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Van Gerwen races past Michael in HappyBet German Darts Masters  

Posted on by Tom Warrington

Michael van Gerwen produced a simply stunning display to beat John Michael as the second round of the HappyBet German Darts Masters in Jena.

The Dutchman, who is looking to win the Easter title for a third successive year, averaged a staggering 110.12 as he made light work of Greek qualifier Michael.

Checkouts of 80 and 88 gave Van Gerwen a convincing start as he stormed to a 3-0 lead. Michael then got his first leg on the board as he took out 41 to trail by two.

Van Gerwen was rampant, and quickly re-established his three-leg advantage with as he moved closer to victory.

His clinical finishing and scoring power was proving too much for the Greek, and a brilliant 136 checkout handed Van Gerwen the victory and a spot in Monday’s third round.

Peter Wright, who won the first European Tour title of 2017 in Hildesheim last month, made a solid start in his quest for a second title – beating Mark Webster 6-3.

The pair traded blows in an intense opening few legs, before a brilliant 121 checkout for Wright put him in control before taking out 60 for a third leg in succession and a 4-2 lead.

Webster clawed a leg back, but Wright then clinched the remaining two legs for victory, firing a 106 checkout for the match.

Eighth seed Alan Norris was sent crashing out in a tough affair with the unseeded Raymond van Barneveld.

In a scrappy affair, five-time World Champion Van Barneveld moved into a two-leg lead at 4-2 and looked good for victory before being pegged back – but the Dutchman dug deep to ensure his place in the last 16.

Home favourite Steffen Siepmenn took out three ton-plus checkouts as he came from behind to beat Joe Cullen 6-5.

Cullen, who won his maiden Players Championship title earlier this month, got off to a great start as he charged to a 2-0 lead before debutant Siepmann then landed a 105 outshot on his way to drawing level.

He backed that up with a 100 checkout, but Cullen then asserted his superiority and moved to the brink of victory at 5-4.

A missed dart for the match proved costly as Siepmann levelled things up, before taking out 100 once more in the deciding leg to continue his run in Jena, after seeing off Andrew Gilding in Saturday’s first round.

Austria’s Mensur Suljovic also came through a last leg decider to book his place in the third round, beating Jamie Lewis 6-5.

The Welshman looked set to dump out third seed Suljovic as he took a 5-3 lead, but three missed match darts went begging for Lewis, and Suljovic took out 104 as he clinched three legs in succession for victory.

Cristo Reyes was the third player of the evening to come through a last-leg decider as he fended off Mervyn King. In a tense affair, the two players were difficult to separate but two big checkouts did the damage for Reyes.

A 113 checkout put the Spaniard into a 2-1 lead before King responded with a 104 outshot. The biggest checkout of the game was to come in the latter stages from Reyes, as he fired a 120 finish to put him 5-4 ahead, before taking out 65 for victory.

Elsewhere, James Wade beat Robert Thornton in comfortable fashion with a 6-3 victory, whilst Jelle Klaasen edged out Daryl Gurney 6-4 to book his place in the final day of action.

In the afternoon session, Gerwyn Price devastated the home crowd with an excellent display to beat Max Hopp.

The UK Open finalist made a vibrant start to the match and expertly took out a 121 checkout on his way to an early 3-0 lead. Hopp then got a foothold in the match with double 16, but this turned out to be little more than a consolation as the Welshman raced to victory.

In-form Simon Whitlock was made to work for his 6-4 victory over Jonny Clayton. The Welshman started in superb fashion, averaging nearly 110 in the early stages as he took out 136 for a 3-1 lead.

Missed darts from Clayton to move 4-1 and 4-2 ahead proved costly, as Whitlock found his groove to level before charging to a 6-4 victory.

Michael Smith put in arguably the most impressive performance of the afternoon as he thumped Dragutin Horvat 6-1.

The 26-year-old averaged 98.51 and landed 55% of his double attempts to breeze past the Croatian-born qualifier. Smith charged to a five-leg lead without response, before Horvat landed double ten  to avoid the whitewash on a disappointing afternoon.

Rowby-John Rodriguez caused the shock of the afternoon as he sent fifth seed Benito van de Pas crashing out in Jena.

A lovely 117 checkout kicked things off for the Austrian, and he looked in fine form as he moved into a comfortable 5-2 lead.

Van de Pas produced a spirited response to bring himself to within one leg at 5-4, but Rodriguez landed a stellar 123 checkout to clinch the victory in style.

Another seed to fall to the wayside was Ian White, as Jeffrey de Graaf produced another expert comeback to beat the 46-year-old in opening game of the day, having also come from 5-1 down to win in his first round tie with Ricky Evans.

After trading blows in the opening legs, White charged to a 5-3 lead and looked good to progress, but De Graaf clinched three legs in succession to book his place in the third round.

Daniel Larsson’s European Tour debut was brought to an abrupt end against a resilient Kim Huybrechts.

The Swede, who whitewashed Justin Pipe on day one, matched Huybrechts in the opening four legs, but his doubling began to let him down.

Belgian Huybrechts then began to assert his dominance and sealed a 6-2 victory with a brilliant 145 checkout.

Kyle Anderson was the other man to progress to the third round, beating the seeded Steve West 6-4.

Anderson had the better of the opening legs, and quickly moved into a 4-1 lead. West improved from there, but still couldn’t catch the Australian as the qualifier progressed.

The HappyBet German Darts Masters concludes on Monday April 17, with the third round in the afternoon before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session.

The HappyBet German Darts Masters will be broadcast online for PDCTV-HD Subscribers worldwide through www.livepdc.tv , and also streamed through a series of bookmakers’ websites.


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