Template - Date: US Masters ‘WORLD SERIES 1’
Nathan Aspinall completed a dream World Series of Darts debut with glory in the Dafabet US Darts Masters at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Friday, defeating Michael Smith 8-4 in a superb final.
Aspinall has enjoyed an incredible six months to establish himself amongst the sport’s top stars with a run to the World Championship semi-finals and a maiden TV title at the UK Open. Those successes earned the 27-year-old a place in his first World Series event in Las Vegas, and he scooped the £20,000 title in a brilliant day at the Mandalay Bay.
Aspinall followed up Thursday’s first round win over Shawn Brenneman with a fine 8-5 quarter-final victory against world number two Rob Cross. He then edged out Peter Wright 8-7 in a tight semi-final – hitting back from two legs behind on three occasions, landing finishes of 161 and 126, before surviving a missed match dart from the Scot in the deciding leg.
Aspinall then saved his best performance for the final, where he overcame Smith in a fast-paced and heavy-scoring contest. He won the opening leg with a brilliant ten-dart finish, and landed two 180s in the second only to see Smith take out 130 to level.
The next two were also shared before Aspinall finished 70 and 120 to move 4-2 up as he maintained an average of over 111. Smith took out 118 and 87 to level at four-all, but Aspinall edged the ninth leg on double 18 and pulled clear with checkouts of 85 and 80 and then landed tops to seal a sensational triumph.
Friday July 5th (7.45pm UK)
QUARTER FINALS (15)
(88.59) Michael van Gerwen 6-8 Michael Smith (90.27)
(94.96) Gary Anderson 6-8 Gerwyn Price (98.57)
(95.58) Rob Cross 5-8 Nathan Aspinall (100.37)
(99.14) Daryl Gurney 6-8 Peter Wright (100.59)
SEMI FINALS (15)
(101.77) Michael Smith 8-4 Gerwyn Price (98.05)
(104.21) Nathan Aspinall 8-7 Peter Wright (102.10)
(100.14) Michael Smith 4-8 Nathan Aspinall (106.70)