Canadian Jeff (The Silencer) Smith beaten in second round at world darts championship

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LONDON — Chris (Hollywood) Dobey rallied from a two-set deficit to oust Canadian Jeff (The Silencer) Smith 3-2 in second-round play Wednesday at the William Hill World Darts Championship.

The 22nd seed from England had some bumps early on but was clinical in his finishing as the match wore on.

"I know what I'm capable of," said Dobey, who averaged 112 in the fourth set and 110 in the fifth.

The 30-year-old Dobey rallied from two legs down in the first set to even it at 2-2 but Smith won the set with a bull's-eye. The 45-year-old from Hampton, N.B., took the second set before Dobey rebounded to claim the third and fourth sets.

Dobey won three straight legs in the fifth to take the match.

"Hard loss yes, but what a game to be part of," Smith said via social media. "(Dobey) played with some mega-grit, determination, and heart to pull that back. I'll be rooting for him.

"I was willing to stay, but I will now I get a Christmas with my girls. Can't thank you all enough for the support."

Smith, runner-up at the 2016 BDO World Darts Championship, earned 15,000 pounds ($25,830) as a second-round loser. He downed Irish teenager Keane Barry 3-1 in his opening match Tuesday.

Fellow Canadian Matt (Ginga Ninja) Campbell, a 31-year-old welder from Hamilton, faces Scott Waites, a former Grand Slam of Darts winner and two-time BDO World Darts champion, in first-round action Saturday.

The 2.5-million-pound ($4.3 million) tournament runs through Jan. 3 at London’s Alexandra Palace. The winner earns 500,000 pounds ($860,565).

Ninety-six players from 29 countries are represented in the field.

Smith, the lone Canadian currently competing on the PDC Tour, works at an auto body shop in nearby Saint John when he is not on the pro darts circuit.

The tournament was to have been the first Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) event in the U.K. since March to feature a live crowd, with up to 1,000 fans at each session. But London was placed under more severe lockdown restriction as of Thursday due to the pandemic so fans were only allowed for Day 1 Wednesday.

The new restrictions are subject to a review Dec. 23.

Smith and Campbell combined last month to help Canada reach the quarterfinals of the BetVictor World Cup of Darts in Salzburg, Austria.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020

The Canadian Press