist, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Rob Cross before his stunning semi final win against in form and top seed Peter “Snakebite” Wright.