Luke Humphries, Gerwyn Price and Rob Cross were all dumped out in the 2nd Round of the 2024 European Darts Open after sub standard performances in Leverkusen. 

Afternoon Session

It was an afternoon to remember for the seeded players as 7 out of the 8 games saw the higher ranked player win. However, the one game where the seed failed to prevail was perhaps the biggest story of the session.

The opening game of the Second Round saw youngster Gian Van Veen survive a fightback from the reigning WDF World Champion Andy Baetens. Van Veen went 4-0 to the good before “The Beast” reeled off four straight legs to tie the game, the Dutch darter didn’t let that phase him as he prevailed 6-4 in the end.

Game 2 saw a battle of two fan-favourites as Stephen Bunting took on host nation qualifier Kevin Troppmann. The German failed to maintain his 167 heroics and was edged out by Bunting 6 legs to 4, who hit a 167 checkout himself.

Elsewhere, Damon Heta and Ryan Searle both dispatched of their opponents Dom Taylor and Daryl Gurney respecrtively. The “Heat’ looking to gain some form ahead of the World Cup of Darts, a competition which he won in 2022.

There were two edgy last-leg deciders to follow, Chris Dobey survived match darts from Sweden’s Jeffrey De Graaf before Dave Chisnall came back from 6-4 to beat Matchplay chasing Luke Woodhouse.

Callan Rydz recieved a bye into the 2nd Round after Nico Kurz withdrew through injury, and he failed to capitalise on this opportunity as he lost 6-2 to 2022 European Champion Ross Smith.

World Grand Prix
Stephen Bunting was victorious against Kevin Troppmann. Credit (PDC)

Race for the World Matchplay

Kevin Doets was sat just outside of the provisional World Matchplay spots before a dart was thrown this weekend, but with his closest competitor James Wade losing on Day 1, Doets had the chance to leapfrog the former Matchplay champion. His opponent Ricardo Pietreczko proved no match to the inform Dutchman as he booked his spot into the final day with a victory.

It’s also worth noting that Doets was only in Leverkusen due to withdrawals from other players.

Evening Session

There was a shock in the first match of the evening as Owen Bates beat former UK Open champion Danny Noppert 6-5 in a topsy turvy affair. Bates into the final day on the European Tour for the first time, after picking up his first win on the tour yesterday.

Next was a battle between two former PDC World Champions as Rob Cross took on fellow Premier League player Michael Smith. Despite Cross’ magnificent title winning form of late he was whitewashed 6-0 by the Bully Boy, a surprising and strange result for the newly crowned US Darts Masters champion.

In a repeat of last years final, Gerwyn Price took on a resurgent Dirk Van Duijvenbode who was looking to make a late surge for a place in Blackpool. Describing himself as ‘95% back’ in the post-match interview, it was Van Duijvenbode who put in a staggering performance averaging over 102 to demolish a below par Price 6-2.

It wasn’t vintage from the 5-time European Darts Open Champion but Michael Van Gerwen sealed his spot into Sunday with a 6-4 win over multiple time Dev Tour winner Dylan Slevin.

Martin Schindler delighted the Leverkusen crowd in an absolute thriller with the Czech World Cup star Karel Sedlacek. ‘The Wall’ hit 3 180s and averaged 102 en route to yet another brilliant win on this years Euro Tour.

World Number One Luke Humphries was stunned by Raymond Van Barneveld, the reigning world champion missed crucial darts to send the game into a deciding leg before ‘Barney’ hit Double 10 at the second time of asking to send Humphries packing.

Peter Wright won the last 5 legs against Richie Edhouse to book his place in the Last 16. The winner of the previous Euro Tour was the last player to book his spot in the final day as Josh Rock beat the Belgian Dimitri Van Den Bergh 6-3, pinning a 160 checkout to seal the deal.

World Darts Championship
Dirk Van Duijvenbode got revenge for last years final against Price with a convincing 6-2 win.

2024 European Darts Open

Round 2

Afternoon Session

Gian Van Veen 6-4 Andy Baetens

Stephen Bunting 6-4 Kevin Troppmann

Damon Heta 6-4 Dom Taylor

Ryan Searle 6-4 Daryl Gurney

Chris Dobey 6-5 Jeffrey De Graaf

Dave Chisnall 6-5 Luke Woodhouse

Ross Smith 6-2 Callan Rydz

Ricardo Pietreczko 4-6 Kevin Doets

Evening Session

Danny Noppert 5-6 Owen Bates

Rob Cross 0-6 Michael Smith

Gerwyn Price 2-6 Dirk Van Duijvenbode

Michael Van Gerwen 6-4 Dylan Slevin

Martin Schindler 6-4 Karel Sedlacek

Luke Humphries 4-6 Raymond Van Barneveld

Peter Wright 6-3 Ritchie Edhouse

Josh Rock 6-3 Dimitri Van Den Bergh