Cross ends title drought by claiming second European Championship crown

Rob Cross ended a two-year wait for a PDC title by securing a second European Championship crown with victory over Michael van Gerwen in the final in Salzburg.

Cross claimed his fifth televised crown with an 11-8 victory over Van Gerwen at the Salzburgarena, almost two years on from his last TV title win – which came in the same event.

Van Gerwen was bidding for a fifth success in the event after recording stunning victories over Gerwyn Price and Nathan Aspinall earlier in the day, but 27 missed double attempts proved fatal in a cagey final.

Cross was on hand to take his chances and pocket the £120,000 winner’s cheque, which sees him move back up to 11th on the PDC Order of Merit, having faced the possibility of dropping out of the world’s top 16.

“It’s nice to win again after the last 18 months, which has probably been the hardest time of my life,” revealed Cross, who also defeated Jose de Sousa and Joe Cullen on Sunday.

“I have to dedicate this to my family, friends, management and sponsors who have stood by me and been incredibly supportive.

“I love playing in Austria, I’ve got a great record here. I love the people, I’d play here every week if I could.

“Granted, I didn’t play my best tonight, and I’m thankful that Michael wasn’t himself in the final. You have to take chances when they are presented to you.”

The win also secures Cross’ place in November’s Grand Slam of Darts, with the 31-year-old looking forward to a busy end to 2021.

He added: “I think this is going to be a turning point for me, with the confidence it’s going to give me I know I’m going to get better over the next few months. I would love to win another World Championship.”

Van Gerwen was seeking a first ranking title since November 2020 and a first European Championship success since 2017.

Despite coming up short in the final, the Dutchman showed signs of a return to his best with averages of 107.7 against Gerwyn Price in the Quarter-Finals and 103.41 against Nathan Aspinall in the Semi-Finals.

“When you play like I did in the final then you deserve to lose,” admitted an honest Van Gerwen.

“You can find a million excuses but I have to say I didn’t show up in the final, it wasn’t good enough and I can only blame myself.

“I am starting to perform a little bit better – except for the final – but I don’t like picking up runner-up trophies. It doesn’t count for anything, I’m a winner.”

A repeat of the 2017 European Championship final saw Cross land the first break of throw with a 123 finish on the bull to move 3-2 up, only for Van Gerwen to land a 138 checkout to hit straight back.

Cross opened up daylight for first time at 5-3, and led 6-4 at the second interval before a 13-dart break of throw saw him move 7-4 in front.

The next two legs also went the way of Cross, before Van Gerwen sparked into life, winning the next three legs to move within touching distance of glory at 9-7.

But after the Dutchman missed five darts at doubles to move within a leg, Cross found double four to break throw and move to the brink of the title.

After Cross missed a match dart at tops for a 107 checkout, Van Gerwen found the same target to break, but his hopes were short-lived as Cross closed out victory in the next leg by checking out 81 in two darts.

Sunday saw the tournament reach its conclusion with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session, before the semi-finals and final in the evening.

Aspinall won through to his first European Championship semi-final after winning a thrilling sudden-death leg against Danny Noppert, and pushed Van Gerwen all the way in the last four after clawing back a 7-1 deficit.

“I played probably the best I’ve played in a tournament for two or three years,” he said. “It’s nice to get to the latter stages and I threw everything at Michael.

“You can’t give one of the best players in the world a 7-1 head start, but I dug deep and I’m proud of myself to take it to the last leg. He had a fantastic last leg but I can take a lot of positives from this weekend.”

Cullen, meanwhile, defeated Austrian crowd favourite Mensur Suljovic 10-7 to reach his second European Championship semi-final in an encouraging run.

“Considering the circumstances, I’d have snapped your hand off to reach the semi-finals but there’s a lot of disappointment there,” admitted Cullen, who went down 11-3 in the last four after Cross won the opening nine legs without reply.

“I played nowhere near my best in the semi-final. Rob punished me and he was the rightful victor.

“It’s frustrating because I played steady all weekend and did the right things at the right times but got ironed out in the end.”

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European Darts Championship 2021 Results

Sunday October 17

Afternoon Session

Quarter-Finals
Danny Noppert 9-10 Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price 8-10 Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross 10-5 Jose de Sousa
Mensur Suljovic 7-10 Joe Cullen

Evening Session

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Nathan Aspinall
Joe Cullen 3-11 Rob Cross

Final
Rob Cross 11-8 Michael van Gerwen

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Four preview and order of play | Final eight go for glory

The 2021 European Darts Championship draws to a close in Salzburg on Sunday as the remaining eight players battle it out for the title.

The £500,000 major is set for a fascinating climax at the Salzburgarena as six of the world’s top 16 stars, a home favourite and an in-form rising star vie for glory.

The afternoon session will play host to the four Quarter-Final ties, before the Semi-Finals and final are held in the evening.

Undoubtedly the pick of the Quarter-Final ties sees box office stars Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen renew their rivalry.

Van Gerwen is bidding for a record fifth European Championship title and a first PDC ranking title of the year to follow up last month’s triumph at the Nordic Masters.

The world number three began with a 100.5 average in a 6-2 victory over Boris Krcmar on Friday before thrashing former champion James Wade 10-4 in the Last 16.

Van Gerwen defeated Price in the Semi-Finals of the Players Championship Finals last November en route to claiming the title, though he has not tasted success in a televised ranking event since.

Price has won their two most recent meetings, including a thrilling 6-5 triumph in the Gibraltar Trophy with a 103 average to the Dutchman’s 105.

The world number one, who was runner-up in last week’s World Grand Prix, recorded the highest average of the opening round (104.53) in cruising past Ritchie Edhouse 6-2, before averaging 103 in a 10-3 demolition of Czech youngster Adam Gawlas.

Rob Cross is in the midst of a huge weekend in terms of protecting his ranking position, and the 2019 European Champion now comes up against Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa.

Cross, who is defending £100,000 on the Order of Merit, could drop ten places to 22nd if he suffers defeat to De Sousa, but ‘Voltage’ has sparked into life so far this weekend.

He began with a 6-3 win over Irish teenager Keane Barry, before powering past Brendan Dolan 10-4 with a 97.6 average on Saturday.

Despite admitting he has been struggling with eyesight problems and muscle pains of late, De Sousa has dug deep to reach his first European Championship Quarter-Final.

The Portuguese star saw off Lewis Williams 6-4 in Round One before edging out Luke Humphries 10-8 in a high quality contest on Saturday.

The opening match of the afternoon sees former UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall take on man of the moment Danny Noppert.

Aspinall is into his first Quarter-Final in four attempts in this event, having dispatched Mervyn King and Damon Heta to equal his best run in a major ranking tournament this season.

Noppert, meanwhile, has made it back-to-back major Quarter-Final appearances courtesy of wins over Krzysztof Ratajski and Ryan Searle with consecutive ton-plus averages and for the combined loss of just six legs.

The World Grand Prix semi-finalist is in the form of his life at present and has provisionally climbed to a career-high 15th in the Order of Merit as a result.

Joe Cullen aims to silence the partisan Austrian crowd when he faces home favourite Mensur Suljovic.

Cullen, semi-finalist three years ago, admits he is playing without pressure after recent personal issues and followed up his 6-0 whitewash of Ted Evetts in Round One with a commanding 10-5 success over William Borland.

The two-time Euro Tour event winner faces a test of character against a vocal Salzburg crowd – who roared Suljovic to victory over Florian Hempel in a nail-biting last-leg decider on Saturday.

World Cup of Darts finalist Suljovic is looking to continue his climb back up the rankings and reach what would be a second European Championship Semi-Final, having notably finished runner-up in 2016.

The action gets under way from 1pm BST, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Four Schedule

All times BST (local time one hour ahead)

Sunday October 17

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4pm)

Quarter-Finals
Danny Noppert v Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross v Jose de Sousa
Mensur Suljovic v Joe Cullen

Evening Session (7pm-10pm)

Semi-Finals
Price/Van Gerwen v Noppert/Aspinall
Suljovic/Cullen v Cross/De Sousa

Final

Price and Van Gerwen set up Quarter-Final clash at the European Darts Championship

Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen set up a mouth-watering Quarter-Final clash at the 2021 European Darts Championship after dominant Second Round wins in Salzburg on Saturday.

World number one Price eased into the Last Eight with a 10-3 demolition of Czech youngster Adam Gawlas at the Salzburgarena, averaging 103 in the process.

Van Gerwen, meanwhile, won the clash of former European Champions with James Wade 10-4 to continue his pursuit of a record fifth crown.

Price, who won both European Tour events held in 2021, could only watch on as emerging star Gawlas opened their tie with a 12-darter before doubling his lead.

Finishes of 119 and 116 from Price sparked his performance as he levelled, winning five straight legs before Gawlas hit back.

However, Price produced an outstanding ten-dart leg – which featured two 177 scores – in another five-leg burst to seal his Quarter-Final spot.

“It was a really slow start but he flew out of the blocks in the first two legs, and the 119 was a big shot,” said Price.

“From being 2-0 down I won ten of the next 11 legs, and for most of that game I played really well – but I need to up that again and take it into tomorrow.”

Gerwyn Price celebrates (Photo by Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe)

Van Gerwen stormed into a 6-2 lead over Wade with a stunning 125 checkout and went on to claim the following two legs to extend his advantage.

Wade pulled back to 8-4 as he sought a route back into the tie with finishes of 88 and 142, but missed doubles in the next two legs allowed Van Gerwen to close out a one-sided win.

“It was comfortable but I made too many mistakes,” said Van Gerwen. “Overall I can’t really complain and a win is a win, but I know I’ve got more in the tank and I have to show that tomorrow.

“I hit too many low scores between good scores, but I won and that’s the most important thing. I know there’s more to come.”

Van Gerwen defeated Price last November on his way to winning his most recent ranking title, at the Players Championship Finals, and is hoping to repeat the feat on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a tough game against Gerwyn tomorrow,” he added. “We always have good games and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve won most of the games we’ve had but I need to concentrate on my own game because we all know what I’m capable of. My form has started to change and I feel good.”

Rob Cross and Jose de Sousa will meet in another tasty Quarter-Final after they enjoyed contrasting wins on Saturday afternoon over Brendan Dolan and Luke Humphries respectively.

Cross took the opening four legs to assume control of his contest, finishing 124 on the bull in the process, and despite an 11-darter from Dolan he extended the advantage to 6-1.

Dolan responded with back-to-back legs, but an 11-darter from Cross stemmed the tide before the Hastings ace closed out the win with a 76 finish.

“I played steady and thought I was clinical at certain times, but I let a few legs go,” reflected 2019 champion Cross.

“My game’s really good at the minute, I’m enjoying the game and it’s a massive difference to where I’ve been for the last 18 months, but I’ll keep trying.

“It’s nice to start making inroads to where I think I should be for my ability. I don’t think that I’ve got to get better to win, I’ve just got to get back to where I was.”

De Sousa, meanwhile, defied five ton-plus checkouts from Humphries to claim a 10-8 win following an entertaining encounter.

Humphries had opened up with a 130 checkout, but found himself 3-1 down and facing a 5-3 deficit until he took out 104 in leg nine.

The tenth leg proved pivotal as Humphries wired the bull for a 170 finish which would have levelled the game, before then having to watch on as De Sousa took out 123 on the middle double to regain breathing space at 6-4.

Humphries also missed double 18 to finish 156 in the next leg, and De Sousa moved 8-4 up before Humphries finished 106, 146 and 160 to claim three of the next four, while a 74 checkout kept him in the tie at 9-8 before the Portuguese ace finally closed out the win.

“It’s amazing for me to make the quarter-finals here,” said De Sousa. “Playing against Luke is always difficult – he has such talent.

“The 123 was a special moment from the Special One! I think it was crucial. I’m very happy that I’m through and I hope in the next round I can play my best game.”

Danny Noppert’s superb spell of form continued as he finished ten doubles from 16 attempts to defeat Ryan Searle 10-6, booking a spot in a second successive televised Quarter-Final.

The Dutchman impressed in his first round win over Krzysztof Ratajski, and pulled clear from three-all to win seven of the next eight legs in another confident display.

Searle had hit back from 2-0 down with a 108 finish to level in leg four, and followed a Noppert 11-darter with a second 13-dart finish of the tie in leg six.

Noppert, though, regained the lead, punished three misses from Searle to lead 5-3 and then took out a brilliant 170 checkout before moving 8-3 up.

Searle responded, but Noppert quickly ended any hopes of a fightback by landing double 18 and then tops to move into the last eight.

“It was a really good performance again,” said Noppert, a World Grand Prix semi-finalist last week. “I’m playing really well at the moment and enjoying my darts.

“Ryan is a really good player but he missed some doubles and I hit mine – the 170 finish was really good.

“I’m feeling great, really confident at the moment, and looking forward to every game.”

Noppert will now face Nathan Aspinall after the UK Open finalist won a high-quality tie with Damon Heta 10-6 as both players averaged above 100.

Heta opened with back-to-back 13-darters and also took out 104 as he led 3-2, but Aspinall turned the game with four straight legs, and defied checkouts of 127 and 141 from the Australian to secure his last eight spot.

“I really enjoyed it and it’s a fantastic win against a great opponent,” said Aspinall. “I felt really good tonight.

“The 141 to stay in the match and the 104 finish showed bottle and what a fantastic player he is, but I had a job to do and I was really happy with how I performed.

“The practice is paying off and I felt so at home up there, I felt back like I felt two years ago. I was buzzing, the adrenaline was pumping and the crowd were fantastic.

“I’ve got Danny Noppert next and he’s playing unreal darts at the moment. I need to perform at that level tomorrow, and if I do then I’ll be hard to beat.”

Mensur Suljovic delighted the Austrian crowd as he won a thriller against Germany’s Florian Hempel in a dramatic deciding leg.

Emerging star Hempel responded to Suljovic’s opening 136 finish by taking a 2-1 lead, only for the 2016 finalist to win five of the next six to take command at 6-3.

Hempel finished 124 as he pulled back to 7-5, and when Suljovic missed four match darts after opening up a 9-7 cushion, the tie went to a one-leg shoot-out as the German seized his reprieve.

Suljovic, though, was first to a finish in the decider and produced a superb third-dart double top to book his spot in the Last Eight.

Home hero Suljovic celebrates (Photo by Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe)

“I couldn’t see if the last dart was in but it’s a brilliant feeling,” said Suljovic. “I gave it my best and I played good darts. I’m feeling good and I’m so happy.

“I won my last tournament in Austria [at a European Tour event in 2019] and I will give it my best tomorrow. The crowd is brilliant and I have nothing to lose.”

Suljovic will now meet Joe Cullen – who won through to his second European Championship Quarter-Final with a 10-5 defeat of Willie Borland – coming from 3-2 down to surge to victory.

Cullen took out a superb 147 among three straight legs to push himself 5-3 up, and he defied a 116 finish from Scottish youngster Borland to progress.

“I started a little bit slowly but I felt if I imposed myself on the game that I’d come out at the other end as a winner,” said Cullen.

“I felt like my experience would always show in the end. Willie’s a brilliant player on the floor but it takes a lot to bring your floor game to the stage.

“I did more than enough to win the game. I tried to keep on top of him because I couldn’t afford to get complacent.”

Cullen was a semi-finalist in the 2018 tournament, but is now aiming to claim his first televised title on Sunday – which could move him into the world’s top ten should he be victorious.

“I realise I’m in a favourable half of the draw but I’ve still got to go up there and win,” added Cullen, who is now guaranteed £20,000 from the event.

“It’s a big jump prize-money wise and £10,000 is a lot of money, so I knew it was an important win for me.”

The £500,000 tournament concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session’s Quarter-Finals followed in the evening session by the Semi-Finals and final.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Results

Saturday October 16

Second Round

Afternoon Session
William Borland 5-10 Joe Cullen
Brendan Dolan 4-10 Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa 10-8 Luke Humphries
Ryan Searle 4-10 Danny Noppert

Evening Session
Nathan Aspinall 10-6 Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Adam Gawlas
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 10-9 Florian Hempel

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Three preview and order of play | Second Round commences in Salzburg

The Second Round action takes centre stage at the 2021 European Darts Championship in Salzburg on Saturday with an unmissable double session.

A host of big names have already departed the competition, including defending champion Peter Wright, former champion Simon Whitlock, Krzysztof Ratajski and Michael Smith.

With the seedings based on prize money accrued from just two European Tour events this season, the draw has brought together a number of big hitters in the early stages.

Two former winners of this prestigious event go head-to-head in the evening session as Michael van Gerwen takes on James Wade.

Van Gerwen is bidding for a record fifth European Championship title and a first PDC ranking title of the year to follow up last month’s triumph at the Nordic Masters.

The world number three began with a 100.5 average in a 6-2 victory over Boris Krcmar on Friday and now faces ‘The Machine’ for the third time on television this year, with the pair having claimed one win apiece during the Premier League campaign.

Wade, the 2018 champion and runner-up 12 months ago, dug deep to deny former World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale in a deciding leg in Round One and is looking to subject MVG to yet another early exit this season.

The evening session also sees world number one Gerwyn Price step up his pursuit of a maiden European Championship crown with a tie against Czech youngster Adam Gawlas.

Price, runner-up in last week’s World Grand Prix, recorded the highest average of the opening round (104.53) in cruising past Ritchie Edhouse 6-2.

Gawlas, meanwhile, marked his debut with a 6-4 win over Joe Murnan to reach the Last 16 of a PDC televised ranking tournament for the first time.

Former UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall aims to progress beyond the Second Round stage of this event for the first time in four attempts when he faces Aussie ace Damon Heta.

Aspinall landed five 180s in his 6-4 victory over Mervyn King on Friday, while Heta claimed a much-needed win over Gabriel Clemens to provisionally move into the world’s top 32.

Home favourite Mensur Suljovic aims to delight an expectant crowd at the Salzburgarena by overcoming German newcomer Florian Hempel.

Suljovic, runner-up in the recent World Cup of Darts and Gibraltar Trophy, swept aside Adam Hunt in Round One, while former Handball professional Hempel is bidding to follow up his shock scalp of Peter Wright in what is his first televised tournament appearance.

The afternoon session features a tasty tussle between Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa and UK Open finalist Luke Humphries.

De Sousa, who has revealed health problems of late, has been struggling to recapture the form which led him to the Premier League final in May, but remains a formidable force in the scoring department.

Humphries continues to go from strength-to-strength in a ground-breaking season which has seen him provisionally climb to world number 21, with the power to add this weekend.

Two in-form players who enjoyed landmark campaigns at the recent World Grand Prix collide as Danny Noppert meets Ryan Searle.

Noppert embarked on a terrific run to his first PDC major ranking Semi-Final in Leicester, losing out to eventual champion Jonny Clayton, and began superbly here by thrashing Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 with a 102.3 average.

Searle reached his first PDC major Quarter-Final at the Grand Prix and was also in sublime form in Salzburg, edging out Michael Smith 6-5 with a 102 average.

Rob Cross is facing a potentially pivotal weekend in terms of his ranking position, and the 2019 European Champion now comes up against Brendan Dolan in a must-win encounter.

Cross, who is defending £100,000 on the Order of Merit, could drop 12 places to 24th if he suffers defeat to Dolan – who would leapfrog him as a result.

Third seed Dolan began brightly by defeating Kim Huybrechts 6-2 with a 96 average and has beaten Cross in two of their three meetings on the ProTour this year.

The opening game of the day sees multiple Euro Tour event winner Joe Cullen take on emerging star William Borland.

Cullen, the number ten seed, bounced back from his First Round exit at the Grand Prix by whitewashing Ted Evetts 6-0 in ruthless fashion on Thursday.

Borland, meanwhile, pulled off a memorable debut win over 2012 champion Simon Whitlock, sealing the deal with a 142 checkout and looking at home on the big stage.

The action gets under way from 1pm BST, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Three Schedule

All times BST (local time one hour ahead)

Saturday October 16

Second Round

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4pm)
William Borland v Joe Cullen
Brendan Dolan v Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa v Luke Humphries
Ryan Searle v Danny Noppert

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Nathan Aspinall v Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price v Adam Gawlas
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Florian Hempel

Searle denies Smith in decider as Price, Van Gerwen and Wade kick-start European Championship campaigns

Ryan Searle recovered from 3-0 down to defeat Michael Smith in a thrilling decider on Day Two of the 2021 European Darts Championship in Salzburg.

World Grand Prix quarter-finalist Searle went some way to avenging his World Matchplay loss to Smith earlier this year as he produced a superb late surge to edge a high quality First Round contest.

Smith stormed into a 3-0 lead and also lead 4-2 before Searle hit back with finishes of 86, 121 and 60 to turn the match on its head and go in front.

Smith replied with a 13-darter on tops to force a decider, but Searle returned the favour with a 13-dart leg of his own on tops to clinch victory.

“In that last leg I just wanted to hit the tops and not mess about, and luckily enough it went in,” said Searle. “A couple of years ago I may have given up at 3-0, but I dug in.

“When I was 3-0 down I was thinking that if I could get it back to 3-2 at the break I had a chance. I hadn’t travelled this far to give up, and I showed I’m here for the long haul.”

Meanwhile, former European Champions Michael van Gerwen and James Wade will collide in Salzburg on Saturday night after coming through their First Round ties.

Four-time winner Van Gerwen averaged 100.5 in beating Boris Krcmar 6-2, while 2018 champion Wade came through a last-leg decider against Adam Smith-Neale.

Seeking a first ranking title of 2021, Van Gerwen dominated his meeting with Croatia’s Krcmar, converting six of his 11 attempts at doubles and landing a 128 checkout in a comfortable win.

“In the beginning I think I played really well,” Van Gerwen reflected. “I think I controlled the game and my focus was there, my confidence was there and that made me win this game.

“That’s one done and now it’s on to the next one. It suits my game, from here on I think I can show some more and do some more damage.

“I feel comfortable, my game is starting to get somewhere and I hope I can continue the good form.”

Van Gerwen cruises past Krcmar (Photo by Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe)

It was a less straight-forward passage through for world number four Wade as he recovered from 4-2 down to edge past debutant Smith-Neale.

With Smith-Neale waiting on 100 for the match, Wade found a last dart double five to avoid joining Peter Wright in a shock early exit.

World Champion Gerwyn Price laid down a marker by averaging 104.5 in his 6-2 defeat of Ritchie Edhouse.

Price, the 2019 European Championship runner-up, took control of the tie from the outset and was on target with 50% of his checkout attempts to deny debutant Edhouse.

“It was a steady performance and I did the right things at the right times,” said Price. “I wasn’t under much pressure but I was pretty steady today.

“It’s a longer format now and I’ll be more comfortable. I’m playing well and I just need to be on my A-game.

“I’m happy with the performance and I can build from that – if I want to win this tournament, I have to play a bit better.”

Price’s second round assignment will see him take on 19-year-old Czech star Adam Gawlas – who enjoyed a 6-4 debut win over Joe Murnan.

Danny Noppert, World Grand Prix semi-finalist last week, continued his fine form with a 102.3 average in a convincing 6-2 win over Krzysztof Ratajski Ratajski.

Fifth seed Nathan Aspinall battled his way to a 6-4 victory over Mervyn King and will now face Damon Heta, after the Australian displayed some clinical finishing in a 6-3 defeat of Gabriel Clemens.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Two Results

Friday October 15

First Round

Adam Gawlas 6-4 Joe Murnan
Krzysztof Ratajski 2-6 Danny Noppert
James Wade 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Mervyn King
Michael Smith 5-6 Ryan Searle
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Damon Heta 6-3 Gabriel Clemens

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Two preview and order of play | First Round action continues

The First Round action continues at the 2021 European Darts Championship in Salzburg on Friday, with two former champions among the stars starting their campaigns.

The opening night of the £500,000 major saw defending champion Peter Wright crash out at the hands of German debutant Florian Hempel, while former champion Simon Whitlock was also sent packing.

Attention now turns to the top half of the draw bracket – which houses a host of big hitters, including world number one Gerwyn Price.

Price heads to Austria having won both of this season’s European Tour events, while also finishing runner-up in the World Grand Prix last weekend.

The reigning World Champion, who finished runner-up in the 2019 European Championship, starts out against Ritchie Edhouse – who claimed the 32nd and final qualification spot.

Edhouse, the world number 91, is making his debut in this event and has enjoyed a solid season on the ProTour – reaching three Quarter-Finals.

Michael van Gerwen launches his latest quest for a record fifth European Championship title with a clash against Croatia’s Boris Krcmar.

Van Gerwen is level with Phil Taylor on four titles, having gone unbeaten between 2014 and 2017, and is looking to bounce back from a disappointing First Round exit at the World Grand Prix.

Van Gerwen’s most recent televised title came at the Nordic Masters last month, but he has not tasted success in a TV ranking tournament since the Players Championship Finals last November.

Michael van Gerwen launches his campaign (Photo by PDC Europe)

The Dutchman faces a tricky opener against former soft-tip star Krcmar – who has twice reached the Quarter-Finals of Players Championship events this year.

James Wade, European Champion in 2018 and runner-up 12 months ago, looks to maintain his strong recent record in this competition, starting with a tie against newcomer Adam Smith-Neale.

UK Open champion Wade has reached at least the Semi-Final stage in three of his last four European Championship appearances and will look to utilise his vast experience over the only non Tour Card holder in the field.

Former World Masters winner Smith-Neale qualified courtesy of his run to the Last 16 of the Gibraltar Trophy – which included a win over Premier League and World Grand Prix champion Jonny Clayton.

Nathan Aspinall and Mervyn King face off for the third time in televised competition this season, with both having claimed a win apiece so far.

King stormed to a 10-3 success at The Masters before ‘The Asp’ prevailed 10-6 at the World Matchplay in Blackpool.

Another repeat of a First Round meeting at the Matchplay this year sees Michael Smith take on in-form Ryan Searle.

Smith was a 10-7 winner on that occasion and also triumphed when the pair met in the Quarter-Finals of a Players Championship event in March.

Smith was a semi-finalist in this event in 2019, while Searle heads to Salzburg for his debut, having made the Quarter-Finals of the World Grand Prix a week ago.

Danny Noppert aims to continue the form which carried him to the Semi-Finals of the Grand Prix when he faces former European Tour event winner Krzysztof Ratajski.

Noppert’s memorable run in Leicester last week saw him defeat Van Gerwen, Vincent van der Voort and Ian White before losing out to eventual champion Clayton.

Ratajski maintained his record of having reached at least the Quarter-Finals of every televised ranking event this season at the World Grand Prix and will look to kick-start another strong run here.

The opening match of the night sees debutants Adam Gawlas and Joe Murnan battle it out.

Murnan regained his Tour Card at Qualifying School in February and is competing in his first TV major outside of the UK Open for the first time since the 2018 Grand Slam.

Gawlas, one of three 19-year-olds in this year’s line-up, reached the Quarter-Finals of the Hungarian Darts Trophy with wins over Boris Krcmar, Jonny Clayton and Lewis Williams to seal his spot in this event.

Another closely-matched encounter sees former Brisbane Masters winner Damon Heta take on German number one Gabriel Clemens.

Aussie ace Heta reached two major Quarter-Finals at the back end of last season but has suffered First Round exits in three of his last four major tournament appearances.

Clemens has also suffered successive First Round defeats on TV, but like Heta, remains upwardly mobile in the Order of Merit at a career-high ranking of 24.

The action gets under way from 7pm BST, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Day Two Schedule

All times BST (local time one hour ahead)

Friday October 15

First Round

7.15pm Adam Gawlas v Joe Murnan
7.45pm Krzysztof Ratajski v Danny Noppert
8.15pm James Wade v Adam Smith-Neale
8.45pm Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
9.15pm Michael Smith v Ryan Searle
9.45pm Michael van Gerwen v Boris Krcmar
10.15pm Gerwyn Price v Ritchie Edhouse
10.45pm Damon Heta v Gabriel Clemens

Hempel dethrones Wright at the European Darts Championship

Florian Hempel pulled off a shock First Round win over defending champion Peter Wright at the 2021 European Darts Championship in Salzburg on Thursday.

Hempel, the world number 107, marked his TV debut with a stunning 6-3 scalp of the world number two at the Salzburgarena.

Wright, who also suffered a First Round exit at the recent World Grand Prix, paid the price for chopping and changing his setup as Hempel raced into a 4-1 lead before eventually crossing the line in leg nine.

German ace Hempel produced some clutch finishing in the early stages, landing finishes of 97, 85 and 68 in taking a 3-0 lead, before going on to finish 76 for a 5-2 advantage and clinching victory on tops.

“I’m really happy,” said Hempel. “He’s the number two in the world and everyone looks up to him.

“It’s an amazing feeling.

“It was not an easy draw but you can play with no pressure.

“The rest of the year, my target is to get to the World Championship and I think this could help me.”

He will now face home favourite Mensur Suljovic in the Last 16 on Saturday after the Austrian powered past Adam Hunt 6-2, sealing victory with a tidy 117 checkout.

William Borland enjoyed a dream European Championship debut as he knocked out 2012 champion Simon Whitlock 6-3 in the opening match of the tournament.

Scottish youngster Borland overturned a 2-0 deficit with a run of four straight legs, which included a 121 checkout before the interval.

Whitlock stopped the rot in leg seven but was made to pay for four missed darts at doubles in the eighth as Borland took out 65 to make it 5-3 and went on to clinch victory in spectacular fashion with a 142 checkout.

“The finish at the end was great and there were some glimpses of my best but I’m just glad to get the win and I can kick on now for Saturday,” said Borland.

“I enjoyed it and to beat a player like Simon is special. I’ve got to take it in my stride because I’m just at the start of my career.

“I’m happy to be here and I want to do my family proud. I’m really enjoying playing against the best in the world and I need to keep going.

“When I was a young kid I dreamed of this, I’m here now and I’m loving it. It’s all experience and I’m really happy with how it’s going right now.”

Rob Cross, the 2019 European Champion who faces pressure to defend his title-winning prize money against his ranking this weekend, began with a 6-3 win over 19-year-old debutant Keane Barry.

Cross landed a 148 checkout but will be eyeing a marked improvement on his end average of just 84.5.

Jose De Sousa dug deep to deny 19-year-old Lewy Williams a debut victory in Salzburg with a 6-4 success, punishing the Welshman’s 17 missed darts at doubles.

Joe Cullen, the 2018 semi-finalist, got off to a perfect start by whitewashing Ted Evetts 6-0 with three 180s and a 95 average.

UK Open runner-up Luke Humphries battled his way to a 6-5 victory over fellow debutant Callan Rydz from 5-4 behind.

Brendan Dolan was a comfortable 6-2 winner over Kim Huybrechts with a 96 average and three maximums to his name.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Day One Results

Thursday October 14

First Round

Simon Whitlock 3-6 William Borland
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Rob Cross 6-3 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-5 Callan Rydz
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Lewis Williams
Peter Wright 3-6 Florian Hempel
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Adam Hunt
Joe Cullen 6-0 Ted Evetts

European Darts Championship 2021 Day One preview and order of play | Big names aim to avoid scalp in Salzburg

The 2021 European Darts Championship gets under way in Salzburg on Thursday, with three former champions in action on opening night.

The top 32 players on the 2021 European Tour Order of Merit will battle it out for the title and £500,000 prize fund in front of up to 3,500 fans at the Salzburgarena.

This year’s PDC European Tour was comprised of just two events – the Hungarian Darts Trophy and the Gibraltar Darts Trophy – thus resulting in a number of debutant qualifiers.

Scotland’s William Borland is among the 14 newcomers in this year’s European Championship and features in the opening match of the tournament against 2012 champion Simon Whitlock.

Whitlock, who also finished runner-up in 2018, missed out on the recent World Grand Prix and will be keen to make up for lost ground against the 24-year-old who is making on his third appearance in a televised PDC event.

Peter Wright begins the defence of his title against Florian Hempel  – one of only two Germans in the field.

Wright, who has picked up the World Matchplay and World Cup of Darts titles this year, is out to bounce back from a First Round defeat at the Grand Prix, but faces a potential banana skin against the highly-rated German – who came through European Qualifying School this year.

Rob Cross is facing huge pressure to defend his title-winning prize money from 2019 on his ranking and has been handed a tricky opening tie against Irish youngster Keane Barry.

Cross, currently ranked world number 12, could drop as low as 24th with defeat to the 19-year-old – a former BDO World Youth champion and Challenge Tour event winner last year.

Mensur Suljovic, runner-up in the 2016 European Championship, opens up with a clash against debutant Adam Hunt – a two-time Challenge Tour event winner.

Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa starts out against emerging Welsh star Lewis Williams – who has twice reached the Last 16 on the ProTour this season, as well as the Last 16 of the Hungarian Darts Trophy.

Two players who have enjoyed breakthrough seasons so far go head-to-head as UK Open finalist Luke Humphries takes on Players Championship event winner Callan Rydz.

Brendan Dolan, twice a quarter-finalist on the Euro Tour this season and winner of a Players Championship event, faces a resurgent Kim Huybrechts – who reached the Semi-Finals of this event back in 2012.

Joe Cullen aims to arrest a recent dip in form when he meets 13-time Development Tour winner Ted Evetts.

Cullen has suffered First Round defeats in three of his last five events, but has two Players Championship titles to his name this season and reached the Semi-Finals of this event in 2018.

Evetts only previous European Championship appearance came in 2019 when he was beaten 6-4 by Gerwyn Price in the opening round.

The action gets under way from 7pm BST, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Schedule

All times BST (local time one hour ahead)

Thursday October 14

First Round

7.15pm Simon Whitlock v William Borland
7.45pm Brendan Dolan v Kim Huybrechts
8.15pm Rob Cross v Keane Barry
8.45pm Luke Humphries v Callan Rydz
9.15pm Jose de Sousa v Lewis Williams
9.45pm Peter Wright v Florian Hempel
10.15pm Mensur Suljovic v Adam Hunt
10.45pm Joe Cullen v Ted Evetts

European Darts Championship Betting Tips and Accumulator Predictions

The 2021 European Darts Championship heads to Salzburg, and we’ve picked out our best betting tips for each day.

The top 32 players on the 2021 European Tour Order of Merit will battle it out for the title and £500,000 prize fund across four days in front of up to 3,500 fans per session at the Salzburgarena.

This year’s PDC European Tour was comprised of just two events – the Hungarian Darts Trophy and the Gibraltar Darts Trophy – thus resulting in a number of debutant qualifiers.

Peter Wright is the defending champion, having defeated James Wade 11-4 in last year’s final in Oberhausen, Germany.

Michael van Gerwen has won this event on four consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2017, while James Wade and Rob Cross claimed glory in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

World number one Gerwyn Price is the top seed, having won both Euro Tour events this season, with 2016 finalist Mensur Suljovic seeded number two and Brendan Dolan seeded number three.

The likes of Jose De Sousa, Michael Smith, Krzysztof Ratajski, Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen and 2012 champion Simon Whitlock will also be vying for the title.

Debutants include former World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale, Lewy Williams, Adam Gawlas, William Borland, Keane Barry and Florian Hempel.

The 2021 European Darts Championship runs from October 14-17 and we’ve picked out our top betting tips for each night’s action.

European Darts Championship Betting Tips

How to claim £20 in Free Bets on the European Darts Championship

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  3. Place a qualifying bet of £5 or more at odds of EVS or above
  4. You will be credited with 2 x £10 free bets following the settlement of the qualifying bet

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European Darts Championship 2021 Draw, Live Scores and Schedule of Play

The 14th staging of the European Darts Championship takes place in Salzburg, and you can follow the latest results and schedule of play here.

The top 32 players on the 2021 European Tour Order of Merit will battle it out for the title and £500,000 prize fund across four days in front of up to 3,500 fans per session at the Salzburgarena.

This year’s PDC European Tour was comprised of just two events – the Hungarian Darts Trophy and the Gibraltar Darts Trophy – thus resulting in a number of debutant qualifiers.

Peter Wright is the defending champion, having defeated James Wade 11-4 in last year’s final in Oberhausen, Germany.

Michael van Gerwen has won this event on four consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2017, while James Wade and Rob Cross claimed glory in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

World number one Gerwyn Price is the top seed, having won both Euro Tour events this season, with 2016 finalist Mensur Suljovic seeded number two and Brendan Dolan seeded number three.

The likes of Jose De Sousa, Michael Smith, Krzysztof Ratajski, Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen and 2012 champion Simon Whitlock will also be vying for the title.

Debutants include former World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale, Lewy Williams, Adam Gawlas, William Borland, Keane Barry and Florian Hempel.

The tournament runs from October 14-17, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs, Second Round and Quarter-Finals best of 19 and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Darts Championship 2021 Schedule of Play

All times BST (local time one hour ahead)

Thursday October 14

First Round

7pm-11pm
Simon Whitlock 3-6 William Borland
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Rob Cross 6-3 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-5 Callan Rydz
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Lewis Williams
Peter Wright 3-6 Florian Hempel
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Adam Hunt
Joe Cullen 6-0 Ted Evetts

Friday October 15

First Round

7pm-11pm
Adam Gawlas 6-4 Joe Murnan
Krzysztof Ratajski 2-6 Danny Noppert
James Wade 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Mervyn King
Michael Smith 5-6 Ryan Searle
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Damon Heta 6-3 Gabriel Clemens

Saturday October 16

Second Round

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4pm)
William Borland 5-10 Joe Cullen
Brendan Dolan 4-10 Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa 10-8 Luke Humphries
Ryan Searle 4-10 Danny Noppert

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Nathan Aspinall 10-6 Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Adam Gawlas
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 10-9 Florian Hempel

Sunday October 17

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4pm)

Quarter-Finals
Danny Noppert 9-10 Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price 8-10 Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross 10-5 Jose de Sousa
Mensur Suljovic 7-10 Joe Cullen

Evening Session (7pm-10pm)

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Nathan Aspinall
Joe Cullen 3-11 Rob Cross

Final
Rob Cross 11-8 Michael van Gerwen

Prize Fund
Winner: £120,000
Runner-up: £60,000
Semi-Final losers: £32,000
Quarter-Final losers: £20,000
Last 16 losers: £10,000
First Round losers: £6,000

European Darts Championship live stream | How to watch live online

The 14th staging of the European Darts Championship takes place in Salzburg, and a live stream is available for all matches.

The top 32 players on the 2021 European Tour Order of Merit will battle it out for the title and £500,000 prize fund across four days in front of up to 3,500 fans per session.

This year’s PDC European Tour was comprised of just two events – the Hungarian Darts Trophy and the Gibraltar Darts Trophy – thus resulting in a number of debutant qualifiers.

Peter Wright is the defending champion, having defeated James Wade 11-4 in last year’s final in Oberhausen, Germany.

Michael van Gerwen has won this event on four consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2017, while James Wade and Rob Cross claimed glory in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

World number one Gerwyn Price is the top seed, having won both Euro Tour events this season, with 2016 finalist Mensur Suljovic seeded number two and Brendan Dolan seeded number three.

The likes of Jose De Sousa, Michael Smith, Krzysztof Ratajski, Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen and 2012 champion Simon Whitlock will also be vying for the title.

Debutants include former World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale, Lewy Williams, Adam Gawlas, William Borland, Keane Barry and Florian Hempel.

All matches will be available to watch live on laptop, mobile and tablet in the UK and various other regions worldwide.

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How to watch European Darts Championship live stream

1) Go to Bet365.com via this special link

2) Register an account and make a first deposit up to £100 to receive up to £100 in Bet Credits (18+ only, T&Cs apply)

3) Once registered, go to the sports homepage and select ‘Darts’ from the left-hand menu

4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the live stream window will appear

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