Daryl Gurney, Vincent van der Voort and Alan Norris all won through to round-two of the European Darts Matchplay at the Inselparkhalle on Friday, whilst Max Hopp and Reine Eidams also tasted victory on home soil.
Hopp produced a fine comeback from 5-3 down to stun Joe Murnan and delight the Hamburg crowd. The World-Youth champion posted four maximums and hit a brilliant 158 checkout to reduce the arrears, before completing victory with a fine 14-darter in the decider.
Hopp’s compatriot Reine Eidams also secured a place in round-two with a hard-fought win over Ricky Williams. Eidams converted a spectacular 160 checkout as he established a 4-0 cushion, but Williams won four of the next five legs. Nevertheless, ‘The Cube’ eventually got over the winning line, setting up a clash with Adrian Lewis on Saturday.
Vincent van der Voort eased through to the second round with a comprehensive 6-2 victory against Jamie Robinson. ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ averaged 87 and recorded the solitary maximum, but he will lock horns with Kim Huybrechts in what could prove to be a classic encounter.
Daryl Gurney fought back from 4-2 down to defeat Kevin Painter in a topsy-turvy tussle. ‘The Artist’ converted a fine 76 finish to establish a two-leg cushion, but Gurney drew level immediately after some costly misses from Painter. The Northern Irishman edged 5-4 ahead, before capitalising on seven missed darts from Kevin to secure the win.
Former world finalist Alan Norris survived a scare as he scraped past Richie Corner in another deciding leg. Norris led 5-3 but missed five match darts in the eighth leg, before Corner produced a nerveless 102 checkout to force a decider. However, ‘Chuck’ held his nerve to set up a second-round tie against Benito van de Pas.
Mark Webster suffered first-round disappointment in Hamburg, as he was left to rue missed match darts against John Henderson. The former world champion averaged almost ten points higher than his amiable Scottish opponent, but missed darts in the tenth and eleventh leg proved extremely expensive for Webby.
However, it was a better evening for Webster’s Welsh compatriot Jonny Clayton, who recorded a 6-3 victory over Devon Petersen in the curtain-raiser to Friday’s double-session. Clayton led 5-1 but squandered six match darts as Petersen cut the deficit to 5-3. However, the Welshman held his nerve to set up a round-two clash against James Wade.
Recent Players Championship winner Josh Payne also suffered deciding-leg heartbreak, after being dumped by Jamie Caven. Payne recorded four maximums and took out 101 to force a decider, having trailed 5-3 at one stage. However, the youngster wired the bull for a 164 match-winning outshot, enabling Caven to return and pin D4 to edge through.
Elsewhere, an in-form Joe Cullen suffered a shock first-round exit against Ron Meulenkamp. Cullen led 3-1, before Meulenkamp took out 144 to clinch his third straight leg. The match went to a decider, but despite posting his second maximum, ‘The Rockstar’ missed two match darts and the Dutchman landed D4 to secure a fine win.
Chris Dobey silenced a partisan home crowd by dumping out the experienced German Jyhan Artut. Neither player performed to their best, but Dobey reeled off three consecutive legs from 4-3 down to book a second-round berth; where he will take on former world champion Jelle Klaasen.
Andree Welge was also dumped out on home soil, losing to his fellow countryman Maik Langendorf in a scrappy affair. Both players averaged in the low 80’s, but Langendorf recorded two maximums and took out 104 en route to a 6-3 win, to set up a last 32 tie against world champion Gary Anderson.
Swedish veteran Magnus Caris will face Terry Jenkins on Saturday afternoon after ‘Poker-Face’ overcame Spanish star Cristo Reyes 6-3. Belgium’s Mike de Decker also won through to the last 32 after beating Darren Johnson by the same scoreline. De Decker will now face Mensur Suljovic tomorrow.
Suljovic will be joined in the last 32 by his fellow Austrian Rowby-John Rodriguez, who came through a gruelling battle against Michel van der Horst. Rowby led 4-1, before Michel reeled off three successive legs to restore parity. However, ‘Little John’ rallied to complete a 6-4 victory, to set up a meeting with third seed Michael Smith tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Darren Webster eased into round-two with a comprehensive 6-1 triumph against an out-of-sorts Jonathan Worsley in the second of Friday’s games. Webster will now take on world number five Peter Wright on Saturday, as Snakebite aims to recover from the disappointment of failing to make the Premier League play-offs.
In the final match of Friday’s afternoon session, Remco van Eijden dismantled Andrew Gilding 6-1, to set up an all-Dutch second-round clash against Michael van Gerwen. Gilding endured a torrid time on the doubles; converting just 5.78% of his double attempts as his slump in form continues.
HappyBet European Darts Matchplay
Friday May 13
Mike De Decker 6-3 Darren Johnson
Darren Webster 6-1 Jonathan Worsley
Max Hopp 6-5 Joe Murnan
Richie Corner 5-6 Alan Norris
Cristo Reyes 3-6 Magnus Caris
Rene Eidams 6-4 Ricky Williams
Michel van der Horst 4-6 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Remco van Eijden 6-1 Andrew Gilding
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Joe Cullen
Josh Payne 5-6 Jamie Caven
John Henderson 6-5 Mark Webster
Jyhan Artut 4-6 Chris Dobey
Jamie Robinson 2-6 Vincent van der Voort
Kevin Painter 4-6 Daryl Gurney
Andree Welge 3-6 Maik Langendorf
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Devon Petersen
Saturday May 14
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Terry Jenkins (10) v Magnus Caris
Benito van de Pas (12) v Alan Norris
Simon Whitlock (15) v Jamie Caven
Ian White (7) v Max Hopp
Robert Thornton (11) v John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic (14) v Mike De Decker
Jelle Klaasen (9) v Chris Dobey
Mervyn King (16) v Daryl Gurney
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Dave Chisnall (6) v Ron Meulenkamp
Kim Huybrechts (5) v Vincent van der Voort
Michael Smith (3) v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Adrian Lewis (8) v Rene Eidams
Peter Wright (2) v Darren Webster
James Wade (4) v Jonny Clayton
Gary Anderson (13) v Maik Langendorf
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Remco van Eijden