Four Belgians through as Heta and Van Duijvenbode impress in Hasselt

Former Premier League player Kim Huybrechts was among four Belgians to make it through to the last 32 as the first ever PDC European Tour event in Belgium got underway.

Huybrechts and Belgian number one Dimitri Van den Bergh received automatic places in the tournament under the new qualification structure for 2020, but it meant they needed to win their first-round match to register any ranking points.

Both did so without hitting their respective top levels as Huybrechts saw off Ryan Harrington 6-2 and Van den Bergh beat European Tour debutant Derk Telnekes 6-3.

Elsewhere, Ronny Huybrechts’ first Euro Tour appearance for eighteen months ended in victory with a 6-1 win over Thursday’s Premier League contender Luke Humphries.

Mike De Decker was the other Belgian to progress to the last 32 as he defied 4 180s from Ron Meulenkamp to steal it in a decider. A maximum to leave double 12 proved the difference for ‘The Real Deal’, who faces world number one Michael van Gerwen in the next round.

There was no such luck for Host Nation qualifiers Geert De Vos and Jeffrey Van Egdom, both losing to established top players. De Vos’ big stage return only lasted eight legs in defeat to Danny Noppert, while Van Egdom never got going and was whitewashed by Steve West.

There were two three-figure averages on the opening day at the Ethias Arena, the first from one of the many European Tour debutants in Damon Heta. He met the struggling Michael Barnard and won 6-0, averaging 102.48.

Dirk van Duijvenbode, who won his Tour Card back in January, continued his impressive start to the season with a 6-4 with over Luke Woodhouse and an average of 101.

Recent PDC title winner Ryan Searle also progressed as he beat Darren Penhall 6-3 in the first game of the day, while Andy Hamilton was another early winner after edging past namesake Andy Boulton in a final leg.

One of the standout second-round games on Saturday sees Krzysztof Ratajski plays Gabriel Clemens, ‘The German Giant’ whitewashed Callan Rydz 6-3.

A 151 checkout from Rowby-John Rodriguez started his game with Steve Lennon in style but the Irishman recovered to win 6-3.

It was a good day for the Dutch just over the border in Hasselt as Martijn Kleermaker and Wesley Plaisier also progressed with successes over Stephen Bunting and Benjamin Pratnemer respectively.

In a potentially mouth-watering tie, Steve Beaton will face Nathan Aspinall on Saturday after ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ pulled away from Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung in the closing stages to seal a 6-4 victory.

That game is among a number of highlights in Saturday’s last 32 schedule with Peter Wright starting his quest to end his mini-drought on the Euro Tour against Andy Hamilton and Ian White against Dirk van Duijvenbode other notable clashes.


2020 Belgian Darts Championship

Friday February 28

First Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)

Darren Penhall 3-6 Ryan Searle

Andy Boulton 5-6 Andy Hamilton

Kai Fan Leung 4-6 Steve Beaton

Luke Humphries 1-6 Ronny Huybrechts

Michael Barnard 0-6 Damon Heta

Wesley Plaisier 6-5 Benjamin Pratnemer

Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Stephen Bunting

Justin Pipe 4-6 Mervyn King


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Luke Woodhouse

Mike De Decker 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp

Callan Rydz 3-6 Gabriel Clemens

Danny Noppert 6-2 Geert De Vos

Ryan Harrington 2-6 Kim Huybrechts

Rowby-John Rodriguez 3-6 Steve Lennon

Steve West 6-0 Jeffrey Van Egdom

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Derk Telnekes



Saturday February 29

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)

Michael Smith v Ronny Huybrechts

Joe Cullen v Martijn Kleermaker

Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens

Glen Durrant v Mervyn King

Rob Cross v Damon Heta

Ian White v Dirk van Duijvenbode

Jermaine Wattimena v Danny Noppert

James Wade v Steve Lennon


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)

Nathan Aspinall v Steve Beaton

Gerwyn Price v Wesley Plaisier

Peter Wright v Andy Hamilton

Michael van Gerwen v Mike De Decker

Jeffrey de Zwaan v Kim Huybrechts

Jamie Hughes v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Mensur Suljović v Ryan Searle

Jonny Clayton v Steve West


Jamie Cameron


Pictures: PDC

About The Author

Jamie Cameron @wwfcofficial and darts. Write for @the92blog and @TheMaximum180.

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