Saturday evening at the European Darts Matchplay has thrown up some big match-ups.
First on the bill are a pair of Germans hoping to make history at the European Darts Matchplay. Karsten Koch stunned Maik Kuivenhoven on Friday, with a superb 170 checkout to boot. His next challenge is sealing a speedy exit for Rapid Ricky Evans.
Gabriel Clemens was the only local star fully expected to win in the first round. He did a thoroughly professional job in disposing of Steffen Siepmann. Ian White, despite a recent dip in form, is second seed and a seriously tough nut to crack.
Keegan Brown did yet another superb job of knocking out a higher-ranked player. After beating Simon Whitlock, he’ll feel on an even keel with Krzysztof Ratajski, which might be to his detriment. The fourth game of the session is, frankly, ridiculous. A repeat of the most recent World Championship final, in the second round of a European Tour event? Michael Smith’s loss is the neutral’s gain. Michael van Gerwen is quite used to beating his namesake. He’s also used to reaching finals, something he’s done in his last three tournaments. He’ll fancy more of the same at the European Darts Matchplay.
Mensur at the double?
Mensur Suljovic scored a dream title last time out. An Austrian Darts Championship, in front of an adoring home crowd in Vienna, with a last-leg win over Michael van Gerwen. Does it get any better? Back-to-back wins wouldn’t be frowned upon. The Gentle’s been handed a tricky opening tie however, with Kim Huybrechts after a scalp.
William O’Connor disappointed the Mannheim faithful by knocking Max Hopp out on Friday. Last year, he surprised Rob Cross on Saturday en route to the final. He’ll need to see off a similarly high-quality foe in Peter Wright if he wants a repeat.
Wayne Jones scored an impressive win over Jeffrey de Zwaan on Friday evening. If he can keep the momentum going, he might cause a surprise against Nathan Aspinall. And two top talents aiming for a timely boost in ranking money meet last of all, with Joe Cullen facing Jamie Hughes.
European Darts Matchplay 2019 schedule
Saturday evening session
Ricky Evans v Karsten Koch
Ian White v Gabriel Clemens
Krzysztof Ratajski v Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic v Kim Huybrechts
Peter Wright v William O’Connor
Nathan Aspinall v Wayne Jones
Joe Cullen v Jamie Hughes
Author: Ed McCosh