Michael “Bully Boy” Smith fell at the last hurdle as he could not overcome a fantastic performance from Ross “Smudger” Smith in the final of the European Championships.

Smudger was consistent in his scoring and finishing as he ran out 8-11 winner. Both players averaged over 100 – 100.47 and 101.32 in the winner’s favour.

Bully Boy began the match as the nervier of the two and dropped the first leg, despite starting the leg. Smudger looked the more composed as he checked out 133 through a treble 20, treble 19 double eight route.

Despite his scoring improving in the second leg, the St Helens-born player couldn’t find double 12 for a 126 checkout. Smith was quick to capitalise by finishing 121 on the bullseye.

Both players couldn’t get going in the third leg of the match as Smudger took it in 17 darts.

It wasn’t until the fourth leg when Bully Boy recorded his first leg of the final. After 12 darts, he had left himself with 47 to checkout and did so successfully with his next three darts.

The world number four backed it up with another leg win – in 12 darts – to head into the break 2-3 down.

This good form continued for Smith. In 12 darts, he struck bullseye and double 16 for an 82 checkout to level the match up.

However, Smudger struck back in excellent fashion. After striking 100, 180 and 140, he made no mistake in taking out 81.

After an usually poor leg from Bully Boy, Ross Smith extended his lead to 3-5.

Smith fought back though to put in a very good leg and reduce his two leg shortfall to just the one.

A shaky leg on Bully Boy’s throw resulted in Smudger winning another leg in 15 arrows. This left Smith chasing the game as he found himself 4-7 down.

With a couple of 100+ scores, Smith accurately struck double 20 with his last dart in hand to make it 5-7.

Putting in a 12 dart leg, Smudger finished 81 after pinning double nine. Smith had previously threatened a 170 checkout but slightly skewed his throw at bullseye.

Needing a break of throw, Bully Boy struck back with a 120 and 180 before checking out 65 on double 20.

With the game finely poised at 6-8, Smith put together a fantastic leg before the break. In 12 darts, he’d left himself 25 and finished on double five with his 15th dart in hand.

Smudger returned the game to a two leg difference after checking out 73 in 15 darts.

With the world number 28 two legs away from winning the final, Bully Boy showed guts and determination to win the 17th leg of the game.

To take him to within one leg of his first PDC televised title, Smudger scored 100, 134 and 140 before comfortably taking out 25 in 17 darts.

Capping off a wonderful performance across the tournament, the world number 28 struck a 134, 177 and 100 before securing a double eight to win his first televised title.