Michael Van Gerwen fires out a warning as he hits top form

Michael Van Gerwen turned on the style to sweep into the last 16 of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts with a third straight group win last night.

Michael Van Gerwen in action (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)
Michael Van Gerwen in action (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)

The world champion followed up victories over Jim Williams and Adrian Lewis with his best performance of the week so far in Wolverhampton, averaging 111.38 to see off Smith.

Kent’s Smith had won the last time they met at October’s European Championship, but had no answer to Van Gerwen’s early three-leg blitz before the Dutchman completed a commanding win.

“I’m feeling really good,” said Van Gerwen.

“I can’t complain with a 111 average and I’m full of confidence going into the next round.

“I had two poor legs, but the rest was great because Ross is a good player. I feel good so far and I can look forward to the next game on Thursday.”

Van Gerwen now plays Ian White in round two tomorrow, after the Stoke ace secured progression from the group stage for the first time with a 5-4 defeat of Wesley Harms in their Group B decider.

White led 3-0 before Harms levelled, and the Dutchman took the game to a ninth leg in which the pair landed 180s before the Stoke thrower pinned double eight to progress.

James Wade progressed alongside White from Group B despite losing 5-4 to Steve Lennon, who exits the tournament on leg difference.

Wade took an early 3-0 lead as he claimed the requisite three legs which meant he could not be overtaken by the Irishman.

Lennon hit back with four in a row before Wade forced a deciding leg, but the Irish ace landed double 14 for the win.

Reigning champion Gerwyn Price stormed into the second round with a superb 5-2 win over Dimitri Van den Bergh, securing top spot in Group C.

“I’m very relieved and once I got to four legs I knew I was through, but I wanted to get the win to top the group,” said Price.

“I was a bit edgy because I knew I had to win still and I didn’t make it easy, but I took my opportunity to finish the game off in the end.

“In my first two games I didn’t play as well as I could, but I let myself go today and I was back to my old self. I’m enjoying it and hopefully I can go on and defend my title now.”

Robert Thornton joined Price in qualifying from Group C as the former Wolverhampton finalist continued his renaissance with a 5-3 win over Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki.

The second round begins today with the opening four matches, including the huge fixture between world number two Rob Cross and flamboyant Peter Wright.

World Championship finalist Michael Smith meets Daryl Gurney, while Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant takes on Germany’s Gabriel Clemens and former Grand Slam runner-up Dave Chisnall plays qualifier Ryan Harrington.

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