Van Barneveld dumps out MvG as Van Veen shines at the European Darts Matchplay

On Day Two of the Interwetten European Darts Matchplay, Raymond van Barneveld turned back the clock to defeat his countryman Michael van Gerwen while Gian van Veen put on an incredible performance to continue his ascent in Trier.

On Saturday, Van Barneveld overcame a slow start to defeat Van Gerwen for the first time on the European Tour. He won six of the final seven holes to secure a historic victory in a match between two of the biggest Dutch players.

Van Barneveld, who defeated finishes of 80, 118, 138, and 84 to cap off an amazing 6-3 victory, sent out Van Gerwen, who was making his first appearance since his anticipated dental surgery last month.

“Michael is an amazing player. To me he is still the best in the world,” reflected the five-time World Champion, who will take on Ryan Searle for a place in the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon.

“Tonight Michael didn’t play his A-game, but I never gave up and my doubles went in, so I’m really happy.

“To beat him on the [European Tour] stage is a great feeling, and it shows even as a 56-year-old, you can still do well.

“I’m working really hard and the hard work pays off. I have qualified for the World Matchplay, but we have to move further, and I proved tonight that I can still do this.”

Van Barneveld dumps out MvG as Van Veen shines at the European Darts Matchplay
Van Barneveld dumps out MvG as Van Veen shines at the European Darts Matchplay

16 matches were played over the course of two sessions on Saturday in the second round at Arena Trier as players continued their quest to qualify for World Matchplay.

Only one ProTour Order of Merit qualification position is still up for grabs going into Sunday’s final rounds; Steve Beaton and Brendan Dolan are already guaranteed spots in the 32-player competition.

Currently holding down the 16th and last ProTour Order of Merit position, Kim Huybrechts will return to Blackpool if Van Veen or Ryan Joyce don’t win the championship.

Van Veen, who produced an astounding 114.15 average to beat fourth-seeded Damon Heta by converting all six of his double tries in the second round, however, reaffirmed his credentials.

“I’m over the moon. I felt incredible up here,” admitted Van Veen – who landed 124 and 131 checkouts to record the ninth-highest average in European Tour history.

“I don’t know what to say. Damon is a fantastic player and 6-0 is a flattering scoreline I think. He played well, but I took my chances. It’s amazing.

“Hopefully I can top this performance, but probably not in the near future! I’m really happy to be through to Sunday and I’m looking forward to tomorrow now.”


Josh Rock also advanced with a flourish, averaging over 107 to defeat his countryman Dolan in six straight legs and set up a tantalising matchup against Michael Smith in the round of 16.

With his new set-up, world number one Smith got off to a successful start after a competitive match against Keane Barry in which both players averaged over three points.

With a stroke average of over 100 and a doubles percentage of 50%, second seed Dirk van Duijvenbode defeated UK Open winner Andrew Gilding 6-2.

In another game, James Wade outplayed Jonny Clayton, average 107 to Clayton’s 106 to win 6-3. Wade put on a classic effort.

Wade, who has won ten TV championships, registered back-to-back tons-plus averages in Trier by throwing four 180s and hitting six of his eight doubles to advance to a tie against Rob Cross, the fifth seed.

; Interwetten European Darts Matchplay 2023

Cross defeated Mickey Mansell after a tough battle, and first seed Luke Humphries started his championship defence with a resounding 6-1 victory against Marko Kantele, hitting 111 and 118 finishes in the process.

Humphries’ reward is a matchup with Stephen Bunting in the round of 16, who overcame a 6-5 deficit to defeat European Champion Ross Smith.

In the meantime, Nathan Aspinall overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat Martin Lukeman in an incredible eleven-leg battle, winning with a 103 average and five maximums.

On Sunday afternoon, Aspinall and Danny Noppert will resume their European Tour rivalry after Noppert, a past winner of the UK Open, similarly overcame adversity in his victory over James Wilson in the deciding leg.

Martin Schindler was the only German to triumph in the second round on Saturday, extending his extraordinary winning streak over Callan Rydz to 11 games and securing a matchup with Van Veen in the third round.

In a previous leg shootout, Searle produced a spectacular 11-dart leg to defeat Gabriel Clemens, while Dimitri Van den Bergh averaged above 99 to derail Ricardo Pietreczko’s hopes of playing at the Winter Gardens for the World Matchplay.

However, Joyce still has a chance to play at Winter Gardens after he finished off an amazing 6-3 victory over third seed Dave Chisnall with a stunning 123 finish on the bull.

Joe Cullen, a former Masters champion, powered in a 142 checkout to overcome Czech qualifier Vitezslav Sedlak by the same margin, and will now face Joyce in Sunday’s second last 16 match.

Before the tournament’s conclusion with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final in a jam-packed evening session, the third round will take place on Sunday afternoon.


2023 Interwetten European Darts Matchplay

Ryan Joyce 6-3 Dave Chisnall

Josh Rock 6-0 Brendan Dolan

Rob Cross 6-4 Mickey Mansell

Gian van Veen 6-0 Damon Heta

Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Martin Lukeman

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Andrew Gilding

Joe Cullen 6-3 Vitezslav Sedlak

Stephen Bunting 6-5 Ross Smith


Evening Session

James Wade 6-3 Jonny Clayton

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Ricardo Pietreczko

Ryan Searle 6-5 Gabriel Clemens

Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Michael van Gerwen

Michael Smith 6-2 Keane Barry

Luke Humphries 6-1 Marko Kantele

Martin Schindler 6-3 Callan Rydz

Danny Noppert 6-5 James Wilson


Sunday July 2

Third Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Raymond van Barneveld v Ryan Searle

Ryan Joyce v Joe Cullen

Michael Smith v Josh Rock

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Rob Cross v James Wade

Gian van Veen v Martin Schindler


Nathan Aspinall v Danny Noppert

Luke Humphries v Stephen Bunting


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)