MICHAEL Smith is in this afternoon's quater finals in the Unibet European Championship in Hasselt.

Fellow St Helens throwers Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting miss out after Saturday's outcomes.

Daryl Gurney, who goes on to face Peter Wright, ended Bunting's hopes 10-6 at the Ethias Arena.

Bunting made a bright start to lead 2-1, but Gurney levelled before taking out key finishes of 112 - to move ahead for the first time - and 121 on his way to a 5-2 cushion.

Bunting hit back to one leg behind, but was crucially never able to level as he missed five darts at a double in leg 12 to allow Gurney into a 7-5 advantage.

Bunting took the next, but finishes of 81, 80 and 67 in the next three saw Gurney seal his spot in Sunday's last eight.

"It was a tight game," said Gurney. "I'm just glad to get over the finish line in that game and hopefully I can keep this going on Sunday now.

"Stephen played really well there and I'm glad to see him playing the way he's playing.

"By his standards he's been below-par but I love to see him coming back like that and playing proper darts, and it's good for the PDC and for darts."

Smith won through to his first European Championship quarter-final in a dramatic 19-leg contest with Benito van de Pas, who hit back from four legs behind to force a decider before seeing his rival take out 118 to progress.

Van de Pas opened the game with a 124 bull finish and shared the opening four legs before Smith pulled clear with four in a row.

The Dutch youngster hit back with three straight legs only to miss his chance to level in leg 16 as three doubles went begging, and though Smith missed two match darts as Van de Pas hit back to nine-all, it was Smith who had the final say.

"It was a battle and luckily enough my doubles were good," said Smith.

"From being 8-4 up to see Benito get level, a year ago I might have given up and this is the type of game I'd have lost but I kept fighting and took my chance in the last leg.

"I've shown that I've got that C-game where I can struggle and still win but I want to win this. I've done the hard work all year to be the number three seed and I don't want to throw that away."

Rob Cross reached his first televised quarter-final against Smith with a 10-7 win over Dave Chisnall, who battled on despite a back injury which hampered his challenge.

Cross, though, was always in control after winning the opening two legs and five of the first six, which included a 120 checkout and a neat 82 combination of bullseye and double 16.

Chisnall took three of the next four as he pulled back to 6-4, and after Cross moved 8-4 up the St Helens man claimed three in a row to reduce the gap to 8-7.

Cross, though, found an extra gear to finally close out the win, following a 13-darter with a 100 finish to seal his last eight spot.

"I'm happy to be through," said Cross. "I felt Chizzy was struggling and it was weird because you expect him to play like he normally does.

"That didn't happen and it maybe affected me a bit. Today was a bit of a weird one and it was hard, but tomorrow will be better."

Chisnall revealed: "I played Kim Huybrechts two weeks ago on the European Tour and when I was getting my darts out I pulled my back then. It came on after about three legs but Rob was in control anyway and I'm not blaming it.

"I battled through it and I was happy to get seven legs."

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen's bid to claim a fourth successive European Championship win continues as he opens the quarter-finals against Simon Whitlock, before 2016 finalist Mensur Suljovic plays Kyle Anderson.


Saturday October 28.

Second Round.

Michael Smith 10-9 Benito van de Pas.

Rob Cross 10-7 Dave Chisnall.

Stephen Bunting 6-10 Daryl Gurney.

Peter Wright 10-8 Jonny Clayton.



Afternoon Session (1.45pm local time, 12.45pm UK time).


Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock.

Kyle Anderson v Mensur Suljovic.

Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney.

Rob Cross v Michael Smith.

Evening Session (8pm local time, 7pm UK time).


Van Gerwen/Whitlock v Anderson/Suljovic.

Wright/Gurney v Cross/Smith.