Last year’s German Darts Grand Prix finalists both reached the third round on Saturday evening in Munich.

But both Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross were made to fight for victory. Mighty Mike, the European Darts Open winner last week, almost fell immediately at the hands of Steve Lennon. Van Gerwen established a 2-0 lead early on. But his Irish opponent delighted the German crowd by battling back to level the scores. The world number one piled in a 103 checkout as he restored a two-leg cushion once again. Yet Lennon repeated the trick, keeping his cool to make it 4-4. The ninth leg proved to be pivotal. 24-year-old prodigy Lennon had two darts with which to go 5-4 up, but squandered both. Van Gerwen pounced to take the lead again. And, though Lennon was able to force a decider, the die already seemed to be cast. The Dutchman kept his cool to secure a narrow 6-5 win.
World champion Cross was also given a stern test by Jonny Clayton. The pair shared each of the first eight legs. 2017 Players Championship Finals runner-up Clayton lit up the opening stages with a brilliant 161 finish to hold in the fifth leg. The Welshman survived on Saturday night thanks to some waylaid darts at a double from underdog Rene Berndt. In the same position, Clayton repeated the German’s error. Eight missed darts to make it 4-2 came and went, before Cross finally pegged double eight. With the scores level at 4-4 and the game in the balance, Voltage showed his class. A brilliant 11-darter gave him the advantage. Cross made the most of it, winning the tenth leg to prevail 6-4 with a 104 average.
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Author: Ed McCosh