Steve West produced one of the best performances ever seen on the European Tour as he whitewashed his brother Tony in round-one of the German Darts Championship, as Robbie Green, Mark Webster and Rowby-John Rodriguez also impressed on day one in Hildesheim.
Yet, it was Steve West who stole the show, producing an incredible display of scoring as he dismantled his brother in the opening match of Friday’s evening session. Steve defeated Phil Taylor in the World Grand Prix earlier this month, and continued his fine run of form with a sparkling display against the former World Masters winner.
Steve fired in SEVEN maximums and finished with an average of 109.98. Nevertheless, his first nine-dart average was an astonishing 400.33- the second highest recorded in PDC history. This keeps alive West’s hopes of qualifying for the European Championships, and he takes on former world champion Stephen Bunting on Saturday.
Former world champion Mark Webster enjoyed a welcome return to form after breezing past the veteran Mervyn King. The Welshman averaged 99.48, landed four maximums and hit 66% of his attempts at double to record a 6-2 victory, despite King averaging a very respectable 96.29.
Robbie Green produced the performance of the afternoon session as he stormed past former world champion Christian Kist 6-2. ‘Kong’ averaged 99.40 and fired in three maximums to set up a clash with Kist’s compatriot Michael van Gerwen; a clash which Green must win to remain on course to qualify for the European Championships.
Rowby-John Rodriguez produced one of the performances of round-one as he eased past Australian ace Kyle Anderson. The diminutive Austrian averaged 100.40 and hit six maximums, defying four maximums from ‘The Original’ to set up a tie with tenth seed Jelle Klaasen on Saturday.
Justin Pipe survived one match dart from Mickey Mansell as he edged past the Northern Irishman in a very close contest. ‘The Force’ was in fine form, landing five maximums and averaging almost 93. However, Mansell missed one match dart at tops in the decider, as Pipe pinned D10 to keep alive his hopes of reaching Hasselt in a fortnight’s time.
Former European Tour winner Vincent van der Voort spurned five match darts in his deciding-leg clash against Peter Hudson in the final match of the afternoon session. Van der Voort led 5-3, only for Hudson to reel off successive legs to force a sudden-death leg.
The Dutchman then registered back-to-back maximums to assume control in the decider, only for him to squander five match darts at double. Hudson pounced, clinically taking out 80 in two darts to book his passage to round-two, which ended van der Voort’s chances of qualifying for the European Championships in the process.
Brendan Dolan’s hopes of qualifying for the European Championships are also over, after the former Grand Prix finalist was beaten 6-3 by David Pallett. The young Shropshire star fired in five maximums en route to victory, to secure his first ever victory over Dolan at the fifth attempt.
Cristo Reyes came from 3-0 down to defeat Mark Walsh in a tense last-leg shootout. The former UK Open finalist raced into a commanding early lead, by virtue of clinical 118 and 106 finishes. Reyes restored parity before Walsh moved 5-3 ahead, but the Spaniard won the remaining three legs to complete the comeback, finishing with a 96.24 average.
Elsewhere, former world finalist Kevin Painter kept alive his European Championship qualification hopes with a comfortable win over Yordi Meeuwisse. ‘The Artist’ averaged 95.76 and landed three maximums to brush aside the Dutchman, as he prepares for a second-round battle with Ian White on Saturday.
Ted Evetts enjoyed a dream European Tour debut by beating Chris Dobey 6-2 to set up a round-two tie with fifth seed Kim Huybrechts. The 19-year-old Warwickshire ace led 5-0 with an average of 95, but Dobey reeled off successive legs after Evetts spurned six match darts. However, Evetts regained his composure to pin D16 and seal his progression.
Ron Meulenkamp set up a second-round clash with World Grand Prix quarter-finalist Daryl Gurney after seeing off host-nation qualifier Marko Puls. The Dutchman averaged 87.99, landed two maximums and hit six of his thirteen attempts at double to record a convincing 6-3 win.
Darren Johnson claimed his first European Tour victory of 2016 with an emphatic 6-1 win over Hungary’s Janos Vegso. Vegso defeated five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld to qualify for this event, but Johnson cruised to a 6-1 victory, converting almost 70% of his attempts at double.
Andy Smith saw off another German hope in the shape of Stefan Stoyke. It was a tight start to the match with the scores locked at two apiece, but ‘The Pieman’ won four consecutive legs to progress with a 92.25 average, setting up an enthralling second-round clash with his best friend, Terry Jenkins.
In the opening match of the tournament, Scott Taylor secured his first ever European Tour win with an impressive 6-3 triumph against Andy Boulton. Taylor averaged 90 and hit 46% of his double attempts, punishing nine missed doubles from Boulton the final leg to set up a second-round meeting with his Target stablemate Alan Norris.
St Helens’ Eddie Dootson booked a last 32 showdown with second seed Peter Wright after overcoming Mike Holz in an attritional contest. The first four legs all went against throw, but with the scores locked at three apiece, Dootson reeled off three straight legs to seal the win, despite averaging a modest 77.93.
However, Robert Allenstein kept German hopes alive as he edged out Steve Hine in a last-leg decider, to become the solitary host-nation qualifier to progress to the second round. It was a topsy-turvy tussle which saw Allenstein survive a match dart to progress through to round-two, where he’ll take on Joe Cullen.
2016 HappyBet German Darts Championship
Friday October 14 – First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
First Round x8
Andy Boulton 3-6 Scott Taylor
Mickey Mansell 5-6 Justin Pipe
Janos Vegso 1-6 Darren Johnson
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Marko Puls
David Pallett 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Robbie Green 6-2 Christian Kist
Mike Holz 3-6 Eddie Dootson
Peter Hudson 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
First Round x8
Steve West 6-0 Tony West
Mark Webster 6-2 Mervyn King
Chris Dobey 2-6 Ted Evetts
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Mark Walsh
Andy Smith 6-2 Stefan Stoyke
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 Kyle Anderson
Kevin Painter 6-3 Yordi Meeuwisse
Steve Hine 5-6 Robert Allenstein
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC