Bunting off to a flying start in Germany

Stephen Bunting produced a remarkable performance to defeat Steve Beaton and progress to the second round of the German Darts Masters as the £115,000 PDC European Tour event kicked off in Munich on Saturday.

The sell-out event, which is being held at the Ballhausforum through to Monday, saw the event’s 32 qualifiers take to the stage in the first round, with the high-profile clash between former Lakeside Champions Bunting and Beaton living up to its billing.

After trading blows early on, some masterful finishing from Beaton – including a 161 checkout in the sixth leg – saw the 51-year-old take a 4-3 lead before Bunting produced his best darts to claim the next three legs in succession and secure a 6-4 victory.

Bunting, who is high on confidence following a Players Championship victory a fortnight ago, produced a 97.63 average – the second highest of the day – to secure his second round berth and set-up a clash with world number five Peter Wright.

Arguably the performance of the day came from former Players Championship Finals winner Kevin Painter, who posted a 101.7 average in a 6-1 victory over Stuart Kellett, despite the Northwich ace agonizingly wiring double 12 for a nine-dart finish earlier on in the contest.

Elsewhere, Jermaine Wattimena caused an early shock as he knocked out William Hill World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris in a narrow 6-4 win.

Daryl Gurney put in another fine display as he beat Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 to progress to the second round, with the Dutch Darts Masters finalist firing in four maximums and a ten-darter on his way to victory over the young Belgian

Coral UK Open quarter-finalist Joe Cullen ensured his safe progression into round two with a 6-1 victory over Mike Zuydwijk, whilst Chris Dobey overcame debutant Ben Davies by the same scoreline.

Devon Petersen also tasted victory as he squeezed past World Youth Championship finalist Nathan Aspinall to set up a meeting with Benito van de Pas, with William O’Connor and James Wilson safely progressing to play Kim Huybrechts and Mensur Suljovic respectively.

It was a disappointing day overall for the four German representatives home qualifiers, with Rene Eidams the only player to progress as he put in some clinical finishing to overcome Peter Hudson and set up a second round clash with 2015 German Darts Masters champion Michael van Gerwen, the world number one who took victory when they met in the World Championship three months ago.

Meanwhile, Andrew Gilding also suffered shock early exit at the hands of James Richardson in a 6-1 demolition, whilst young Dutch star Jeffrey de Graaf continued his fine form as he recovered from 4-2 down to beat Darren Johnson and move through to meet Michael Smith.

Swiss newcomer Thomas Junghans had a debut to forget as he crashed out to Mark Walsh in the tournament’s opening fixture, while Ronnie Huybrechts and Cristo Reyes both safely progressed at the hands of John Michael and Mark Barilli respectively.

The German Darts Masters resumes on Sunday, with the top 16 seeded players entering the competition in the second round in Munich.

The German Darts Masters available to watch worldwide for all www.LIVEPDC.TV Subscribers.

Live coverage with faster streams will also be available at the following betting websites:
Adjarabet (Georgia) – www.adjarabet.com
Bet365 (Worldwide) – www.bet365.com
Betfair (UK, Ireland, Spain & Denmark) – www.betfair.com
Tempobet (Worldwide) – www.tempobet700.com

Live Scores will be available at the PDC Live Scores website: http://live.dartsdata.com.

German Darts Masters
European Tour Event Two
Ballhausforum, Dolce Hotel, Munich
Saturday March 26
First Round
Afternoon Session
Mark Walsh 6-2 Thomas Junghans
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 John Michael
Cristo Reyes 6-2 Mark Barilli
Jeffrey de Graaf 6-4 Darren Johnson
John Bowles 6-3 Fabian Herz
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rene Eidams 6-1 Peter Hudson
James Richardson 6-1 Andrew Gilding

Evening Session
Joe Cullen 6-1 Mike Zuydwijk
Kevin Painter 6-1 Stuart Kellett
Chris Dobey 6-1 Ben Davies
William O’Connor 6-3 Tomas Seyler
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Alan Norris
James Wilson 6-3 Marko Puls
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Steve Beaton
Devon Petersen 6-5 Nathan Aspinall

Sunday March 27
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm UK time)
Brendan Dolan (14) v Cristo Reyes
Justin Pipe (16) v Kevin Painter
Terry Jenkins (11) v James Richardson
Ian White (7) v Mark Walsh
Robert Thornton (9) v Chris Dobey
James Wade (4) v Joe Cullen
Kim Huybrechts (5) v William O’Connor
Dave Chisnall (8) v Jermaine Wattimena

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm UK time)
Adrian Lewis (6) v John Bowles
Jelle Klaasen (10) v Ronny Huybrechts
Michael Smith (2) v Jeffrey de Graaf
Peter Wright (3) v Stephen Bunting
Mensur Suljovic (15) v James Wilson
Gary Anderson (12) v Daryl Gurney
Benito van de Pas (13) v Devon Petersen
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Rene Eidams

All games are the best of 11 legs

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