Record-breaking five Germans progress to round two of German Darts Championship

Five German players progressed to the second round of the German Darts Championship in Hildesheim last night for the first time in a European Tour event.

Max Hopp, Gabriel Clemens, Nico Kurz, Dragutin Horvat and Lukas Wenig were the five players to enjoy victory on home soil in front of fans at Halle 39 as the European Tour returned from a six-month break for the second event of the year.

Kurz, one of Germany’s brightest young talents who made his Alexandra Palace in December, defied a 100 average from Jason Lowe to run out a 6-4 winner in one of the opening day’s most exciting contests.

Former European Tour event winner Hopp, pictured, comfortably saw off Reece Robinson 6-2, while Clemens enjoyed a 6-1 demolition of Steve West.

Host Nation Qualifiers Horvat and Wenig also impressed, as Horvat missed double 12 for a nine-dart leg in his 6-4 defeat of Ronny Huybrechts and Wenig fought off Cody Harris’ attempts to come back from 4-0 down as he won 6-4.

Debutant Franz Roetzsch came close to increasing German representation in Saturday’s second round to six, but Canadian number one Jeff Smith was a narrow 6-5 winner in a game which featured six ton-plus finishes.

A number of players remain in contention for places in the BoyleSports World Grand Prix, with the 32-player field for the TV event to be finalised at the conclusion of the German Darts Championship.

Last year’s World Grand Prix semi-finalist Chris Dobey went some way to ensuring a return to the double-start event with a 6-3 defeat of Scotland’s Ryan Murray.

2012 World Grand Prix runner-up Mervyn King joins Dobey in the provisional qualifying places following his 6-1 rout of Steffen Siepmann.

World number four Michael Smith proved too strong for fellow-St Helens man Alan Tabern, running out a 6-2 winner, while in-form South African Devon Petersen continued his impressive run with a 6-3 success over Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Scott Waites enjoyed a winning European Tour debut, defeating Darren Penhall 6-3 to set up a meeting against fellow-former Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant in the second round.

One of the day’s most entertaining matches saw Richard North edge out Ron Meulenkamp 6-5, having trailed the Dutchman 5-3.

Irish duo William O’Connor and Steve Lennon made it through to round two, while there were also victories for Danny Noppert and Adam Hunt.

In a change to the initial schedule, Kurz’s round two meeting with James Wade will take place at the end of the evening session instead of the afternoon due to Wade having encountered travel issues on Friday meaning that he will only arrive in Germany on the day of the tie.

The seeded players, including the world’s top three Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price, will enter at the second round stage on Saturday as the race for the £25,000 winners’ prize continues.

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