“I just play the player in front of me. I try to keep my feet on the ground. Nothing has been going right for me on the floor, but that changed today.”
ROSS SMITH has vowed to keep his feet on the ground after an excellent Players Championship 5 victory.
The Dover thrower delivered another quality win beating fellow Unicorn star Gary Anderson 8-6 in the final in Barnsley on Saturday night.
European Champion Smith produced a fine day of victories over top opponents to land the £12,000 top prize and now moves into the world’s top 16 for the first time in his career.
He said: “I think I thoroughly deserved the win if you look at the calibre of players I’ve beaten.
“I felt a bit edgy against Gary, but I told myself to just concentrate and stop thinking, and thankfully I got away with it, because we all know what Gary can do.
“I just play the player in front of me. I try to keep my feet on the ground. Nothing has been going right for me on the floor, but that changed today.
“I wasn’t quite expecting it. My confidence hasn’t been the greatest of late, so I am really happy to win this title.”
Smith knocked out Martijn Kleermaker, Jim Williams, Luke Humphries, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Nathan Aspinall to seal his spot in the semi-finals.
He then survived three match darts in an edgy last four showdown against Martin Schindler.
Anderson was attempting to win his first title since 2020 but Smith took control of the final to lead 4-1. But Ando came back with a high-class 124 checkout.
Smith restored his three-leg cushion before the Scot replied with three straight legs of his own to level at five apiece, and a clinical 120 checkout in leg 11 put Anderson into a 6-5 lead for the first time in the match.
However, Smith regained control with back-to-back 15-dart legs to move to the brink of victory at 7-6, before sealing the deal on tops.