European Darts Trophy: Day One Report!

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James Wade’s hopes of qualifying for this month’s European Championship were dashed after he was dismantled by Nathan Aspinall on an eventful opening day at the European Darts Trophy in Gottingen on Friday evening.

‘The Machine’ needed to reach the last 16 of this weekend’s event to seal his spot at Hasselt, but his hopes were extinguished by a clinical Nathan Aspinall, who averaged 92.18, piled in four maximums and dispatched 40% of his attempts at double to stun the eight-time major winner.

Wade was well-below par, averaging a miserly 83.19 and registering just five scores of 140 or more. He didn’t have a dart at double until the sixth leg, and his defeat means he will join Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis on the sidelines for this year’s European Championship.

World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski kept alive his hopes of sealing an Ally Pally spot by dumping out two-time PDC major winner Robert Thornton. Ratajski turned down a spot at Lakeside earlier this week, but underlined his intentions this weekend; averaging 98.88 and pegging 38% of his darts at double to prevail 6-4 against the Scot.

However, Kevin Painter’s World Championship hopes are hanging by a thread after he was edged out by Andy Boulton in a dramatic last-leg decider. ‘The Artist’ trailed 5-2 but fought back to force a decider. However, Boulton eventually sealed victory with his tenth match dart after Painter spurned three match darts himself.

Vincent van der Voort overcame talented 16-year-old host-nation qualifier Nico Blum to book his spot in round-two. The Dutchman averaged 89.67, registered two maximums and converted 43% of his attempts at double, defying Blum’s 90.34 average and three maximums to set up a second-round contest against Ian White.

Elsewhere, German World Cup star Martin Schindler delighted the home crowd in Gottingen by crashing in seven maximums en route to beating John Bowles 6-3. Schindler also averaged 102.53 to cap off a magnificent display and set up a showdown with world number two Peter Wright on Saturday evening.

Zoran Lerchbacher kept alive his hopes of qualifying for the European Championship with a brilliant 6-3 win over ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans. The Austrian averaged 100.27, piled in three maximums and converted 46% of his attempts at double, to set up a second-round tie against world number one Michael van Gerwen.

Keegan Brown’s resurgence continues as he produced a terrific display to defeat Jonathan Worsley and set up a second-round tie against Benito van de Pas. The former World-Youth champion averaged 98.66, crashed in three maximums and conjured up three ton-plus checkouts; sealing victory with a classy 122 kill on the bullseye.

James Wilson bolstered his hopes of European Championship qualification with a hard-fought win over Latvian star Madars Razma. Wilson, who reached the final of Wednesday’s final Players Championship event of 2017, averaged 89.83 and defied four maximums from Razma to round-off a 6-4 victory.

Jan Dekker breezed through to round-two with a whitewash win over his compatriot Christian Kist- who was struggling with an arm injury. The former Lakeside champion was on the verge of tears as he bravely battled through the pain barrier, but Dekker averaged 99.10 and converted 75% of his double attempts to cap off a fine performance.

James Richardson produced a clinical display of finishing to defeat Dimitri van den Bergh and boost his European Championship qualification hopes. ‘Ruthless’ lived up to his nickname; averaging 93.47, converting 86% of his double attempts and conjuring up a magical 170 finish to see off the Belgian.

Jamie Caven continued his good form to ease past Yordi Meeuwisse in Gottingen. ‘Jabba’ reached his first Pro Tour semi-final for over 18 months in Barnsley on Wednesday and produced a clinical display to defeat the Dutchman; averaging 91.15 and converting 40% of his attempts at double to set up a showdown with sixth seed Rob Cross in round-two.

Jermaine Wattimena kicked off the tournament with a scrappy win over Mick Todd. The Dutchman averaged 85.01, landed the solitary maximum and boasted a 46% checkout success rate, but Todd was plagued by double-trouble, hitting just three of his nineteen attempts as his European Tour campaign culminated in disappointing fashion.

Steve West will face ninth seed Joe Cullen in round-two after recording an emphatic 6-1 win over Chris Quantock. The left-hander’s solitary leg came by virtue of a sublime 11-darter, but he dispatched just one of his eleven darts at double and West took full advantage; averaging 88.84 and boasting a checkout conversion rate of 40% to triumph.

Recent PDC title winner Jonny Clayton breezed through to round-two with a comprehensive 6-1 win over German debutant Manfred Bilderl. ‘The Ferret’, who clinched Players Championship glory in Barnsley on Wednesday, averaged a miserly 77.44, but he will now face his fellow countryman Gerwyn Price for a place in the last 16.

However, Reine Eidams delighted the home crowd by surviving a match dart to edge out Jeffrey de Zwaan. Eidams led 3-0, but De Zwaan reeled off four straight legs to seal control, only to miss a match dart in the tenth leg, as ‘The Cube’ prevailed with an 83.21 average. He will now face Stephen Bunting for a place in the third-round.

Chris Dobey will meet tenth seed Jelle Klaasen in round-three after overcoming qualifier Robert Allenstein in a scrappy affair. The pair missed 35 darts at double between them, as ‘Hollywood’ averaged 85.27, landed the solitary maximum and posted a modest 23% checkout conversion rate to defeat Allenstein 6-4.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

2017 HappyBet European Darts Trophy (ET12)
October 13-15, Lokhalle, Gottingen, Germany
Friday October 13
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Mick Todd
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-3 Ricky Evans
Keegan Brown 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
James Wilson 6-4 Madars Razma
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Manfred Bilderl
Jamie Caven 6-2 Yordi Meeuwisse
Steve West 6-1 Chris Quantock
Martin Schindler 6-3 John Bowles

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Robert Thornton
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Nico Blum
James Richardson 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rene Eidams 6-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 James Wade
Chris Dobey 6-4 Robert Allenstein
Andy Boulton 6-5 Kevin Painter
Jan Dekker 6-0 Christian Kist

Saturday October 14
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Benito van de Pas v Keegan Brown
Alan Norris v James Richardson
Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith v Jermaine Wattimena
Dave Chisnall v James Wilson
Joe Cullen v Steve West
Ian White v Vincent van der Voort
Stephen Bunting v Rene Eidams

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Kim Huybrechts v Nathan Aspinall
Jelle Klaasen v Chris Dobey
Rob Cross v Jamie Caven
Peter Wright v Martin Schindler
Simon Whitlock v Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen v Zoran Lerchbacher
Mervyn King v Jan Dekker
Daryl Gurney v Andy Boulton

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