Michael Van Gerwen has crashed out of the Grand Slam of Darts after losing 10-7 to Australian number one Damon Heta.

Heta’s win ensures a new name will be engraved onto the Eric Bristow Grand Slam of Darts trophy.

Speaking on his victory, Heta said: “You always bring your own game when it’s MVG…because what else have you got to rely on? You know what he can produce.”

Meanwhile, Rob Cross defeated Nathan Aspinall 10-8 in the other tie on Thursday night.

It was a classic encounter, with both players achieving 100+ averages and an impressive 50%+ checkout rate.

Cross said about the quality of dart players: “You can’t take anything for granted; the field is so strong, it is always workmanlike.”

Cross joked: “I don’t think there is a scooby anymore, really. It would be nice to find one because I’d like an easier game.”

Debutant and American Stowe Buntz revealed he bought a spectator ticket for the knockout stages before qualifying.

But his journey continues after the American defeated the 2023 UK Open winner, Andrew Gilding, 10-5 to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Now, Stowe Buntz will face Stephen Bunting to set up a rematch of Group E.

Merseysider Bunting will get another chance to beat the American after he swept aside Dutchman Danny Noppert. 10-4.

And he expects to play better in the quarters.

“Danny just wasn’t on it tonight, and I’m lucky enough to get over the line…I need to be better than that, but I know there’s a lot more gears in the grinder, and I’ll be back on the practice board ready for the next game.”

Merseysportlive will continue coverage of the Grand Slam of Darts to the conclusion of the event on Sunday.

(Pic courtesy of PDC Darts)