Michael van Gerwen breaks European Tour nine-dart curse at the European Darts Matchplay

Nine-dart hero MVG celebrates (credit:PDC Europe)

Michael van Gerwen ended a five-year wait for a nine-dart finish on the European Tour as he landed a perfect leg in a 6-2 win over Ryan Joyce in Round Two of the European Matchplay in Hamburg on Saturday.

No player had managed to achieve the feat since Ross Smith in the 2013 Gibraltar Trophy, but world number one MVG fittingly broke the drought with a magical moment against Joyce.

Van Gerwen began the fourth leg with a maximum before following up with a 177 and crashing in a 144 checkout to thrill a sell-out Hamburg a re-write the history books.

The defending champion went on to defeat Newcastle's Joyce 6-2 with a 104.87 average to progress to Sunday's Last 16.

"Five years is too long for me!" said Van Gerwen. "It means a lot to me and also everyone here. 

"It's good for the confidence and everyone in the crowd."

Elsewhere, reigning World Champion Rob Cross was among seven seeded players to bow out at the Second Round stage as he went down 6-4 to Ireland's William O'Connor.

O'Connor reeled off four consecutive legs from 4-2 down and hit six 180s to stun the world number three - who had earlier produced a 124 checkout.

Number two seed Michael Smith also bit the dust in Hamburg as he suffered a 6-4 defeat to a resurgent Jelle Klaasen in the final match of the evening.

Smith was punished for ten missed darts at doubles as the former Lakeside Champion gained a confidence-boosting victory to set up a clash with Stoke's Andy Boulton.

Boulton had earlier continued his fine run of form by knocking out 1996 Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton 6-4, sealing the deal with a superb 121 checkout on the bullseye.

Jason Lowe continued his dream European Tour debut by dispatching Austrian Open champion Jonny Clayton in a deciding leg after the Welshman had missed three match darts at double 19.

Justin Pipe ripped up the form book as he sent home last weekend's Danish Open runner-up Simon Whitlock courtesy of a 6-3 triumph in the afternoon session.

Mervyn King, a Players Championship winner in midweek, also crashed out at the first time of asking as he went down 6-4 to Paul Rowley - who produced an incredible four consecutive ton-plus checkouts on the way to a memorable win.

Former UK Open champion Robert Thornton battled his way to a last-leg victory over James Wilson, while 2014 Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting also edged out Lithuanian star Darius Labanauskas in a decider.

Ian White secured a first career win over Max Hopp at the sixth time of asking as he defeated the German ace 6-2, while Premier League star Daryl Gurney held his nerve to deny Robert Marijanovic after the German had missed two match darts in the deciding leg.

All four German hopefuls crashed out at the Last 32 stage, with Martin Schindler suffering a 6-3 defeat at the hands of fifth seed Joe Cullen - who landed a high checkout of 128.

Mensur Suljovic, last weekend's Danish Open champion, marched into the Last 16 in Hamburg thanks to a 6-3 win over Russia's Boris Koltsov, while world number 14 Darren Webster safely saw off Luke Humphries 6-3.

Kim Huybrechts produced a 130 checkout and converted 66 per cent of his attempts at doubles in a 6-4 win over Chris Dobey which ended Alan Norris' hopes of qualifying for the upcoming BetVictor World Matchplay.

Gerwyn Price battled his way to a 6-3 victory over Host Nation qualifier Maik Langendorf - who was made to pay for 16 missed darts at doubles.

European Darts Matchplay 2018 Results


Saturday June 30

Second Round

Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Simon Whitlock 3-6 Justin Pipe
Jonny Clayton 5-6 Jason Lowe
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Maik Langendorf
Mervyn King 4-6 Paul Rowley
James Wilson 5-6 Robert Thornton
Joe Cullen 6-3 Martin Schindler
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Chris Dobey
Darren Webster 6-3 Luke Humphries

Evening Session (6.15pm-10pm)
Steve Beaton 4-6 Andy Boulton
Ian White 6-2 Max Hopp
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Boris Koltsov
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Ryan Joyce - *Van Gerwen hits a nine-darter*
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Robert Marijanovic
Rob Cross 4-6 William O'Connor
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Michael Smith 4-6 Jelle Klaasen



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Michael van Gerwen breaks European Tour nine-dart curse at the European Darts Matchplay

Michael van Gerwen ended a five-year wait for a nine-dart finish on the European Tour as he landed a perfect leg in a 6-2 win over Ryan Joyce in Round Two of the European Matchplay in Hamburg on Saturday.

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