The quarter-finals of the European Championship will decide which four players return on Sunday evening for a shot at the latest ranked TV title.
Quality has been in abundance so far – there have been more ton-plus than sub-90 averages – and games have been stuffed with drama. We now have just eight of our original 32 left. None of them have won the European Championship before. At this point, it’s hard to tell who will cover themselves with glory later today.
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Rob Cross has gone closer than any of the eight, having been runner-up in 2017. Amid the fireworks at the Lokhalle, Voltage has been quietly ruthless. With Darren Webster and Joe Cullen dealt with, Cross has a third fellow Englishman in his sights. Ricky Evans may be Cross’ senior by two months but he’s the rookie of the piece, appearing in his first TV ranked quarter-final.
The second tie is a punter’s nightmare. Dave Chisnall has been in major-winning form for a while now. He couldn’t muster up enough to beat Michael van Gerwen at the World Grand Prix, but he’s a clear front-runner for the European Championship. A masterful showing against Jonny Clayton, averaging just short of 110 over 14 legs, stands him in good stead. But Daryl Gurney is impossible to rule out. Superchin will be focused on building a strong lead as he did against Simon Whitlock, without letting Chisnall nudge the door back ajar like Whitlock did before the world number three eventually slammed it shut.
Price aiming to destroy the Destroyer
Jeffrey de Zwaan’s European Championship is going swimmingly at the moment. The precocious Dutchman has already posted his best premier tournament return, bar the run to the 2018 World Matchplay semis. Peter Wright and Jermaine Wattimena are impressive scalps for the Black Cobra. Even more impressive would be to dole out more punishment to Michael Smith and make another big semi-final. Smith will relish the pace set by the similarly free-throwing de Zwaan, but will need to match the heavy scoring of the man who piled in seven maximums in round two.
Gerwyn Price must have been thinking that Nathan Aspinall had him bang to rights again, just like in the World Championship and UK Open. The European Championship is a different beast, however, and so is this version of Price. The Welshman came roaring back from 5-0 down – literally – to secure a famous win. He may be the new tournament favourite among a well-balanced field. Vincent van der Voort might be the outside bet, and is out of practice when it comes to the last day of TV events. He’s got his mojo back after coming close to quitting darts – that being said, he’s been here before. Winning a title and enjoying the morale boost (as well as the bank balance boost) would help the Dutch Destroyer’s comeback vibe stick.
European Championship 2019 schedule
Day Four, afternoon schedule
12:00 Ricky Evans v Rob Cross
13:00 Dave Chisnall v Daryl Gurney
14:00 Michael Smith v Jeffrey de Zwaan
15:00 Vincent van der Voort v Gerwyn Price
Author: Ed McCosh