Big Names Clear Early Hurdle in Stuttgart

A REPEAT of UK Open Final Will Be on Day 2 after Noppert Beats Sedlacek:

Emotions and tension certainly showed on an eventful opening day at the European Darts Grand Prix taking place in Stuttgart, with the likes of Danny Noppert and Ryan Meikle winning their first-round matches.

The UK Open champion came through a 6-3 winner over Karol Sedlacek after finding double ten to round off a 70 out to go through to the next stage.

The Freeze will cross paths with a familiar opponent in Michael Smith: his second-round opponent, after the Dutchman won his first PDC major televised title in early March beating the St Helens thrower 11-10 with the Englishman missing a match dart to lift the FA Cup of Darts.

Ryan Meikle has enjoyed some decent runs in Pro Tour and European Tour events and will make an appearance on Saturday in Stuttgart after beating Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 in the afternoon session. The Barber included three maximums and an 86 checkout in the sixth leg to break The Bomb’s throw. The 25-year-old averaged 93.74 and closed out victory on tops in hitting 78 on his last dart.

The Ipswich born thrower is through to face last weeks Czech Open Champion Luke Humphries in an all-Red Dragon Second Round tie, a difficult task for Meikle with Cool Hand playing some his best darts currently.

Ryan Joyce placed in Newcastle last week in the ADC and returned to PDC action on Friday after qualifying for the seventh Euro Tour of the year. Unfortunately for the Englishman, he came up against a very confident Adam Gawlas who averaged 100.30 in a 6-3 win and included an 11-dart leg to lead 5-3 after hitting tops to finish 56.

Relentless could not cope with the form of ‘Flawlas’ who rounded up his victory with a 117 checkout on tops again to sail through to the second round after a successful Euro Tour in his home country last week. The Czech international is through to face Ryan Searle again after beating Heavy Metal in a last leg decider in Prague.

Euro Tour finalist Martin Lukeman sets up a second-round tie with Michael van Gerwen after he beat Stefan Bellmont 6-3, finishing the match on double eight to round up a ten-dart leg in another confident showing from the Englishman in Germany.

Top of the Premier League Jonny Clayton can look forward to a matchup with back-to-back two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis in Stuttgart, after the thrower from Stoke came though a last leg decider with Luke Woodhouse, finishing double ten on his second dart to win. Jackpot hit 92 in the leg before to level the match as he won the last two legs of the match in what were must win legs for Lewis.

Elsewhere, former Premier League competitors Kim Huybrechts and Jelle Klaasen made it through to the second day in Germany, after the Hurricane silenced the crowd to win a last leg decider against Stephen Bunting finding double eighteen with his last dart.

Former Lakeside World Champion Klaasen beat Callan Rydz 6-4 in the first match of the evening session with a 95.73 average.
The Cobra will face Rob Cross in the second round, whilst Belgium thrower Huybrechts will face Krzysztof Ratajski in what promises to be an entertaining second day of darting action in Stuttgart.

European Darts Grand Prix:

Round 1 Results

Andrew Gilding 6-1 John Michael
Madars Razma 6-5 Niels Zonneveld
Adam Gawlas 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Micky Mansell 6-1 Radek Szaganski
Martin Lukeman 6-3 Stefan Bellmont
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Joe Murnan 6-0 Lukas Wenig
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Callan Rydz
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Jim Williams
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Danny Jansen 6-1 Martijn Kleermaker
Nathan Rafferty 6-3 Dragutin Horvat
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Johan Engstrom 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Danny Noppert 6-3 Karol Sedlacek

Second Round: Order of Play

Damon Heta (8) v Micky Mansell
Dimitri van den Bergh (7) v Joe Murnan
Ryan Searle (9) v Adam Gawlas
Daryl Gurney (13) v Eddie Lovely
Jose de Sousa (2) v Andrew Gilding
Krzysztof Ratajski (12) v Kim Huybrechts
Brendan Dolan (15) v Danny Jansen
Rob Cross (5) v Jelle Klaasen
Joe Cullen (4) v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Luke Humphries (10) v Ryan Meikle
Jonny Clayton (14) v Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Martin Lukeman
Martin Schindler (16) v Madars Razma
Peter Wright (3) v Johan Engstrom
Michael Smith (6) v Danny Noppert
Dirk van Duijvenbode (11) v Nathan Rafferty.


Words: Harry Masterson

Images: Bodensieck/PDC Europe

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