Rob Cross progresses in European Matchplay along with reigning champion van Gerwen
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen progressed to the final day of action at the 2019 European Darts Matchplay in Mannheim, Germany, beating Michael Smith 6-2.
In front of a packed crowd at the Maimarkthalle, there was little to separate the two on the averages, but a dominant display of doubling was key for the World Champion as he landed 60 per cent of his efforts to Smith’s 22.After falling 2-1 behind early on, Van Gerwen won five straight legs to take the victory and progress.In a rematch of last weekend's final, he will now face Mensur Suljovic - the winner of the Austrian Darts Championship - as he continued his fine form by beating Kim Huybrechts 6-1 to progress.Averaging 101.97 - the highest of the evening - the Austrian raced to a 5-0 lead before Huybrechts avoided the whitewash with his solitary leg.Last year’s finalist William O’Connor made it to the final day of action as he stunned Peter Wright in a last-leg decider.The Irishman was clinical on three-figure checkouts, landing finishes of 100, 118 and a match-winning 105 on his way to victory.Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski was also pushed to a last-leg decider as he beat Keegan Brown 6-5.He will now face Adrian Lewis in the last 16.UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall was sent packing in a 6-3 defeat to Wayne Jones, who progressed to the Third Round of a European Tour event for the first time this year.Jones raced into a 4-1 lead, and despite Aspinall closing the gap to one at 4-3, the 54-year-old raced on and sealed victory with a 141 checkout.Two home-favourites also departed the tournament as Ricky Evans beat Karsten Koch 6-3, and Ian White saw off Gabriel Clemens by the same score line.And in the final game of the evening, Joe Cullen eased past Jamie Hughes 6-3 to set up a third round clash with O’Connor.Earlier in the day, Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price were the standout performers of the afternoon.The latter achieving a 102.16 average in a 6-3 demolition of Simon Stevenson, while Cross whitewashed German qualifier Marvin Wehder.Dave Chisnall opened the session with a 6-2 victory over 23-year-old Ryan Meikle, with Jonny Clayton following Chisnall into the final day after surviving a scare in a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Scott Taylor.World Matchplay Semi-Finalist Glen Durrant safely progressed to the third round as he saw off Cody Harris 6-3, whilst Daryl Gurney beat John Henderson 6-4 to ensure his progression.Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis showed flashes of brilliance in his dominant 6-2 victory over Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode and James Wade also won by the same scoreline in victory over Bradley Brooks.The 2019 European Darts Matchplay concludes tomorrow with the Third Round, with the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final in the evening.2019 European Darts MatchplayFriday September 6 First RoundAfternoon Session Scott Taylor 6-5 Matthew EdgarBradley Brooks 6-4 Mark McGeeneyRyan Meikle 6-3 Brett ClaydonMarvin Wehder 6-3 Dennis NilssonCody Harris 6-4 Ross SmithDirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Krzysztof KciukJohn Henderson 6-3 Ryan JoyceGabriel Clemens 6-2 Steffen Siepmann
Evening SessionSimon Stevenson 6-3 Florian HempelJamie Hughes 6-5 Wesley PlaisierKeegan Brown 6-3 Simon WhitlockKarsten Koch 6-3 Maik KuivenhovenKim Huybrechts 6-5 Robert ThorntonMichael Smith 6-3 Steve LennonWilliam O'Connor 6-5 Max HoppWayne Jones 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Saturday September 7 Second RoundAfternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)Dave Chisnall 6-2 Ryan MeikleJonny Clayton 6-4 Scott TaylorJames Wade 6-2 Bradley BrooksAdrian Lewis 6-2 Dirk van DuijvenbodeGlen Durrant 6-3 Cody HarrisDaryl Gurney 6-4 John HendersonGerwyn Price 6-3 Simon StevensonRob Cross 6-0 Marvin Wedher
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)Ricky Evans 6-3 Karsten KochIan White 6-3 Gabriel ClemensKrzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Keegan BrownMichael van Gerwen 6-2 Michael SmithMensur Suljovic 6-1 Kim HuybrechtsWilliam O'Connor 6-5 Peter WrightWayne Jones 6-3 Nathan Aspinall Joe Cullen 6-3 Jamie HughesSunday September 8Third Round Afternoon SessionMichael van Gerwen v Mensur SuljovicAdrian Lewis v Krzysztof RatajskiDaryl Gurney v Rob CrossDave Chisnall v Ricky EvansIan White v Jonny ClaytonJames Wade v Wayne JonesWilliam O'Connor v Joe CullenGerwyn Price v Glen DurrantEvening SessionQuarter-FinalsSemi-FinalsFinal