German duo impress as HappyBet European Darts Matchplay opens

German stars Max Hopp and Rene Eidams thrilled the Hamburg crowd with victories on the opening day of the HappyBet European Darts Matchplay.

PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion Hopp came back from 5-3 down to defeat Joe Murnan in a deciding leg as the 19-year-old moved through to Saturday’s second round with a strong performance, taking out a 158 finish and hitting four 180s to set up a tie against Ian White.

Eidams, meanwhile, enhanced his growing reputation with a resilient 6-4 win over Ricky Williams.

The German qualifier took out a 160 finish as he opened up a 4-0 lead, and though Williams won four of the next five to hit back to 5-4, Eidams held his nerve to move through to a second round date with Adrian Lewis.

Leading German ace Jyhan Artut, though, suffered disappointed as he exited the £115,000 event with a 6-4 defeat to emerging star Chris Dobey, who came from 2-0 and 4-3 down to claim a victory which sets up a tie with Jelle Klaasen in round two.

Former Austrian World Cup ace Maik Langendorf will take on World Champion Gary Anderson in round two following a 6-3 win over the other Host Nation Qualifier Andree Welge, hitting finishes of 104 and 100 on his way to the victory.

European Qualifier Remco van Eijden set up an all-Dutch second round clash with world number one Michael van Gerwen – who is aiming to win a fourth successive PDC European Tour event of 2016 – as he defeated Andrew Gilding 6-1.

Former Austrian Darts Open champion Vincent van der Voort set up a tie against two-time European Tour winner Kim Huybrechts with a 6-2 win over Jamie Robinson, claiming the opening five legs without reply before holding off his opponent’s brief rally.

Daryl Gurney, the runner-up in February’s Dutch Darts Masters, came from 4-2 down to claim four straight legs and a 6-4 win over Kevin Painter, who was punished for missed doubles as the Northern Irish ace moves through to take on Mervyn King.

John Henderson capitalised on four missed match darts from Mark Webster in the final two legs of another tight contest as he sneaked past the Welshman 6-5, setting up an all-Scottish tie with Robert Thornton for the second successive weekend.

Jamie Caven survived one missed match dart from Josh Payne in the deciding leg of their thriller before he progressed to face Simon Whitlock on Saturday.

After the opening four legs were won against throw, Caven took the fifth to edge 3-2 up and eventually led 5-3 before Payne finished 101 to force a decider, in which he missed the bull for a 164 finish to claim victory, allowing the Derby ace back in to land double four to progress.

Ron Meulenkamp moved through to a second round tie with Dave Chisnall – last week’s runner-up in the Peperami Gibraltar Darts Trophy – with a narrow 6-5 win over Joe Cullen, who had led 3-1 before the Dutch left-hander took out 144 during his comeback.

World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris was another winner in a deciding leg as he edged past Richie Corner 6-5 to progress to a last 32 meeting with Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas.

Jonny Clayton held off Devon Petersen’s rally from 5-1 down to trail 5-3 before he completed victory over the South Africa, which means he now meets former Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner James Wade in the second round.

Belgian youngster Mike De Decker landed three 180s in his 6-3 win over Darren Johnson as he moves through to face top Austrian Mensur Suljovic, while Darren Webster’s 6-1 win over European Tour debutant Jonathan Worsley sets him up for a tie with number two seed Peter Wright.

Sweden’s Magnus Caris overcame Spain’s Cristo Reyes 6-3 to create a clash with experienced star Terry Jenkins on Saturday at the Inselparkhalle.

Austria’s Rowby-John Rodriguez survived a fightback from Michel van der Horst as the Dutchman came from 4-1 down to level in their contest, before the youngster took the two legs for a 6-4 victory as he moves through to meet number three seed Michael Smith.

Saturday’s second round will be split across two sessions at a sold-out Inselparkhalle in Hamburg, with the third round on Sunday afternoon before the decisive quarter-finals, semi-finals and final on Sunday evening.
HappyBet European Darts Matchplay
Friday May 13
First Round
Afternoon Session
Mike De Decker 6-3 Darren Johnson
Darren Webster 6-1 Jonathan Worsley
Max Hopp 6-5 Joe Murnan
Richie Corner 5-6 Alan Norris
Cristo Reyes 3-6 Magnus Caris
Rene Eidams 6-4 Ricky Williams
Michel van der Horst 4-6 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Remco van Eijden 6-1 Andrew Gilding

Evening Session
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Joe Cullen
Josh Payne 5-6 Jamie Caven
John Henderson 6-5 Mark Webster
Jyhan Artut 4-6 Chris Dobey
Jamie Robinson 2-6 Vincent van der Voort
Kevin Painter 4-6 Daryl Gurney
Andree Welge 3-6 Maik Langendorf
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Devon Petersen

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