Michael Smith to lift ‘ban’ on family attending Ally Pally after reaching finalJanuary 2, 2023
Michael Smith said he would lift a temporary ban on his family attending the World Darts Championship after storming into the final.
Bully Boy saw off German hero Gabriel Clemens 6-2, winning the last four sets to reach his third final at Alexandra Palace. But his wife and two sons, who attended his quarter-final win over Stephen Bunting, weren’t there to see it.
Quizzed on their absence and whether they would be at the north London venue for the final on Tuesday night, he told Sky Sports: “They came yesterday and it put me off. They never come early on in the tournament so they were banned today. They will be back tomorrow though.”
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After winning his first major title at the Grand Slam in November, Smith admitted he pondered kicking his family out of the arena as he was finding their presence distracting.
“They were banned for semis because every time I made the semis [and they were there] I got beat,” he said at the time. “They then came down for the final. The way it started off, I thought ‘they’re going!’. I told Junior [one of his sons] to shut up twice because he was screaming,” he said at the time.
But his sons will get to see their dad’s big moment against Michael van Gerwen or Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Against Clemens, Smith was somewhere near his brilliant best, averaging more than 100 to see off the 25th seed, who had thrashed Gerwyn Price in the last eight.
“I told myself I had to step up, it is the semi-finals of the Worlds, I can't keep playing how I was and luckily enough I did," he said.
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“I hit that first 180 in the very first leg and it set me up, as soon as I hit that, I had found the first dart and knew it was good. I just kept telling myself as long as I owned my throw in my sets I was good.
“Gab is a really good player and it has shown it time and time again. I have had some really good battles with him. He just proved it again, he wouldn't leave me alone.
“This is my third World final in five years now and I have just got to keep going.”
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