German Darts Championship: Day One Report!

Auckland Darts Masters - PDC World Series

Paul Nicholson, Kevin Painter and Mervyn King were among the high-profile names to register victories in the opening round of the German Darts Championship, as the 2017 European Tour got underway in a marathon double-session of darts in Hildesheim on Friday.

Nicholson returned from his three-year European Tour hiatus in style; with a comprehensive 6-2 win against the emerging Ryan Searle. ‘The Asset’ posted a solid 90.29 average, converted 67% of his attempts at double and dispatched a sublime 156 checkout to set up a second-round clash against Spanish star Cristo Reyes.

Former major winner Kevin Painter will face the revitalised Simon Whitlock in round-two, after overcoming European Tour debutant Stephen Burton in a deciding-leg. ‘The Artist’ endured a real struggle on the doubles for large periods, but he recovered from 5-4 down to sneak through with a classy 13-darter in the final leg.

Mervyn King survived a real scare to edge out Austrian star Michael Rasztovits in a gruelling battle. The first four legs all went against throw, before Rasztovits claimed a crucial break in the ninth leg to seize control. However, King fought back to force a decider and prevailed with a 15-dart hold in the final leg, to triumph with an average of 95.88.

Jermaine Wattimena produced a clinical display dismantle Bernd Roith in a matter of minutes. The German won the opening leg, before Wattimena reeled off six legs in succession to prevail with a 102.21 average and a 67% checkout success rate, as he prepares to face world number one Michael van Gerwen tomorrow night.

Brazilian star Diogo Portela enjoyed a dream European Tour debut in Hildesheim after defeating home favourite Martin Schindler in an entertaining tussle. The Rio ace averaged 90.96, landed three maximums and converted a fine 109 checkout en route to registering a convincing 6-3 win.

Paul Harvey also enjoyed a sensational start to his European Tour career, beating young Suffolk star Ryan Meikle in a thriller. Harvey performed superbly; averaging 102.78 and crashing in seven maximums to prevail 6-4 and set up a second-round showdown against talented Dutchman Benito van de Pas.

Dimitri van den Bergh edged out his Development Tour rival Adam Hunt in a high-quality contest to set up a second-round clash against Dave Chisnall. The Belgian trailed 4-2 but capitalised on seventeen missed darts at double from Hunt to reel off four successive legs and seal victory with an impressive 96.39 average.

Jan Dekker produced a valiant fightback from 5-3 behind to defeat Chris Quantock in a cracking first-round tie. The left-hander took out finishes of 109 and 122 to establish a two-leg cushion, but he missed a match dart at tops in the tenth leg, as Dekker clinched victory in the decider after following up his third maximum with a 13-darter.

Scottish star Jamie Bain produced a terrific comeback to edge out Chris Dobey in arguably one of the ties of the opening round. Dobey led 4-2 and 5-4 at one stage, but Bain produced a terrific 129 kill on the bullseye to force a decider, before completing the fightback to triumph with a 101.89 average and three maximums.

Former Lakeside world champion Christian Kist survived a major scare to dump out debutant Michael Plooy. Plooy converted majestic finishes of 146 and 160 to lead 3-1, before Kist won four consecutive legs to lead 5-3. The debutant fought back to force a decider but spurned a match dart, as Kist dispatched a nerveless 106 kill to triumph.

Darren Johnson continued the form which saw him reach his maiden Pro Tour final earlier this month, by recording an emphatic 6-1 win over home-favourite Robert Allenstein. Johnson averaged 97.91 and took out finishes of 101 and 141 to ease through and set up a meeting with eight-time major winner James Wade on Saturday evening.

David Pallett continued his fine form to ease past Finland’s Veijo Viinikka 6-1; averaging 99.91 to set up a second-round meeting with Stephen Bunting. Elsewhere, Polish World Cup star Krzysztof Ratajski will meet UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price in the last 32, after Ratajski produced a professional performance to dismantle Ryan de Vreede.

Mick McGowan and John Bowles breezed into round-two with emphatic 6-2 victories over John Michael and Stefan Stoyke respectively, whilst the experienced Richie Corner defeated former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd by the same scoreline. Corner now faces defending champion Alan Norris in round-two.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

HappyBet German Darts Championship
Friday March 24
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm UK time)
Richie Corner 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Ryan Meikle 4-6 Paul Harvey
David Pallett 6-1 Veijo Viinikka
John Bowles 6-2 Stefan Stoyke
Ryan De Vreede 2-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
John Michael 2-6 Mick McGowan
Diogo Portela 6-3 Martin Schindler
Michael Plooy 5-6 Christian Kist

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm UK time)
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Adam Hunt
Jan Dekker 6-5 Chris Quantock
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Ryan Searle
Mervyn King 6-5 Michael Rasztovits
Darren Johnson 6-1 Robert Allenstein
Jamie Bain 6-5 Chris Dobey
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Bernd Roith
Kevin Painter 6-5 Stephen Burton

Saturday March 25
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm UK time)
Gerwyn Price v Krzysztof Ratajski
Ian White v John Bowles
Jelle Klaasen v Mick McGowan
Michael Smith v Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes v Paul Nicholson
Kim Huybrechts v Diogo Portela
Stephen Bunting v David Pallett
Alan Norris v Richie Corner

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm UK time)
James Wade v Darren Johnson
Dave Chisnall v Dimitri van den Bergh
Benito van de Pas v Paul Harvey
Peter Wright v Christian Kist
Michael van Gerwen v Jermaine Wattimena
Mensur Suljovic v Mervyn King
Simon Whitlock v Kevin Painter
Joe Cullen v Jamie Bain

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