Daryl Gurney, Vincent van der Voort and Alan Norris all won through to round-two of the European Darts Matchplay at the Inselparkhalle on Friday, whilst Max Hopp and Reine Eidams also tasted victory on home soil.
Hopp produced a fine comeback from 5-3 down to stun Joe Murnan and delight the Hamburg crowd. The World-Youth champion posted four maximums and hit a brilliant 158 checkout to reduce the arrears, before completing victory with a fine 14-darter in the decider.
Hopp’s compatriot Reine Eidams also secured a place in round-two with a hard-fought win over Ricky Williams. Eidams converted a spectacular 160 checkout as he established a 4-0 cushion, but Williams won four of the next five legs. Nevertheless, ‘The Cube’ eventually got over the winning line, setting up a clash with Adrian Lewis on Saturday.
Vincent van der Voort eased through to the second round with a comprehensive 6-2 victory against Jamie Robinson. ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ averaged 87 and recorded the solitary maximum, but he will lock horns with Kim Huybrechts in what could prove to be a classic encounter.
Kevin Painter, Stephen Bunting, Daryl Gurney, James Wilson and home-favourite Reine Eidams were among the players to reach the second-round of the German Darts Masters, as Alan Norris and Andrew Gilding suffered surprise exits at the Ballhausforum, Dolce Hotel, Munich, on Saturday.
However, the performance of the day was produced by former world finalist Kevin Painter, who eased into the last 32 with a stunning 6-1 victory against Stuart Kellett. ‘The Artist’averaged 101.7 and boasted an impressive 55% on the doubles, although ‘KO’ almost stole the headlines, missing D12 for a 9-darter in leg four.
Stephen Bunting prevailed 6-4 against Steve Beaton in a battle of the world champions in the penultimate game of Saturday’s double-session. Beaton delivered an inspired 161 checkout to go 4-3 up, but ‘The Bullet’ fired back superbly, and clinched victory with an excellent 110 finish, to set up a tasty second-round tie against Peter Wright.
World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris suffered a surprise exit at the hands of Jermaine Wattimena in a topsy-turvy contest. There were five successive breaks in the opening stages, before Wattimena missed 11 match darts. Yet, the quick-fire Dutchman wasn’t to be denied, and managed to close out a morale-boosting 6-4 victory.
Michael van Gerwen won his second UK Open qualifier of 2016 by defeating Welshman Gerwyn Price 6-2 in the final of UK Open qualifier 5, at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan. MvG averaged 109.44 in the final, whilst he produced the same average in his semi-final win over Phil Taylor.
Van Gerwen was in rampant form throughout Saturday’s session, and his £10,000 winner’s cheque confirms that he’ll finish 1st on the overall UK Open Order of Merit, with the sixth and final qualifier taking place tomorrow.
However, it was an equally fantastic day for Gerwyn Price. ‘The Iceman’ had amassed £1,500 from the opening four qualification events, but his run to the final ensures he will enter the UK Open at the third-round stage.
Van Gerwen faced a tricky L128 tie against Alan Norris to kick off Saturday’s proceedings, but MvG prevailed with an emphatic 6-2 victory. ‘The Green Machine’ then thrashed his compatriot Joey Ten Berge 6-1 to reach the last 32, where he then defeated Daryl Gurney 6-3, in a repeat of last weekend’s Dutch Darts Masters Final.