Gian Van Veen thrashes Nathan Aspinall in Hungarian Darts Trophy to close in on World Grand Prix spot

Gian van Veen moved into the provisional World Grand Prix qualification places following a 6-1 rout of Nathan Aspinall at the Hungarian Darts Trophy on Saturday.

Day Two of the season’s penultimate European Tour event saw the 16 seeded players enter the fray in Budapest, with Aspinall one of five seeds to crash out on a dramatic day of action at the MVM Dome.

Aspinall averaged 101 and landed four 180s in a high-scoring affair, but Van Veen’s devastating doubling saw him power to victory over the world number five.

This result also ended Ricardo Pietreczko’s hopes of World Grand Prix qualification, though Luke Woodhouse preserved his bid for a double-start debut with a 6-3 success against Rob Cross.

Woodhouse averaged 97 and pinned 55 per cent of his attempts at double to topple the sixth seed, but he must reach at least the Quarter-Finals on Sunday if he is to claim a spot in next month’s World Grand Prix in Leicester.

Woodhouse will now face Peter Wright on Sunday afternoon after the Scot overcame Scott Waites to secure his first win on the European Tour stage since his Czech Open triumph back in May.

Luke Humphries delivered the performance of the day in the Hungarian capital as he averaged 108.5 in a 6-2 defeat of Keane Barry, which featured a 125 checkout and a brace of 12-darters.

Gerwyn Price was also in ruthless mood as he whitewashed a helpless Nathan Rafferty, averaging 106 to set up an enthralling showdown against reigning champion Joe Cullen.

Cullen began his title defence with a battling 6-4 victory against ten-time major winner James Wade, overcoming a sluggish start to book his place in Round Three.

Michael van Gerwen marked his return to Euro Tour action with a 6-4 victory over European Champion Ross Smith – who fought back from 5-2 down to threaten a remarkable comeback.

Michael Smith also fended off a late rally from Jose de Sousa to progress to Sunday’s latter stages, capitalising on De Sousa’s doubling woes to move through to a tie against Mike De Decker.

Despite being outscored by the Portuguese star, Smith raced into a 5-1 lead with clinical 135 and 90 finishes, before halting De Sousa’s run of three straight legs to prevail with a 13-darter.

De Decker, meanwhile, produced another superb display of finishing to dispatch fifth seed Josh Rock, converting 124, 114 and 110 finishes to complete a 6-1 rout of the World Youth Champion.

Top seed Dave Chisnall commenced his challenge for a third Euro Tour title of 2023 with a comfortable 6-2 win over Scott Mitchell, averaging 96 and firing in three 180s along the way.

Jonny Clayton saw off a crestfallen Jermaine Wattimena in the evening’s finale, surviving six match darts in the penultimate leg before landing a 114 checkout in the decider to book a meeting against Van Gerwen.

Meanwhile, a resurgent Scott Williams punished fourth seed Dirk van Duijvenbode to maintain his winning run in Budapest, defying six maximums from the Dutchman to seal 6-3 success.

Williams will now face Dutch number two Danny Noppert – who registered six 180s in his narrow victory against Swedish debutant Anton Ostlund, producing a 14-dart break of throw in the decider to prevail.

Rowby-John Rodriguez celebrated a first career victory over Ryan Searle to progress to the Last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time this year.

Damon Heta breezed through with a whitewash of Host Nation Qualifier Nandor Major – who had made history by becoming the first Hungarian player to win on the European Tour on Friday.

Martin Schindler kicked off Saturday’s double session with a comprehensive 6-1 rout of Sebastian Bialecki, posting a ton-plus average to breeze through to the Last 16.


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Hungarian Darts Trophy 2023 Day Two Results

Saturday September 23

Second Round

Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Martin Schindler 6-1 Sebastian Bialecki
Danny Noppert 6-5 Anton Ostlund
Ryan Searle 4-6 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Josh Rock 1-6 Mike De Decker
Rob Cross 3-6 Luke Woodhouse
Dirk van Duijvenbode 3-6 Scott Williams
Damon Heta 6-0 Nandor Major
Joe Cullen 6-4 James Wade

Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Nathan Aspinall 1-6 Gian van Veen
Luke Humphries 6-2 Keane Barry
Peter Wright 6-3 Scott Waites
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Nathan Rafferty
Michael Smith 6-4 Jose De Sousa
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Ross Smith
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Scott Mitchell
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena

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