Danny Noppert beats Michael Smith to claim UK Open title in thrilling final-leg finish | Darts News


Scotland’s two-time World Championship winner Peter Wright becomes new world number one, with Welshman Gerwyn Price’s reign coming to an end following his 10-7 defeat to Michael Smith in the quarter-finals

Last Updated: 07/03/22 6:44am


Danny Noppert lifts the UK Open trophy after defeating Michael Smith in the final

Danny Noppert defeated Michael Smith 11-10 in a dramatic Cazoo UK Open final to win his first televised title at Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Sunday night.

Smith had looked set to claim the biggest title of his career when – having earlier overcome former world number one Gerwyn Price and youngster Keane Barry – he went 10-9 up in the final, only for Noppert to battle back in a captivating climax to the tournament.

The penultimate leg saw Smith miss a match dart at the bullseye for a 124 checkout, before Noppert pinned a crucial double four to hold throw. He then fired in a 180 on his way to a 13-dart break to claim the title.

Michael Smith suffered an eighth successive defeat in a televised final over the past four years (pic: Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Michael Smith suffered an eighth successive defeat in a televised final over the past four years (pic: Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

“I am over the moon, this is a special moment for me,” said Noppert, who earlier defeated Damon Heta and William O’Connor in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

“I can’t believe it; I have said before that I want to lift a trophy but I never thought it would be at such a big tournament like the UK Open.

“It was a hard game at the end of a long day, we both wanted to lift this trophy so much and neither of us played like we can.

“I think I can take big steps forward in my career now.”

The Dutchman, who became a father for the first time in February, climbs to 12th on the PDC Order of Merit courtesy of the £100,000 winner’s prize.

Meanwhile, Smith was left abandoned after suffering an eighth successive defeat in a televised final over a four-year period. The two-time World Championship runner-up came close to a perfect weekend in Somerset, having hit a nine-darter on Saturday.

“I was trying too hard to win, fair play to Danny,” said Smith. “It’s yet another final loss, it’s very hard to take.

“I can only blame myself, my doubles were awful and my scoring was bad.”

Peter Wright is the new world number one following Gerwyn Price's quarter-final defeat (Image credit: Steven Paston/PDC)

Peter Wright is the new world number one following Gerwyn Price’s quarter-final defeat (Image credit: Steven Paston/PDC)

Despite the defeat, Smith moves up to fourth on the PDC Order of Merit. Meanwhile, with his quarter-final win over Price, Smith ended the Welshman’s reign as world number one, with Scotland’s two-time World Championship winner Peter Wright moving into top spot.

Hold on to the tissues because this one is a tear-jerker!  The most emotional moments in darts history, featuring Michael Smith, Peter Wright & Stephen Bunting.

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Hold on to the tissues because this one is a tear-jerker! The most emotional moments in darts history, featuring Michael Smith, Peter Wright & Stephen Bunting.

Hold on to the tissues because this one is a tear-jerker! The most emotional moments in darts history, featuring Michael Smith, Peter Wright & Stephen Bunting.

2022 Cazoo UK Open

Sunday, March 6 – Day Three Results

Quarter Finals

Keane Barry 10-4 James Wade

William O’Connor 10-9 Sebastian Bialecki

Danny Noppert 10-5 Damon Heta

Michael Smith 10-7 Gerwyn Price

Semi Finals

Michael Smith 11-6 Keane Barry

Danny Noppert 11-9 William O’Connor

Final

Danny Noppert 11-10 Michael Smith




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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