Anderson and van Barneveld fall on the opening day of the Dutch Darts Championship

On Friday in Leeuwarden, the first day of the Dutch Darts Championship, Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson were defeated.

Van Barneveld lost 6-3 to Premier League player Dimitri Van den Bergh while playing at home, and Gary Anderson lost shockingly 6-2 to Czech amateur Roman Benecky in his return to the European Tour after nearly seven years.

Van Barneveld, a legendary Dutch player, was unable to excite the enthusiastic crowd at WTC Leeuwarden because Van den Bergh advanced to round two with a magnificent 105.62 average.

“This win means a lot to me against one of the best players in the world,” said Van den Bergh, who will take on Ryan Searle in Saturday’s second round.

 “He is the man who brought darts to life in the Netherlands, I have so much respect for him and I watched him play since I was a kid.

 ‘To play him here isn’t easy; the ‘Barney Army’ were fantastic as always but I had a job to do tonight and I’m glad I did it.”

Anderson and van Barneveld fall on the opening day of the Dutch Darts Championship 
Anderson and van Barneveld fall on the opening day of the Dutch Darts Championship 

As a result of Anderson’s lacklustre performance, who averaged just 87.66, Benecky was able to advance and face Martin Schindler in the second round.

Sixth European Tour event of the year’s opening day featured 16 first-round ties played over two sessions, with the winners moving on to face one of the 16 seeded players on Saturday.

Ross Smith, the European Champion, dominated Jermaine Wattimena at home with a ruthless performance that saw him post a ton-plus average.

The only Dutch winner on the first day was Berry van Peer, who defeated Alan Soutar 6-2 in a commanding performance.

Steve Beaton prevailed over Kim Huybrechts in a hard-fought contest, 6-4, to earn a matchup with fourth-seeded Damon Heta.

Daryl Gurney, who reached the European Tour semifinals last weekend, continued his comeback against Ricardo Pietreczko by defeating him 6-2 with an average of 101 and three tons-plus finishes.

Gabriel Clemens put on a professional performance to defeat Gian van Veen in a last-leg decider and advance to face Michael van Gerwen in round two.

Krzysztof Ratajski, who recently won a Players Championship event, defeated Andy Boulton 6-4 to earn a meeting with Peter Wright, and Irish rookie Dylan Slevin, who defeated Marcel Hausotter 6-0 to earn his first European Tour victory.

Ian White, the winner of the 2018 Dutch Darts Championship, defeated Arron Monk 6-2, and Stephen Bunting easily defeated Adam Smith-Neale to advance to a matchup with Joe Cullen in the second round.

Madars Razma defeated John O’Shea with an average of 103 to earn his first European Tour victory of 2023, and Graham Hall had an outstanding debut in Leeuwarden by crushing UK Open semifinalist Adam Gawlas.

Jim Williams defeated George Killington 6-1 with an average of over 104, and Keane Barry and Martin Lukeman both defeated Martijn Dragt and Marko Kantele, respectively.

Three of the top four players in the world, Michael Smith, Wright, and Van Gerwen, are among the 16 seeded players who enter the tournament on Saturday.

2023 Dutch Darts Championship

Schedule of Play

Friday April 28

First Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)       

Graham Hall 6-0 Adam Gawlas

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Andy Boulton

Berry van Peer 6-2 Alan Soutar

Madars Razma 6-3 John O’Shea

Keane Barry 6-2 Marko Kantele

Jim Williams 6-1 George Killington

Martin Lukeman 6-3 Martijn Dragt

Dylan Slevin 6-0 Marcel Hausotter


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)     

Ian White 6-2 Arron Monk

Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Gian van Veen

Roman Benecky 6-2 Gary Anderson

Stephen Bunting 6-0 Adam Smith-Neale

Daryl Gurney 6-2 Ricardo Pietreczko

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld

Steve Beaton 6-4 Kim Huybrechts

Ross Smith 6-0 Jermaine Wattimena


Saturday April 29

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Josh Rock v Graham Hall

Dave Chisnall v Martin Lukeman

Andrew Gilding v Ian White

Rob Cross v Keane Barry

Danny Noppert v Madars Razma

Joe Cullen v Stephen Bunting

Damon Heta v Steve Beaton

Martin Schindler v Roman Benecky


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Nathan Aspinall v Daryl Gurney

Jonny Clayton v Berry van Peer

Michael Smith v Jim Williams

Ryan Searle v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Michael van Gerwen v Gabriel Clemens

Peter Wright v Krzysztof Ratajski

Luke Humphries v Ross Smith

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Dylan Slevin