BEATON KO^S WORLD CHAMPION AS STARS TURN UP THE HEAT IN DUSSELDORF
STEVE BEATON knocked World Champion Adrian Lewis out of the European Darts Open with a significant 6-3 victory in Germany on Saturday night, as big guns Simon Whitlock, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld moved into the third round of the European Tour event.
Lewis had swept into the last 32 of the £82,100 tournament at the Maritim Hotel in Dusseldorf on Friday night with a whitewash of qualifier Karsten Kornath, but was unable to repeat the performance against Beaton.
After sharing the game^s first four legs, number 32 seed Beaton won four of the next five to claim victory - with his progression to the last 16 on Sunday also meaning he has one hand on qualification for the Betfair World Matchplay.
The cut-off for the World Matchplay is following the European Darts Open, with James Hubbard and Colin Osborne mounting a late charge to challenge for a qualification place through the ProTour Order of Merit, with Peter Wright and Joe Cullen now sweating on Sunday^s results as they hang on to provisional places.
Hubbard kept his hopes alive in dramatic fashion with a 6-5 win over Steve Brown on Saturday night, with the Bristol man missing six match darts in the deciding leg as his own hopes of winning a Blackpool place were ended.
Osborne defeated Kevin Painter 6-2 earlier on Saturday in the opening second round contest, and now plays Swindon^s Johnny Haines in the last 16 - with Haines having punished Cullen for missing six darts to win their game before claiming a narrow 6-5 victory.
Haines - along with Gino Vos and Mark Dudbridge - would need to at least reach the European Darts Open final on Sunday night to snatch a place in Blackpool.
Vos set up a clash with fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld by ending German hopes in the event with a win over Tomas Seyler, with the five-time World Champion seeing off Brendan Dolan 6-3.
Dudbridge, meanwhile, rolled back the years with a 6-4 win over world number five Wes Newton as he booked his place in Sunday afternoon^s third round.
World number three James Wade saw off Holland^s Jelle Klaasen to set up a third round game with Andy Smith, who dropped only one leg in defeating Northern Ireland^s Michael Mansell.
Mervyn King stared defeat in the face against Ronnie Baxter, who missed tops for victory in the deciding leg of their clash before the Norfolk ace edged through to set up a clash with Beaton.
World number six Simon Whitlock thrilled the Dusseldorf crowd with a 160 checkout and an 11-dart finish during his 6-1 win over Ronny Huybrechts, the Belgian qualifier who was joined by brother Kim in exiting the event on Saturday, with the younger sibling losing in a deciding leg to Dave Chisnall.
Richie Burnett continued his strong form so far in the event with a 6-3 win over Scott Rand which included the Welshman hitting five darts from as many attempts at double top during the game.
Burnett now plays Michael van Gerwen, who came from 4-3 down to defeat Brian Woods 6-4, while Mark Walsh took a 6-1 win over Croatia^s Tonci Restovic to set up a clash with Hubbard.
The day^s other winner was Speedy Services UK Open champion Robert Thornton, who progresses to face Whitlock after defeating Vincent van der Voort 6-4, with the Dutchman hitting five 180s but paying the price for missed doubles.
Sunday sees the third round games played in the afternoon session before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session, when the destiny of the £15,000 first prize is decided.
The PDC hope to conduct the Betfair World Matchplay draw on Sunday evening following the confirmation of the 32 qualifiers for the event, with the leading 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit joined by the top 16 qualifiers from the ProTour Order of Merit.
European Darts Open
European Tour Event Three
Maritim Hotel, Dusseldorf
Saturday July 7
Colin Osborne 6-2 Kevin Painter
Johnny Haines 6-5 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Brian Woods
Mark Walsh 6-1 Tonci Restovic
Gino Vos 6-4 Tomas Seyler
Mervyn King 6-5 Ronnie Baxter
Andy Smith 6-1 Michael Mansell
Richie Burnett 6-3 Scott Rand
Robert Thornton 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Mark Dudbridge 6-4 Wes Newton
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
James Wade 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Ronny Huybrechts
Steve Beaton 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Brendan Dolan
James Hubbard 6-5 Steve Brown
Sunday July 9
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Steve Beaton v Mervyn King
Johnny Haines v Colin Osborne
Simon Whitlock v Robert Thornton
Mark Dudbridge v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Andy Smith
Raymond van Barneveld v Gino Vos
James Hubbard v Mark Walsh
Richie Burnett v Michael van Gerwen
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
All games are the best of 11 legs.