Kirk Shepherd in action (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Kirk Shepherd pulled off a shock 6-4 victory over Rob Cross to Last 16 of the Danish Darts Open in Copenhagen on Saturday, while Jermaine Wattimena overcame a struggling Michael Smith.
Shepherd, the 2008 World Championship runner-up, moved through to the final day of a European Tour event for the first time courtesy of an impressive scalp of the 2018 World Champion.
Shepherd had knocked out Vincent van der Voort in Round One and continued his resurgent form against the world number two to set up a meeting with Chris Dobey on Sunday.
Cross averaged 95 but was made to pay for 13 missed darts at doubles as Shepherd clinched his biggest win of the season since regaining his Tour Card at Qualifying School in January.
“I was a lot happier with how I played compared to yesterday,” admitted Shepherd.
“Rob let me off the hook but that’s not my fault, I beat a World Champion and I’m delighted.
“It’s the furthest I’ve ever got [on the Euro Tour] so let’s see how it goes – I’m looking forward to it.”
Dobey moved a step closer to securing a debut in next month’s Betfred
World Matchplay by seeing off two-time European Tour finalist Ricky Evans in a last-leg decider.
Number one seed Ian White extended his unbeaten run on the European Tour to eleven matches but had to survive one match dart from Martin Schindler before closing out a narrow 6-5 victory.
White, a back-to-back European Tour event winner, avoided a clash with his practice-partner Michael Smith as the World Championship runner-up went down 6-4 to Dutch number two Wattimena.
A day of comebacks in Copenhagen saw James Wade land three ton-plus checkouts as he fought back from 3-1 down to overcome Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson 6-3, while Adrian Lewis also rose from the ashes in overturning a 4-2 deficit to beat Kyle Anderson 6-4.
Wade will now take on Jonny Clayton who ran out a narrow 6-5 winner over home hero Per Laursen in a classic contest, while Lewis will face 2018 Danish Open runner-up Simon Whitlock after the Australian number one defeated UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall 6-4.
Defending champion Mensur Suljovic began his bid for back-to-back Danish Open titles by edging out German ace Gabriel Clemens 6-5 and will now meet Dave Chisnall – who saw off Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2.
German Championship winner Daryl Gurney recorded a convincing 6-1 win over Ryan Joyce, with the Northern Irishman now set to face in-form Jose De Sousa on Sunday.
Portuguese number one De Sousa played out a thrilling contest with Darren Webster, who missed a dart at the bullseye to complete a miraculous comeback from 5-1 down, before De Sousa eventually closed it out to prevail 6-5.
There were no such theatrics in Joe Cullen’s meeting with Kevin Burness as Cullen ended his six-week wait for a PDC win with a thumping 6-1 success, and he will now take on Peter Wright.
World number five Wright came out on top of William O’Connor 6-2 in a replay of last weekend’s World Cup Final singles tie, with a clinical Wright missing just two darts at double in the match.
Gerwyn Price averaged over 100 in a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Ryan Harrington, and the Welshman’s next assignment will be Stephen Bunting, who edged out New Zealander Cody Harris 6-4.
Danish Darts Open 2019 Results
Saturday June 15
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Cody Harris
Darren Webster 5-6 Jose De Sousa
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Per Laursen
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Joe Cullen 6-1 Kevin Burness
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Ryan Joyce
Ricky Evans 5-6 Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ryan Harrington
Rob Cross 4-6 Kirk Shepherd
Peter Wright 6-2 William O’Connor
James Wade 6-3 Dennis Nilsson
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Ian White 6-5 Martin Schindler
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Michael Smith