World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney was dumped out by an inspired Andy Boulton in the second-round of the European Darts Trophy, as Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright progressed through to finals day in Gottingen on Saturday evening.
Gurney, who clinched his first major PDC title at the World Grand Prix just seven days ago, was stunned by an irrepressible Andy Boulton, who produced one of the performances of his big-stage career to dump out the world number six.
‘The X-Factor’ produced a star-studded display; averaging 103.25, landing the solitary maximum and posting a 55% checkout conversion rate. ‘Super-Chin’ wasn’t at his vintage best but did little wrong; averaging 95.27, piling in two maximums and hitting three of his five double attempts, but Boulton’s unrelenting consistency won the day.
Michael van Gerwen kicked off the defence of his title with a comfortable 6-3 win against Zoran Lerchbacher. The Austrian averaged over 100 in his first-round win on Friday, but he couldn’t replicate that performance against the world number one.
Van Gerwen conjured up an inspired 119 finish (S19, Bull, Bull) to lead 5-1, but Lercbacher registered successive legs to threaten a comeback. However, ‘The Green Machine’ closed out victory with a 14-darter to prevail with a modest 91.47 average, two maximums and a 40% checkout success rate.
World number two Peter Wright survived a scare as he overcame Germany’s World Cup of Darts star Martin Schindler in a hard-fought tussle. ‘Snakebite’ was far from his best and was locked at 4-4 at one stage, but he clinched the final two legs to triumph with a 90.19 average, two maximums and a 33% checkout success rate.
The UK Open champion now meets 15th seed Kim Huybrechts in the third-round, after ‘The Hurricane’ defeated James Wade’s conqueror Nathan Aspinall in round-two. The former World-Youth finalist thrashed Wade 6-1 just 24 hours earlier, but the Belgian star averaged 95.16 and boasted a 60% checkout conversion rate to close out a 6-3 win.
Rob Cross edged out a resurgent Jamie Caven in a thrilling deciding-leg shootout to keep alive his hopes of winning a first European Tour title. The German Darts Grand Prix finalist averaged 99.74, crashed in five maximums and pinned 46% of his doubles to edge out a spirited Caven, who hit five of his seven darts at a double.
World Grand Prix finalist Simon Whitlock dumped out recent World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski in a topsy-turvy affair, to damage the Pole’s World Championship hopes. Whitlock led 2-0, but Ratajski won four of the next five legs to seize control. However, Whitlock won the final three legs to prevail with a 94.31 average.
Elsewhere, Vincent van der Voort edged out Ian White in a gripping last-leg decider to set up a last 16 showdown against an in-form Andy Boulton. It was an even match with both men converting 56% of their attempts at double, but White’s 99.46 average wasn’t sufficient, as the Dutchman sneaked through with a 14-darter in the decider.
Jan Dekker breezed into the last 16 with a clinical 6-1 win over thirteenth seed Mervyn King. Dekker has dropped just one leg en route to round-three having whitewashed his compatriot Christian Kist in round-one. The Dutchman maintained his fine form to thrash the veteran King; averaging 98.34 and dispatching 55% of his darts at double.
Keegan Brown produced a masterful display of finishing to whitewash Benito van de Pas in the opening match of Saturday’s action. The former World-Youth champion averaged 99.10, took out two ton-plus checkouts and converted 86% of his double attempts to dismantle the Dutchman, who had just two darts at double in the entire match.
Jonny Clayton continued his fine form to defeat his compatriot Gerwyn Price. ‘The Ferret’ clinched his maiden PDC title at Players Championship 22 on Wednesday, and knocked out the UK Open finalist in Gottingen after averaging 91.77, landing two maximums and converting 60% of his attempts at a double.
Clayton will take on third seed Michael Smith in round-three, after ‘Bully-Boy’ eased past quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena. The St Helen’s star averaged 96.43, registered two maximums and dispatched 60% of his darts at double, with Wattimena averaging just 84.02 and failing to post any scores of 140+.
Alan Norris crashed in five maximums as he edged out James Richardson in an entertaining affair. The former Lakeside finalist averaged 97.24, posted five 180’s and converted 60% of his double attempts to triumph 6-4, despite Richardson averaging 99.02 and boasting a 57% checkout success rate.
‘Chuck’ will face ninth seed Joe Cullen in Sunday’s last 16 after the Bradford ace eased past an off-colour Steve West. West landed three maximums but averaged a miserly 77.33 and ‘The Rockstar’ capitalised. He averaged 91.62, fired in three 180’s and took out a spectacular 160 checkout to wrap up a comprehensive 6-2 win.
Stephen Bunting set up a last 16 showdown with world number one Michael van Gerwen after defeating host-nation qualifier Reine Eidams in a high-quality affair. ‘The Bullet’ averaged 99.87, fired in four maximums and boasted an impressive 60% checkout success rate to defeat ‘The Cube’ 6-4.
Dave Chisnall ended James Wilson’s European Championship qualification hopes after edging out ‘The Jammie Dodger’ in a nervy affair. The former BDO number one landed three maximums and conjured up a majestic 156 finish, but he was plagued by inconsistency as Chisnall averaged 90.69 and pegged 30% of his shots at double.
Chisnall will play tenth seed Jelle Klaasen for a place in the quarter-finals after the Dutchman romped past Chris Dobey on Saturday afternoon. ‘Hollywood’ averaged just 79.26 and hit just one of his nine attempts at double, as Klaasen averaged 94.11 and converted 55% of his double attempts to round-off an emphatic 6-1 win.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
HappyBet European Darts Trophy
Saturday October 14
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Keegan Brown 6-0 Benito van de Pas
Alan Norris 6-4 James Richardson
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Michael Smith 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Dave Chisnall 6-4 James Wilson
Joe Cullen 6-2 Steve West
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Ian White
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Rene Eidams
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Nathan Aspinall
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Chris Dobey
Rob Cross 6-5 Jamie Caven
Peter Wright 6-4 Martin Schindler
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Zoran Lerchbacher
Jan Dekker 6-1 Mervyn King
Andy Boulton 6-3 Daryl Gurney