Rob Cross progresses in European Matchplay along with reigning champion van Gerwen

Rob Cross. Picture by Tobias Wenzel/PDC Europe.
Rob Cross. Picture by Tobias Wenzel/PDC Europe.

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 Matchplay
Friday September 6 First Round
Afternoon Session

Scott Taylor 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Bradley Brooks 6-4 Mark McGeeney
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Brett Claydon
Marvin Wehder 6-3 Dennis Nilsson
Cody Harris 6-4 Ross Smith
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
John Henderson 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Steffen Siepmann

Evening Session
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Florian Hempel
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Wesley Plaisier
Keegan Brown 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Karsten Koch 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Robert Thornton
Michael Smith 6-3 Steve Lennon
William O'Connor 6-5 Max Hopp
Wayne Jones 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan

Saturday September 7 Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Scott Taylor
James Wade 6-2 Bradley Brooks
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Glen Durrant 6-3 Cody Harris
Daryl Gurney 6-4 John Henderson
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Rob Cross 6-0 Marvin Wedher

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Ricky Evans 6-3 Karsten Koch
Ian White 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
William O'Connor 6-5 Peter Wright
Wayne Jones 6-3 Nathan Aspinall
Joe Cullen 6-3 Jamie Hughes

Sunday September 8
Third Round Afternoon Session

Michael van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic
Adrian Lewis v Krzysztof Ratajski
Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall v Ricky Evans
Ian White v Jonny Clayton
James Wade v Wayne Jones
William O'Connor v Joe Cullen
Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant

Evening Session