Grand Slam of Darts semis: Smith to challenge Van Gerwen

Holly Thackeray | November 14, 2015

Semi-finals: First half of draw

  • Grand Slam of Darts
  • Sunday, November 15th
  • Semi-final play begins: 13:15-16:00 GMT
  • Final begins: 19:00-21:00 GMT
  • Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
  • Live on Sky Sports 1 and 2

Smith and Van Gerwen make for an intriguing oche encounter

Darts - World Darts Championships - Day Eight - Alexandra Palace
Official betting partner Coral continues to preview the last day of the Grand Slam of Darts, as young pretender Michael Smith squares-up to magnificent Michael van Gewen when the final four take to the stage.

Punters are also able to read our views on the other Sunday semis battle between master Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor.

Though here we concentrate on up-and-coming arrowsmith Bully Boy and tungsten menace Mighty Mike, who will take part in the semi-final session which runs from 13:15 and 16:00 GMT on Sky Sports 2, with the winner returning to compete in the final clash on Sky Sports 1 from 19:00-21:00.

Who will emerge victorious from this semi-final darting dust-up, with the silverware just in sight?

Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith

2013 Betfair World Cup of Darts - Day 1

Van Gerwen has had his steely and determined gaze set on this Grand Slam trophy from the off, and is odds-on favourite at 4/7 to win the lot and 1/8 to knock out Bully Boy along the way.

It’s tough to believe Mighty Mike, such a potent player and perhaps not yet even in his prime, is just one year older than Smith, 25, who is still very much a prospect.

The world number one blitzed past Kim Huybrechts 16-4 in his quarter-final fixture, his bullying of the Belgian making for riveting and compulsive viewing as the Dutchman dispatched his opponent with a deadly 12 180s.

“I couldn’t believe it…it feels amazing,” Mighty Mike told interviewers after his dominant darting demolition job. Simply put, the sharpshooter was a man on a mission and raced through the match at high speed, a semis spot in view after a blistering start which saw MvG record an incredible 122 average in the first five legs.

Absolutely on his A game, Van Gerwen (7/5 to be King of the Oche: Player to win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers) certainly looks unbeatable and Huybrechts’ undoing will not have made pretty viewing for peer Smith, who takes part in his first-ever televised semi-final.

Bully Boy, another star of this sport who hails from a hotbed of St Helens talent, is a rising star and has already scalped established oche competitors such as Dave Chisnall and, in both in the quarters and group stage, Adrian Lewis.

Smith said after his smooth defeat of fellow Merseysider Chizzy in the second round: “I want to show what I can do on TV and I think I showed it in a way then.

“If I can put that all into one then I can win this tournament. The belief is coming back now that I’m scoring well.”

The 25-year-old will certainly have to do more than score well if he is to find a way past powerful Mighty Mike, which he is understandably an outside shout at 5/1 to do, though the darting duo have taken two victories apiece from their past four frays.

Should he defeat the dazzling Dutchman, one of Barney or The Power would hold little fear, and Bully Boy is 14/1 to beat the others to the trophy.

Every emerging tungsten hope needs a true break-out tournament triumph, but unstoppable Van Gerwen will not throw away as many doubles with sloppy finishes as Jackpot, making this arguably Smith’s toughest challenge yet. It could be a close contest, but Mighty Mike’s pedigree should pull through, so back odds of 12/1 for a 16-13 scoreline in his favour.


Check out further Grand Slam articles and much more from the world of darts in our archive

Coral’s top tip: Van Gerwen looks great value at 7/5 to be King of the Oche