Merseyside’s Michael Smith overcame a spirited comeback from Joe Davis to beat him 5-3 and make it three wins in a row at the Grand Slam of Darts.

Smith, from St Helens, was far from his best but had enough ability to beat bottom of the table Davis and top group H at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

After a perfect start to the tournament, he will face world number three Michael van Gerwen in the knockouts as he also collected six points from six.

World number 10 Smith started off well when after back-to-back three figure scores on his first two throws led to a maximum on his third, he looked in control to win the leg.

However, after nine missed darts on a double, it opened the door for Davis to finish D9 and break Smith’s serve.

The second leg was more competitive but went the way of Smith as two 140s from either player paved the way for a close checkout contest until Merseyside’s Smith checked out 83 to make it one apiece.

“Bully Boy” Smith continued with four triple figures scores in both the third and fourth leg, and although his opponent answered back with the second 180 of the game in the third, Smith checked kept his composure on D10 and D12 to go into the lead.

Things looked all too easy for Smith as his second 180 of the game made him 4-1 up.

However, things would change as his opponent Davis rallied back with a 140 and 134 to leave himself D18 which he checked out to restore the deficit to 4-2.

The Sussex man Davis continued to pull back the score line in a hard-fought seventh leg, when he produced the fourth 180 of the game, which left himself on D10 in a two-dart finish to make it 4-3 as he capitalised on Smith’s error prone doubles.

Davis’ comeback was shattered as Smith smashed in his third 180 of the match, followed by a brilliant 145 straight after, which led him to a checkout of 40 also, but he secured the win with a two-dart finish on D20 to enter the Grand Slam quarter-finals.

(Main picture, by Sven Mandel, under licence)