Hamilton makes winning return to European Tour against Boulton, In-form Searle sees off debutant Penhall
The action has begun at the Belgian Darts Championship which hails from Hasselt in Belgium this weekend with Ryan Searle and Andy Hamilton the first winners.
Searle has been in terrific form as of late including winning his first PDC ranking title a few weeks ago and he was taking on Darren Penhall in his first round tie.
It was 'Heavy Metal' who won through with a 92.1 average in a 6-3 victory over the St Austell ace. He hit two 180's and was fractionally better on the doubles hitting 24 to Penhall's 18 percent which was ultimately his downfall.
It was very much level for the opening stages of the contest with the duo locked in at 3-3 but Searle streaked ahead to claim the first victory of this year's European Tour .
Hamilton was making his first appearance on the European Tour since late 2017 and it was a winning return for the popular Stoke-on-Trent ace.
He was taken all the way to a decider though by Andy Boulton and he produced when it mattered pinning a 12 darter to show his class in that decider to win 6-5.
'The Hammer' averaged 90 and hit four 180's en route with nearly 43 percent on his doubles in a pretty good performance in a closely fought game.
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Friday February 28
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)
Darren Penhall (80.16) 3-6 (92.1) Ryan Searle
Andy Boulton (91.56) 5-6 (90.81) Andy Hamilton
13:00 Kai Fan Leung v Steve Beaton
13:30 Luke Humphries v Ronny Huybrechts
14:00 Michael Barnard v Damon Heta
14:30 Wesley Plaisier v Benjamin Pratnemer
15:00 Martijn Kleermaker v Stephen Bunting
15:30 Justin Pipe v Mervyn King