MAGNIFICENT MENZIES BREEZES PAST BARNEY IN ROSMALEN

Cameron Menzies produced a majestic display to stun Dutch icon Raymond van Barneveld on the opening day of the Elten Safety Shoes Dutch Darts Championship on Friday.
The opening day of the PDC European Tour event saw 16 first round matches take place across two sessions in Rosmalen, and Menzies stole the show to silence the partisan home crowd.
Menzies looked poised to register a record-breaking average at one stage, converting consecutive 147, 100 and 129 checkouts to storm into a 5-0 lead with a staggering 114 average.
Van Barneveld avoided the whitewash after Menzies spurned four match darts in leg six, but the enigmatic Scot wrapped up victory moments later to advance with a 103.87 average and five 180s.
“I’m a darts fan first and foremost, so Barney is a legend to me,” insisted Menzies, who will play two-time World Champion Peter Wright in an all-Scottish tussle on Saturday evening.
“The atmosphere and the support the crowd gave him – I have never heard noise like that!
“I had nothing to lose tonight because it’s Barney in his home country, and I think that’s why I played so well.”
Despite Van Barneveld’s early exit, there were wins for six Dutch stars on an action-packed day at the Autotron, as Dirk van Duijvenbode returned to winning ways on the big stage.
Following a run of six straight defeats on the European Tour in 2024, Van Duijvenbode swept aside Callan Rydz in his opener, averaging 95 and hitting four maximums in a 6-3 win.
Elsewhere, Kevin Doets survived a match dart to deny Mike De Decker in a dramatic finale, overturning a 5-4 deficit to set up a fascinating showdown against home hero Michael van Gerwen.
Jermaine Wattimena also marked his return to home soil with a deciding-leg victory, defying a late fightback from Joe Cullen to progress in an ill-tempered affair.
Host Nation Qualifier Moreno Blom raised the roof with a superb 6-3 victory over Ryan Joyce, averaging over a ton and landing a brace of ton-plus finishes to advance to a meeting with Chris Dobey.
Meanwhile, Marvin van Velzen dumped out former Lakeside champion Christian Kist in an all-Dutch clash to triumph on debut, while Niels Zonneveld won through a decider against New Zealand’s Haupai Puha.
UK Open champion Dimitri Van den Bergh celebrated a third straight win over Gabriel Clemens on this year’s European Tour, reeling off four successive legs from 4-2 adrift to prevail with an impressive 102.93 average and 60% on the doubles.
Ten-time TV title winner James Wade boosted his hopes of World Matchplay qualification with a whitewash win over Finnish newcomer Teemu Harju, and Ryan Searle now awaits the left-hander in round two.
Dom Taylor was the afternoon’s stand-out performer, averaging 102 in his 6-3 success against Jose de Sousa, as Ritchie Edhouse crashed in six 180s to defeat Czech qualifier Jiri Brejcha by the same scoreline.
Andrew Gilding produced a skin-saving 164 finish in the penultimate leg of his comeback victory over Damian Mol, and he will now take on Danny Noppert in a battle of the former UK Open champions.
Brendan Dolan preserved his hopes of World Cup qualification with a battling 6-3 win over Owen Bates, with Dolan’s fellow countryman Mickey Mansell running out a 6-2 winner against a profligate William O’Connor.
Jeffrey de Graaf accounted for Latvia’s Madars Razma to record his first European Tour victory since 2018, while Ryan Meikle squandered six match darts as he surrendered a 4-1 lead against Luke Woodhouse.
The Elten Safety Shoes Dutch Darts Championship continues on Saturday, as the second round takes place across two sessions at the Autotron.
Dutch number one Van Gerwen will begin his title bid against Doets, while top seed Chisnall enters the fray alongside Noppert, Gerwyn Price and Wright.
The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
Elten Safety Shoes Dutch Darts Championship
Friday May 24
First Round
Afternoon Session
Dom Taylor 6-3 Jose de Sousa
Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 Jiri Brejcha
Jeffrey de Graaf 6-3 Madars Razma
Marvin van Velzen 6-5 Christian Kist
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Owen Bates
Mickey Mansell 6-2 William O’Connor
Niels Zonneveld 6-5 Haupai Puha
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Damian Mol
Evening Session
James Wade 6-0 Teemu Harju
Moreno Blom 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Kevin Doets 6-5 Mike De Decker
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Joe Cullen
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Cameron Menzies 6-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Callan Rydz
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
Saturday May 25
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Stephen Bunting v Jeffrey de Graaf
Daryl Gurney v Luke Woodhouse
Damon Heta v Ritchie Edhouse
Dave Chisnall v Niels Zonneveld
Jonny Clayton v Marvin Van Velzen
Ricardo Pietreczko v Jermaine Wattimena
Danny Noppert v Andrew Gilding
Ryan Searle v James Wade
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Chris Dobey v Moreno Blom
Gerwyn Price v Mickey Mansell
Josh Rock v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen v Kevin Doets
Martin Schindler v Brendan Dolan
Peter Wright v Cameron Menzies
Ross Smith v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gian van Veen v Dom Taylor

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