Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld enjoyed a successful return to the European Tour, as Daryl Gurney survived three match darts to dump out Adrian Lewis on a dramatic opening day at the German Darts Masters in Jena on Saturday.
Raymond van Barneveld survived a scare after recovering from 3-1 down to dump out his fellow countryman Michael Plooy 6-4 in a topsy-turvy affair. The five-time world champion endured a sluggish start, but won five of the remaining six legs to triumph with a 96.86 average, four maximums and a 40% checkout success rate.
Barney trailed 3-1 but sparked into life in the latter stages of the contest. He registered two 11-darters and a 12-dart leg, whilst also taking out finishes of 81, 97 and 145 en route to a hard-fought win. Van Barneveld’s reward is a second-round tie against eighth seed Alan Norris on Sunday evening.
Daryl Gurney survived three match darts to edge out two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in a pulsating last-leg decider. Both men came into this contest in fine form but Gurney dominated the scoring stakes; crashing in six maximums and posting a 98.08 average.
Nevertheless, with Gurney sat on tops poised to secure a 6-4 victory, ‘Jackpot’ conjured up a majestic 144 finish to save the match. The Stoke star had the advantage of throw in the decider, but spurned three match darts at D12 and D6 respectively, which allowed ‘Super-Chin’ to triumph with a nerveless 75 outshot on tops.
Jeffrey de Graaf produced a sensational comeback from 5-1 down to stun Ricky Evans in the opening match of the evening session. ‘Rapid’ established a commanding cushion with clinical finishes of 65, 68, 80 and 87, but De Graaf produced a stunning burst of form as he reeled off five successive legs to prevail 6-5 with a 93.18 average.
Kyle Anderson edged out Ronnie Baxter in another entertaining eleven-leg tussle. Both men landed three maximums apiece, although Baxter averaged four points more than his opponent. Nevertheless, ‘The Original’ produced the goods when it mattered and closed out victory with a 14-dart hold, to finish with an 85.93 average.
Robert Thornton demolished Dirk van Duijvenbode to set up a tasty second-round showdown against eight-time major winner James Wade. The Scot averaged 89.55, landed two maximums and produced finishes of 100 and 127 in successive legs to ease past the under-par Dutchman.
Mervyn King produced a professional performance to ease past young Dutchman Sven Groen and set up a second-round tussle with Cristo Reyes. Groen established an early 3-2 lead, but King crashed in four maximums as he won the remaining four legs without reply to triumph with a 94.03 average and a 46% checkout success rate.
Max Hopp delighted the partisan German crowd with an impressive 6-3 victory over Wales’ Robert Owen. ‘The Maximiser’ has endured a difficult start to 2017, but returned to winning ways with a 97.27 average and a 60% checkout success rate, to book a last 32 showdown with UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price.
Ted Evetts produced the performance of the afternoon to defeat former Pro Tour winner Joe Murnan. Evetts, appearing in just his second ever European Tour event, averaged 98.81, landed three maximums and converted 55% of his double attempts, to defy Murnan’s two ton-plus finishes and book a second-round clash against Stephen Bunting.
Mark Webster reeled off four successive legs to defeat Robbie Green and set up a clash with second seed Peter Wright on Sunday evening. The former Lakeside world champion trailed 4-2 but took out a sensational 161 checkout to launch the comeback; eventually prevailing with an 87.49 average.
Sweden’s Daniel Larsson stormed into the second-round after recording a shock whitewash victory over former European Tour winner Justin Pipe. ‘The Force’ averaged just 80 and failed to convert any of his eight attempts at double, as Larsson averaged 91.09 to prevail and set up a showdown with Kim Huybrechts in round-two.
Rowby-John Rodriguez will face fifth seed Benito van de Pas in Sunday’s second-round, after breezing past Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1. The diminutive Austrian averaged 91.26, landed two maximums and took out a magnificent 125 checkout to brush aside the off-colour Polish star.
Jonny Clayton survived five match darts to edge past Ronny Huybrechts in a dramatic deciding leg. The first ten legs all went with throw as ‘The Rebel’ converted three ton-plus finishes of 108, 110 & 128, but he missed five darts to close out victory, as Clayton pegged a nerveless 68 kill via D16 to set up a second-round clash with Simon Whitlock.
Jamie Lewis punished a multitude of missed doubles from Zoran Lerchbacher to seal his place in Sunday’s second-round. The Welshman prevailed 6-3 with a modest 84.56 average, as Lerchbacher spurned fourteen darts at double throughout the contest. Lewis will now take on third seed Mensur Suljovic for a place in the last 16.
Greece’s John Michael will take on world number one Michael van Gerwen on Sunday evening after easing past Robert Marijanovic. Michael averaged 89.56 and fired in four maximums en route to a 6-2 victory; after Marijanovic converted just two of his 22 double attempts.
Host-nation qualifier Dragutin Horvat triumphed in a scrappy affair against Brian Woods to set up a second-round meeting with Michael Smith. Woods endured a nightmare in the finishing department; converting just three of his 22 attempts at double, as Horvat eventually fell over the line with a modest 77.51 average.
Finally, Stefan Siepmann became the third host-nation qualifier to prevail in round-one, after edging out an injury-plagued Andrew Gilding 6-4 in an extremely scrappy affair. Gilding averaged just 66.19 and failed to register a single 140 or 180 in ten legs, as Siepmann eventually triumphed despite missing an incredible 27 darts at double.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
HappyBet German Darts Masters
Sparkassen-Arena, Jena, Germany
Saturday April 15 – First Round
Daniel Larsson 6-0 Justin Pipe
Krzysztof Ratajski 1-6 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Ronny Huybrechts 5-6 Jonny Clayton
Brian Woods 3-6 Dragutin Horvat
Ted Evetts 6-4 Joe Murnan
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Zoran Lerchbacher
Max Hopp 6-3 Robert Owen
Robbie Green 4-6 Mark Webster
Jeffrey de Graaf 6-5 Ricky Evans
Sven Groen 3-6 Mervyn King
Steffen Siepmann 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Ronnie Baxter 5-6 Kyle Anderson
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Dirk van Duijvenbode 1-6 Robert Thornton
Robert Marijanovic 2-6 John Michael
Michael Plooy 4-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Sunday April 16 – Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Ian White v Jeffrey De Graaf
Stephen Bunting v Ted Evetts
Steve West v Kyle Anderson
Michael Smith v Dragutin Horvat
Kim Huybrechts v Daniel Larsson
Simon Whitlock v Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price v Max Hopp
Benito van de Pas v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
James Wade v Robert Thornton
Joe Cullen v Steffen Siepmann
Mensur Suljovic v Jamie Lewis
Jelle Klaasen v Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright v Mark Webster
Alan Norris v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v John Michael
Cristo Reyes v Mervyn King