Michael van Gerwen shrugged off a spirited Robbie Green revival to begin his bid for European Tour title of the year with a 6-4 win in their German Darts Championship second round tie in Hildesheim on Saturday.
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Green made a fine start with an 11-darter, but only for van Gerwen to hit back with five consecutive legs, including a 12-darter and a 132 checkout on the bullseye, to move to the brink of victory.
Green, though, punished key misses from the Dutchman in the next two legs before finishing a 14-darter to pull back to 5-4, but van Gerwen sealed victory in style with a 14-dart leg of his own to move through to a last 16 meeting with Daryl Gurney.
"I didn't play well all the way through but I got the win and that's the most important thing," said van Gerwen. "I'm playing really well and I'd love to win this event - that's my only target.
"I know I'm the huge favourite but I still have to do it, and that's the most difficult thing."
Gurney produced an outstanding display of finishing as he overcame Ron Meulenkamp 6-2, hitting six doubles from nine attempts in a clinical performance to average 99.55.
Gurney raced into a 5-0 lead before Meulenkamp finished 121 amongst back-to-back legs to keep his hopes alive, but a 97 finish for a 14-darter saw the Northern Irish ace seal victory.
The day's most impressive performance came from Peter Wright, who produced a sensational 113.77 average in his 6-1 defeat of Eddie Dootson.
Wright - a former finalist in Hildesheim - landed two 11-dart legs in a heavy-scoring display, with left-hander Dootson taking out 98 for a 12-darter in the only leg he won in reply.
Wright now meets Joe Cullen after the Englishman ended German hopes with a comprehensive 6-1 win over home favourite Robert Allenstein, who had delighted the Halle 39 crowd with his first round win over Steve Hine but was unable to repeat the feat 24 hours later.
Allenstein did take the game's opening leg, but Cullen regained his range on the doubles to take the next six without reply, including five legs of 15 darts or less in a strong performance.
Mensur Suljovic began his bid to win a second European Tour event of 2016 with a superb 6-1 win over Darren Johnson, averaging over 106 in a fine display to move through to a third round meeting with David Pallett on Sunday afternoon.
Suljovic powered into a 4-0 lead before Johnson took out 160 to reply, but the Austrian claimed his fifth leg before sealing victory with his second 116 finish of the contest.
Pallett reached the third round for the first time on the European Tour this year with a narrow 6-5 win over Gerwyn Price in Saturday's opener, punishing the Welshman's misses in the decider to snatch victory.
Dave Chisnall, a winner at Hildesheim in 2013, also produced a ton-plus average of 102.47 in a brilliant 6-0 whitewash of Peter Hudson, who was limited to just one dart at a double as the world number eight progressed with the aid of a 126 finish during the win.
Chisnall now meets Justin Pipe, whose bid to qualify for the European Championship continued as he claimed a 6-1 win over Simon Whitlock in a clash of former European Tour winners.
Whitlock was punished for missing nine darts at a double during the contest as Pipe's finishing, which included key mid-range checkouts of 60, 96, 70, 78 and 69, proved the difference.
Steve West's challenge to snatch qualification for the European Championship also continued as he overcame Stephen Bunting 6-2.
Bunting led 2-1 early on, but West - who whitewashed brother Tony in the first round - pulled clear with five straight legs as he moved into the last 16 to maintain his fine recent form.
West now meets Kim Huybrechts after the Belgian overcame a strong challenge from youngster Ted Evetts, who shared the opening six legs before his more experienced rival landed two 13-darters to pull clear to a 6-4 victory.
Mark Webster followed up his first round win over Mervyn King with a victory over another former European Tour winner Michael Smith, moving into the last 16 with a 6-3 triumph.
An early break helped Webster into 2-0 lead and he also landed a pair of 13-darters to move 4-2 up, with Smith hitting back in 11 and 13 darts only to see later misses allow the left-hander to finish 68 and 72 to seal the win.
Webster now faces Terry Jenkins, who produced a superb comeback to edge out best friend Andy Smith 6-5 and move into the last 16.
Ian White edged through to face Alan Norris in a dramatic contest with Kevin Painter, who hit back from 3-0 down to level and found himself 5-3 behind before forcing a decider as the Stoke ace missed match darts in successive legs.
White now faces Alan Norris, who dropped just one leg as he powered to a 6-1 win over Scott Taylor.
Jelle Klaasen set up a third round tie with Cristo Reyes with a 6-4 defeat of Austrian youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez, taking out a neat 96 finish with two double 19s as well as a 13-darter in progressing.
Spain's Reyes knocked out number seven seed Benito van de Pas 6-2 as he punished the Dutch ace's missed doubles.
Reyes hit back from a leg down to lead 4-1 before the Dutchman stepped in to take leg six, but his opponent landed a 171 as he took the next before sealing the win with a 13-darter.
The third round of the £115,000 European Tour event will take place on Sunday afternoon, with the action then concluding in the evening session with the Quarter-Finals, Semi-finals and Final.
German Darts Championship 2016 Results
Saturday October 15
Gerwyn Price 5-6 David Pallett
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Alan Norris 6-1 Scott Taylor
Simon Whitlock 1-6 Justin Pipe
Stephen Bunting 2-6 Steve West
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Andy Smith
Benito van de Pas 2-6 Cristo Reyes
Ian White 6-5 Kevin Painter
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Peter Hudson
Michael Smith 3-6 Mark Webster
Joe Cullen 6-1 Robert Allenstein
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Darren Johnson
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Peter Wright 6-1 Eddie Dootson
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Robbie Green
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Ted Evetts