European Darts Grand Prix day 2 round-up – Humphries keeps his World Cup hopes alive
Luke Humphries defeated Masters champion Chris Dobey in a thrilling deciding-leg match in Sindelfingen on Saturday to open his Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix defence.
16 second round matches were played on Day Two of the £175,000 tournament at the Glaspalast, with top seed Humphries surviving a thrilling comeback by Dobey to keep his World Cup of Darts hopes alive.
Humphries jumped out to an early 5-1 lead before blowing eight match darts, but Dobey was unable to complete a legendary comeback because he missed three match darts of his own in the nail-biting last round.
“I was in so much control, and I’m lucky I’m not walking off this stage absolutely devastated,” admitted Humphries, who must retain the title if he’s to represent England at next month’s World Cup.
“There’s a lot for me to play for this weekend. I’m here to get as much ranking money as I can, and if I can win this title, what comes with it is a bonus.
“There’s a long way to go. There are four games to win, but we all know how good I can be on Finals Day,” added the 28-year-old, who now takes on five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld tomorrow.
Van Barneveld put up an outstanding performance to defeat UK Open champion Andrew Gilding and move on to the round of 16 of a European Tour tournament for the first time since 2019.
In other news, Gerwyn Price, who lost in the Premier League final on Thursday, made a triumphant comeback, defeating Ricky Evans by a score of 6-2 with five maximum shots.
After holding off a late charge from World Cup partner Gabriel Clemens to win their epic all-German match 6-3, Martin Schindler will face the Welshman in round three.
Jose de Sousa was defeated 6-3 by Nathan Aspinall’s ruthless scoring effort, which included a first-ever nine-dart average of 124.
World Youth Champion Josh Rock opened Saturday’s second round action in Sindelfingen with a rout of a struggling Keegan Brown, keeping his own World Cup of Darts hopes alive.
Rock will now face rising Dutchman Gian van Veen for a spot in the quarterfinals. Rock must win this weekend’s title to represent Northern Ireland at next month’s showpiece.
Van Veen produced a miraculous 170 checkout the route to a historic 6-4 victory. He then eliminated his fellow countryman Danny Noppert to go to the last 16 of a European Tour tournament for the first time.
The Austrian Darts Open champion Jonny Clayton was eliminated in the evening’s penultimate match by Ross Montgomery with a 12-dart hold, causing the biggest surprise of the second round on Saturday.
With a 6-2 triumph over German amateur Pascal Rupprecht, Dave Chisnall started his quest for a third European Tour championship in 2023. He then followed up a sixth 180 with a stunning 136 checkout to secure the victory.
On Sunday afternoon, Chisnall will face Krzysztof Ratajski after Poland’s top player produced three tonnes or more of outs to eliminate Dimitri Van den Bergh, who finished with a 103 average.
Ross Smith, the European Champion, outperformed Steve Beaton in a convincing victory, averaging over a tonne and making six of his eight double tries to go to Finals Day.
Smith will face Daryl Gurney in the third round as compensation. Gurney defeated second-seeded Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 in the afternoon’s final round by pinning six of his 10 darts at double.
In order to defeat Adam Smith-Neale and advance to the round of 16, fourth seed Damon Heta rattled off three consecutive victories. He will now face Joe Cullen, who defeated Josh Payne in an 11-leg match with a 108 checkout.
Aside from that, Madars Razma took advantage of Ryan Searle’s subpar performance to easily defeat him 6-1 and keep his chances of qualifying for the World Matchplay alive.
The third round will take place in the afternoon session of Sunday’s final day of competition in Sindelfingen, followed by the pivotal quarterfinals, semifinals, and final in the evening.
2023 Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix
Saturday May 27
Josh Rock 6-0 Keegan Brown
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Pascal Rupprecht
Ross Smith 6-0 Steve Beaton
Madars Razma 6-1 Ryan Searle
Rob Cross 6-2 Martijn Kleermaker
Gian van Veen 6-4 Danny Noppert
Damon Heta 6-3 Adam Smith-Neale
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Raymond van Barneveld 6-0 Andrew Gilding
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Jose de Sousa
Luke Humphries 6-5 Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Ricky Evans
Joe Cullen 6-5 Josh Payne
Martin Schindler 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Ross Montgomery 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Sunday May 28
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Luke Humphries v Raymond van Barneveld
Gian van Veen v Josh Rock
Damon Heta v Joe Cullen
Gerwyn Price v Martin Schindler
Daryl Gurney v Ross Smith
Nathan Aspinall v Madars Razma
Dave Chisnall v Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross v Ross Montgomery