Dave Chisnall produced a scintillating display to thrash Jonny Clayton 10-4 for a place in the European Championship Quarter-Finals, while Ricky Evans, Rob Cross and Daryl Gurney also progressed in Gottingen.
Chisnall, runner-up in the World Grand Prix a fortnight ago, showcased his brilliant best once again as he recorded a 109.7 average and hit eleven maximums in brushing aside the Welshman.
Clayton led 3-2 with the aid of successive 121 checkouts, but only for Chisnall to reel off eight of the last nine legs, including a stunning 142 checkout, to seal the deal with ten from 12 on the doubles.
“I’m not going to say I’m the best player on the planet but I’m playing very well,” said Chisnall.
“Jonny started well and he brought the best game out of me, so this result is a bit tough on him.
“We all know my scoring game is there, it’s just doubles that have let me down over the years but I’ve been practicing hard on my doubles and it’s been working for me.”
World number 36 Evans followed up his First Round scalp of Glen Durrant by defeating Ross Smith 10-7 to advance to his first televised major Quarter-Final.
Smith had dumped out four-time champion Michael van Gerwen in Round One but struggled to replicate that form despite a large surge against ‘Rapid’ – who held firm to book his place in Sunday’s Last Eight.
“All my life I’ve played darts just to get on TV, now I’m doing it in the business end of tournaments,” admitted Evans.
“I’m just so happy to get the win, I was just thinking ‘please let me win the last leg’.
“When I got to 9-4 I knew I was getting close but he did well to fight back to 9-7.
“I’ve got to get ready to face Rob on Sunday, he’s in the same stable as me and we get on very well but I believe I can beat him.”
Rob Cross remained on course for a second major title of the season courtesy of a solid 10-7 victory over Joe Cullen.
The pair were evenly matched through the majority of the game with the contest tied at 5-5 at the second break, but the world number two took control by stringing together a run of three consecutive legs on the way to closing out the win.
“I’m just happy to get over the line really, I missed chances early on and so did Joe,” said Cross.
“I wasn’t at my best but I think the best player won a bad game and sometimes that’s what you need to do.”
Daryl Gurney fended off a late Simon Whitlock fightback to seal a 10-7 victory and a place in the Quarter-Finals at the Lokhalle.
The Northern Irishman had raced into a 9-2 lead, only for Whitlock to reel off five legs on the spin to close the gap and pile on the pressure.
Gurney, though, held firm to get over the line with a 99.6 average nine 180s as he remains on course for a third major title.
“I was in the zone for the first five legs, I would’ve been 5-0 up against anybody in the world,” said Gurney.
“In the break I told myself ‘don’t let your standard drop and don’t give him a chance’ but unfortunately that’s exactly what I did!
“Fair play to Simon, he’s a fantastic player and he had the crowd behind him, so I was mighty relieved to see that winning double go in.”
The afternoon session played host to the remaining First Round ties, with Jeffrey de Zwaan producing the stand-out display as he knocked out seventh seed Peter Wright 6-4 with a 101.8 average and six 180s along the way.
Vincent van der Voort powered past a below-par Mensur Suljovic for the loss of just one leg, while Michael Smith replicated that scoreline in thrashing fellow top 16 star Ian White with a 106 average and six from eight on the doubles.
Stephen Bunting also swept aside Keegan Brown by six legs to one, while Grand Prix quarter-finalist Jermaine Wattimena also charged through 6-1 against a struggling Jamie Hughes – who played through the pain barrier with an elbow injury.
Chris Dobey, semi-finalist at the recent World Grand Prix, pulled off an impressive 6-3 win over Gibraltar Trophy champion Krzysztof Ratajski, while Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price battled his way to a 6-4 victory over dangerous debutant Ted Evetts with a 167 checkout en route.
Meanwhile, UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall reeled in a sublime 170 checkout and averaged 98 in a 6-3 defeat of 2009 European Championship finalist Steve Beaton.
Unibet European Championship 2019 Results
Friday October 25
Jamie Hughes 1-6 Jermaine Wattimena
Keegan Brown 1-6 Stephen Bunting
Krzysztof Ratajski 3-6 Chris Dobey
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Steve Beaton
Mensur Suljovic 1-6 Vincent van der Voort
Ian White 1-6 Michael Smith
Peter Wright 4-6 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ted Evetts
Joe Cullen 7-10 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 10-7 Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall 10-4 Jonny Clayton
Ross Smith 7-10 Ricky Evans