Merseyside trio Dave Chisnall, Michael Smith and Stephen Bunting had mixed fortunes in the 2021 UK Open.
St Helens-born Chisnall battled his way to the quarter-final while Smith and Bunting crashed out in the fifth and fourth round respectively.
40-year-old Chisnall started the tournament with an impressive 10-5 victory over former world champion Peter Wright.
Chisnall averaged 100 and hit six 180’s as he controlled early proceedings – leading the match 4-1.
‘Snakebite’ could not bite back as Chisnall moved into an 8-4 lead with a 29 dart finish.
Wright missed a double 19 for a 155 checkout at 9-5 which allowed Chisnall to seal his place in the fifth round with a 96 checkout.
‘Chizzy’ advanced to the quarter-final with a 10-8 victory over Stephen Bunting’s conqueror Alan Soutar.
The debutant Soutar, battled against Chisnall and led 8-6 but a fantastic final four legs from the 40-year-old saw him defeat the Scot.
The quarter-final saw Chisnall defeated by eventual finalist Luke Humphries.
A final leg decider saw Luke come from 9-7 down to force the decider with Chisnall.
‘Chizzy’ missed a 160 finish in the deciding leg as Humphries took out double 10 to seal the comeback victory.
30-year-old Michael Smith sealed a thrilling 10-9 win over Joe Cullen in his fourth round match.
‘Bully Boy’ threw a stunning 11-darter in the deciding leg to clinch victory after fighting back from 5-1 down.
Smith’s comments after the match saw him in the limelight as he commented on the Premier League line-up.
The St Helens born player criticised the line-up claiming he was better that half the players involved.
His comments about his ability did not back up his performance in the fifth round.
Smith lost 10-9 to Jose de Sousa in a disjointed performance from both players. De Sousa led 5-1 and 6-3 but Smith battled back to force a last leg decider.
De Sousa checked out in the deciding leg with a 56 which saw him through to face Michael van Gerwin.
‘The Bullet’ suffered a crushing 10-5 defeat to Scotsman Alan Soutar who inevitably lost to Bunting’s fellow Merseyside pro Dave Chisnall in the fifth round.
Bunting who impressed at the World Darts Championship at the beginning of the year could not build on that form with this early exit.
All three Merseyside competitors will look to aim for better finishes in preparation for the Betfred World Matchplay in July.
(Featured Image: Wiki Commons – Photo: Sven Mandel)