World champion Michael Smith saw off Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 to win Night Three of the Cazoo Premier League in Glasgow and move top of the table.
‘Bully Boy’ had defeated last week’s winner Gerwyn Price in his opening match before then edging out Jonny Clayton in a last-leg decider, having landed a 122 checkout to get back on level terms at 4-4.
Belgian Van den Bergh, meanwhile, earlier silenced the partisan home crowd at the OVO Hydro with a 6-4 win over Peter Wright before then comfortably seeing off Nathan Aspinall, runner-up in Cardiff.
It was world number one Smith, though, whose consistent scoring built on an early break of throw to close out victory over the Belgian with a 109.4 average.
“I felt really good tonight,” Smith said on Sky Sports. “Even when I missed a nine (dart finish), I said to myself to just keep believing in what you are doing.
“I want to make the top four (of the Premier League) and be in finals night and keep winning. I know when I am playing well I can win matches. When I am playing bad, it is about turning up the week after and playing better.
“I expect more of myself, but I need to go back to the drawing board and to the fight I showed before I won the Grand Slam. I showed that tonight, the fighter that is inside me.”
Scottish two-time world champion Wright, though, was left still searching for his first points of the new Premier League campaign despite landing four 180s and having a higher match average of 95.57 against Van den Bergh.
In the opening match of the evening, Aspinall had edged past Michael van Gerwen 6-5.
Aspinall opened up a 4-1 lead before the defending Premier League champion mounted a fine comeback, which included a 170 checkout, to force a last-leg decider.
However, some wayward darts on the Dutchman’s own throw when looking to finish the match proved costly, allowing Aspinall to get over the line.
Welshman Price’s hopes of following up his victory last week in front of a home crowd in Cardiff were swiftly ended by a 6-3 defeat to Smith.
The other quarter-final saw Clayton open his 2023 Premier League account with a confident 6-1 victory over Chris Dobey, who was the overall winner on Night One in Belfast.