Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts stole the show in round-two of the HappyBet European Darts Trophy, whilst Michael van Gerwen returned to European Tour action with a bang, on Saturday evening at the RWE Arena in Muelheim.
Klaasen produced a breath-taking display as he dismantled his compatriot Vincent van der Voort 6-1. Klaasen was in sensational form, averaging 111.23 to secure victory in just over 10 minutes. Van der Voort’s solitary leg came via an excellent 101 checkout, but he was unable to live with the rampant ‘Cobra’.
Kim Huybrechts bounced back from his heartbreak in Riesa with a magnificent whitewash win against stablemate Kyle Anderson. Huybrechts was in unforgiving mood, averaging 106.09 to set up a third-round meeting with Terry Jenkins.
Michael van Gerwen marked his return to European Tour action with a convincing 6-2 victory over former World-Youth champion Keegan Brown. MvG stormed into a 3-0 lead, but Brown took out a fabulous 139 finish before breaking on D8 in 15-darts to reduce the arrears to 3-2.
However, the Isle of Wight star spurned three darts to restore parity at three apiece and Van Gerwen took full advantage of his opponent’s profligacy, reeling off three straight legs to seal a fine victory, with an average of 99.9.
Michael Smith began the defence of his HappyBet European Darts Trophy title with a stunning whitewash victory over Dimitri van den Bergh. Smith was clinical; averaging 100.02, hitting two maximums and converting 54% of his attempts at double, to ease past the under-par Belgian.
Second seed Peter Wright breezed into round-three with a whitewash victory over Andy Smith. ‘The Pieman’ was unable to replicate the form that saw him thrash Robbie Green on Friday afternoon, as Wright averaged 101.33 and hit 60% of his double attempts.
Elsewhere, International Darts Open winner Mensur Suljovic eased into the last 16 with a comprehensive whitewash victory over Dutchman Vincent Kamphuis. Suljovic averaged 92.02 and hit 6 of his 13 double attempts, to set up a third-round clash against Ian White.
White prevailed in bizarre circumstances against South African star Devon Petersen. The Stoke-on-Trent star was in cruise control at 5-3 up, but Petersen fought back to force a deciding leg.
Petersen required D16 for victory, but mistakenly went for D8, and when he hit D2 with his third and final dart, he believed he had secured his progression.The pair exchanged bemused looks as Petersen’s celebrations proved premature, as White stepped in to land D1 and snatch victory.
Eight-time major winner James Wade survived match darts as he overcame Justin Pipe in a last-leg decider. Pipe posted an impressive 55% on the doubles, but Wade fired in five maximums to edge through to round-three.
Robert Thornton also secured his last 16 spot by virtue of a deciding-leg victory against host-nation qualifier Martin Schindler. Both players were sloppy in the finishing department; Thornton hitting 29% of his doubles compared to Schindler’s 26%. However the World Grand-Prix champion won through to set up a last 16 clash with Michael Smith.
Nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins also came through a last-leg shootout to beat Zoran Lerchbacher on Saturday afternoon. ‘The Raging Bull’ landed three maximums, but converted just 21% of his doubles. However, it was still sufficient to defeat Lerchbacher, who averaged a miserly 78.69.
Dave Chisnall survived a major scare as he defeated Jamie Caven in a thrilling sudden-death leg. Caven fired in an incredible eight maximums to lead 5-3, but he was left to regret a missed dart for the match, allowing Chizzy to convert a nerveless 90 finish in a last-leg decider.
Simon Whitlock gained revenge on Ricky Evans for his first-round defeat at last year’s World Championship, as he edged past ‘Rapid’ 6-5 in a thriller. Whitlock led 5-3, but Evans forced a deciding leg after converting finishes of 110 & 130. Evans fired in a maximum in the decider but failed to take out 78, and Whitlock sneaked through on D4.
Joe Cullen continued his impressive form as he edged out former world champion Stephen Bunting in a high-quality contest. ‘The Bullet’ produced three ton-plus checkouts, but it wasn’t enough to secure victory as Cullen hit 66% of his doubles and averaged just under 100, to set up a last 16 tie against Peter Wright.
Benito van de Pas will face Dave Chisnall in Sunday’s third-round, after breezing past Josh Payne in a scrappy affair. Van de Pas seemed destined to secure a whitewash as he led 5-0, but Payne opened his account on D4 after ‘Big Ben’ missed one match dart. The Dutchman soon made amends however, producing a clinical two-dart 97 kill to seal a 6-1 triumph.
Andy Jenkins continued his fine form with a last-gasp victory over Alan Norris in round-two. Norris led 5-4 and had the throw in the tenth leg, but Jenkins forced a deciding leg with a timely 14-darter, before capitalising on missed match darts by ‘Chuck’ to book a showdown with James Wade on Sunday afternoon.
Finally, Gerwyn Price eased into the last 16 with an emphatic 6-2 victory over quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena. The Welshman led 5-0 and appeared poised to seal a whitewash, but Wattimena restored some pride with back-to-back legs, before Price clinched his progression with a clinical 86 finish.
HappyBet European Darts Trophy
Saturday September 10
Robert Thornton 6-5 Martin Schindler
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Zoran Lerchbacher
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Vincent Kamphuis
James Wade 6-5 Justin Pipe
Andy Jenkins 6-5 Alan Norris
Michael Smith 6-0 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ian White 6-5 Devon Petersen
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Joe Cullen 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Kyle Anderson
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Jamie Caven
Peter Wright 6-0 Andy Smith
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Keegan Brown
Benito van de Pas 6-1 Josh Payne
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Ricky Evans