The 2019 European Championship reaches a gripping climax in Gottingen on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls vie to be…
Gurney and Chisnall go head-to-head (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The 2019 European Championship reaches a gripping climax in Gottingen on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls vie to be crowned champion at the Lokhalle.
An unmissable double-header sees the Quarter-Finals take place in the afternoon session before the Semi-Finals and Final commence in the evening.
Despite a number of shock early casualties, including four-time champion Michael van Gerwen and reigning champion James Wade, three of the top five seeds have safely advanced to the latter stages, though five of the final eight players are yet to win a major title.
Three of those potential first-time champions are housed in the bottom half of the draw but will need to overthrow a rampant Gerwyn Price if they are to keep their title quests alive.
Price produced a remarkable recovery from 5-0 down to defeat Nathan Aspinall 10-6 in Saturday’s Second Round with a 103.8 average and now has his eyes firmly fixed on adding this trophy to his Grand Slam success last November.
The Welshman’s next test comes in the shape of a resurgent Vincent van der Voort – who has won through to his first major ranking Quarter-Final in four years.
Van der Voort has dropped just six legs en route to the Last Eight, fewer than any other quarter-finalist, having followed up his 6-1 rout of Mensur Suljovic with a commanding 10-5 win over Chris Dobey.
The quick-fire Dutchman is now bidding to reach his first major Semi-Final since the 2014 Players Championship Finals, though he has won just one of his six previous meetings with Price.
World number four Michael Smith, twice a runner-up in major finals this year, aims to move a step closer to that elusive maiden major triumph by ending the run of fellow young gun Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Smith fell short in the World Championship and World Matchplay finals, added to last year’s Premier League, but now has a golden opportunity to go all the way in the absence of his nemesis MVG.
Smith began his campaign by thrashing Ian White 6-1 with a 106 average before defeating Stephen Bunting 10-7, and will be poised for a tough test against the Dutch number three – who took him to a deciding set in the 2015/16 World Championship.
De Zwaan is appearing in his second major Quarter-Final, having initially made the Semi-Finals of last year’s World Matchplay, but knows he must step up his tournament average of 92 if he is to make it six wins from eight against ‘Bully Boy’.
The opening Quarter-Final tie sees World Matchplay champion Rob Cross take on a rejuvenated Ricky Evans.
Cross kick-started his career at the top level with a run to the final here two years ago and is aiming to go one better by lifting his third major title.
The world number two has safely seen off Darren Webster and Joe Cullen and starts out as considerable favourite to end Evans’ ground-breaking run, but knows he can ill-afford to take the Kettering ace lightly.
Evans came through a last-leg decider against Glen Durrant in Round One and took full advantage of MVG’s early exit by overcoming Ross Smith 10-7 to enter uncharted territory in a major tournament.
Two of the sport’s heaviest scorers collide in another match to savour as fourth seed Daryl Gurney takes on fifth seed Dave Chisnall.
Having seen off William O’Connor and Simon Whitlock so far with a tournament average of 99, Gurney is aiming to equal his run to the Semi-Finals in 2017 and remain in contention for a third major title.
Chisnall, meanwhile, is vying to reach a second successive major final, following on from the World Grand Prix in Dublin a fortnight ago, and is arguably playing the most consistent darts of his career at present.
The multiple major finalist registered a spellbinding 109.7 average in his 10-4 demolition of Jonny Clayton in Round Two and has won three of his previous four televised encounters with the Northern Irishman.
The action gets underway from 6pm BST, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and Final best of 21.
European Darts Championship 2019 Match Schedule
All times BST (Local time one hour ahead)
Sunday October 27
Afternoon Session (11.45am-3.45pm)
Rob Cross v Ricky Evans
Daryl Gurney v Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Vincent van der Voort v Gerwyn Price
Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Cross/Evans v Gurney/Chisnall
Smith/De Zwaan v Van der Voort/Price