IT’S a good week for St Helens throwers.

Michael Smith is preparing for his debut in the World Series of Darts, while Dave Chisnall can reflect on his first title success of 2017.

Smith is one of eight PDC representatives to have landed in New Zealand to compete alongside eight Oceanic players in the Auckland Darts Masters tomorrow, Friday, with events to follow across the Tasman Sea in Melbourne and Perth in the coming weeks.

The draw for the Auckland rounds at the Trusts Arena will be made today, Thursday, for the fourth World Series event with Smith going in the hat alongside the PDC’s Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, James Wade, Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock and Daryl Gurney.

Also in the mix are invited Oceanic players Kyle Anderson and Cody Harris, the top two players from 2017 DPNZ rankings Rob Szabo and Warren Parry, the DPA qualifier Corey Cadby and DPNZ qualifiers Mark Cleaver, Darren Herewini and Rob Modra.

The first round starts tomorrow, Friday, at 7pm, with the quarter finals on Saturday at 7pm and the semi finals and final on Sunday from 6pm (all times local, UK is 11 hours behind).

ITV4 will be broadcasting the action on a delayed basis, screening in the evenings.

Following the Auckland Darts Masters, the World Series of Darts crosses the water to Australia for the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters (August 18-20, Hisense Arena) and TABtouch Perth Darts Masters (August 25-27, HBF Stadium).

Meanwhile, Chisnall defeated Richard North 6-5 in the 18th Players Championship final in Barnsley on Sunday for his first title of 2017.

The world number six had lost out twice in finals this year, against Adrian Lewis in a Players Championship in Milton Keynes and to Michael van Gerwen in last month’s Shanghai Darts Masters, but went all the way to the £10,000 top prize by seeing off North in a decider.

A third round loser to Christian Kist in Saturday’s Players Championship 17, Chisnall opened his challenge on Sunday with a superb whitewash of Darren Johnson.

He then edged out Yordi Meeuwisse and Ritchie Edhouse in deciding legs, overcame Premier League rival Jelle Klaasen 6-3 and again went to 11 legs in his quarter-final win over Brendan Dolan.

Chisnall then saw off Ryan Searle 6-2 at the semi-final stage, while North ended hopes of an all-St Helens final when he knocked out Stephen Bunting 6-5 in his semi final.

Chisnall came from 2-0 and 3-1 down in the final against North.

A 107 checkout saw him level at three-all in the decider, with the Hampshire-based thrower moving 4-3 and 5-4 up before a brilliant 144 finish sent the game all the way.

Chisnall was first to a finish, and though he initially missed tops for the match, North was unable to take out 155 as the St Helens man returned on double 10 for the win.

“I’m playing good darts at the moment and if my doubles go in, I’m dangerous,” said Chisnall.

“My doubles were going in and that’s what lets me down most, so it was nice.”

Of the final, Chisnall added: “Richard was hitting the maximums, he played well and he was unlucky. In the last leg he had a bad leg and I was decent – I sneaked it.”

Smith lost 6-3 to eventual winner Kyle Anderson in the semi finals of the previous day’s Players Championship at the same venue.