Lewis survives a scare to setup second round clash with Rob Cross in Leverkusen
Adrian Lewis survives a scare on day one at the European Darts Open in Leverkusen while Germany’s Gabriel Clemens and Darren Johnson produce stunning displays at the opening European Tour event of the year.
Adrian Lewis – a former winner on the European Tour – edged past Ritchie Edhouse on the evening of day one in Leverkusen, 6-5. Edhouse, 34, led 5-3 in an emphatic display from the former Challenge Tour winner, though, Lewis reeled off three legs in 42 darts (13, 16, 13) to win a close encounter.
‘Jackpot’ will now take on a two-time European Tour finalist and now World Champion Rob Cross. Cross has reached the final of two of his last three events on the European Tour and will be looking for his first title in Europe this weekend.
Gabriel Clemens and Darren Johnson both produced stunning display as they saw off their opponents on day one at the home of Bayer Leverkusen – the BayArena.
Clemens was making his first appearance on the European Tour since 2016 despite having an incredible talent which he showed to the world at the Winmau World Masters last year. The German reached the semi-finals on that occasion.
Clemens averaged just under 100 as he out-classed his Swiss opponent Thomas Junghans, beating his 6-1. The German won his six legs in just 90 darts (18, 15, 16, 11, 16, 14) as he setup a second round clash win Mervyn King.
Darren Johnson produced the performance of the round as he found some of his form from early last year to beat Luke Humphries 6-2. ‘DJ’ averaged 103.22, hitting three maximums and finished the match with a 50% checkout rate. Despite being beaten convincingly Humphries averaged just below 100 himself and pinned a 107 checkout.
Johnson will take Premier League star and Gibraltar Darts Open winner last May Michael Smith in the second round at the BayArena.
James Wade also booked his place in the second round in Leverkusen with a 6-3 victory over former European Tour winner Steve Beaton. Wade averaged the usual machine-like average of 96.93 and produced an outstanding 116 finish in the opening leg with Beaton sat on 102. Wade also fired in ten 140s in a terrific display to setup a second round clash with 14th seed Jelle Klaasen.
Marko Kantele made the Finish fans back home proud as he produced an outstanding display of finishing in Leverkusen to see off Vincent Van der Voort 6-4. Kantele will be waving the flag for Finland at the World Cup of Darts at the end of May but is waving the Nordic and Baltic flag this weekend in Germany and got off to a brilliant start as finished the match with a checkout rate 20 points more than his opponent depsite Van der Voort’s average being six points more. Kantele also fired in a vital 120 finish in the fourth leg with his Dutch opposition having 10 remaining.
A recent Players Championship giant killer Luke Woodhouse produced a decent display of darts in front of the German crowd in Leverkusen as he saw off a potentially tough opponent in Suffolk’s Ryan Meikle. Woodhouse was averaging way over the 100 mark after the first few legs taking out the first two legs in 12 and 11 darts respectively, though, he drifted away after those outstanding first few legs. Woodhouse’s prosperous 6-2 win earned him the right to face and out of form Peter Wright. ‘Snakebite’ won five of the 12 European Tour events last year.
Elsewhere, PDC new boys Jamie Hughes, Cameron Menzies and Danny Noppert all were successful in their first European Tour event. All three former BDO darters averaged mid-nineties as they all reached the second round for the first time. Hughes – a former Zuiderduin Masters champion – eventually saw off Max Hopp after coming from 4-3 down pinning a 131 checkout to close out the affair. Hopp produced a much more promising performance in front of his supportive home crowd taking out a 161 checkout in the sixth leg. Former Scottish Open winner Cameron Menzies setup a second round evening clash with Michael Van Gerwen after a 6-2 demolition job over Mark Wilson. Menzies opened the game with back-to-back ton plus finishes of 140 and 100 before then winning the remaining four legs in 15, 16, 17 and 18 darts respectively. Noppert was supreme on the finishing as he checked out in 54% as he edged out a poor Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-4 to setup a second round encounter with seventh seed Joe Cullen.
We will see a Polish darter in the second round once again on the European Tour but this time it won’t be Krzysztof Ratajski, it will be Tytus Kanik – who saw off Dutchman Jan Dekker 6-2. Kanik, 33, pinned a 140 checkout in the second leg of the tie before hitting double four to win.
World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh heads for the exit gates at the BayArena after a 6-3 loss at hands of Ron Meulenkamp while Justin Pipe and Richard North both took their places in the second round.
Last weekend’s Players Championship finalist Chris Dobey continued his stunning form as he thrashed Wayne Jones 6-1 while John Henderson and Jermaine Wattimena both will be involved in tomorrow’s action in Germany.
We have some exhilarating matches to look forward to in the second round with the big boys coming into the field of play and Rob Cross looking to get his first win in Europe as the World Champion. Enter your predictions for the tournament today at FantasyDarts.tv.
— Darts Planet TV (@DartsPlanetTV) March 24, 2018
2018 European Darts Open (ET1)
Friday March 23
Luke Woodhouse 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Martin Atkins 0-6 Richard North
Mark Wilson 2-6 Cameron Menzies
Jan Dekker 3-6 Tytus Kanik
Jamie Hughes 6-4 Max Hopp
Darren Johnson 6-2 Luke Humphries
Justin Pipe 6-2 Michael Rasztovits
John Henderson 6-2 Maik Langendorf
Marko Kantele 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Wayne Jones 1-6 Chris Dobey
Danny Noppert 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Jonny Clayton 2-6 Jermaine Wattimena
Thomas Junghans 1-6 Gabriel Clemens
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
James Wade 6-3 Steve Beaton
Saturday March 24
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)
Ian White v Justin Pipe
Gerwyn Price v Richard North
Kyle Anderson v John Henderson
Dave Chisnall v Marko Kantele
Alan Norris v Jermaine Wattimena
Kim Huybrechts v Chris Dobey
Joe Cullen v Danny Noppert
Mervyn King v Gabriel Clemens
Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)
Simon Whitlock v Tytus Kanik
Daryl Gurney v Ron Meulenkamp
Michael van Gerwen v Cameron Menzies
Peter Wright v Luke Woodhouse
Rob Cross v Adrian Lewis
Jelle Klaasen v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Jamie Hughes
Michael Smith v Darren Johnson
Photography courtesy of PDC Europe