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Article: Humphries Defends European Darts Matchplay

Humphries Defends European Darts Matchplay

Luke Humphries returned to winning ways on the PDC European Tour, successfully defending the European Darts Matchplay after beating Dirk van Duijvenbode 8-7 in the Final. Cool Hand Luke claims £30,000 in prize money, winning his first Euro Tour of the year having won four last year.

The 28-year-old came through a real battle with former Premier League Darts winner James Wade, finding a 7-5 win in the Semi Finals with the Machine averaging 109.12 despite defeat.

"Overall I think I played well, but I was very lucky. To pick my fifth one up is a big feeling”.

The Red Dragon player opened his final day in Trier in emphatic style, claiming a 6-3 victory against former BDO World Champion Stephen Bunting with a 109 average. Luke included 6 180s in beating the Bullet, as well as a checkout rate of 75% having missed just 2 darts at double.

Humphries continued to impress on the outer ring in his Quarter Final win over Nathan Aspinall, finishing at 46.15% in a 6-2 win over the Asp, again producing a 109+ average in front of a lively crowd at the Trier Arena.

The Newbury player who came into the competition as the Number 1 Seed faced a spirited James Wade in the Semi Finals, with the 2-time Euro Tour winner including a 109+ average and 10 180s despite a 7-5 defeat.

Cool Hand Luke also found a ton plus average, scoring 105.57 over the 12 legs played at the Trier Arena. The Aldershot born player produced the highest finish of the match, hitting a 150 check out in the 3rd leg to break throw.

Humphries once more was ruthless on his doubles, missing just 3 darts in producing a checkout rate of 70% against a player who impresses on the outer ring on a regular basis.

The Englishman would face Dirk van Duijvenbode, who reached the Final after beating the likes of reigning World Champion Michael Smith in the Quarters and 3 Time Euro Tour winner Joe Cullen in the Semi’s.

The Dutchman found the early break in the Final, finishing 127 to take the darts of Humphries before moving into a 3-1 lead in a race to 8. The Red Dragon player found back-to-back breaks himself before taking the lead (5-4) for the first time in the 9th leg.

Van Duijvenbode produced the highest finish of the Final in the 11th leg, pinning the bull for a 161 checkout, a break of throw and a 6-5 lead.

The Dutchman’s wait for a Euro Tour title however will go on, after the World Number 6 broke in the 14th leg to level the Final at 7-7, before clinching the last leg decider on throw with his first dart at double 10.

"He had the chances there and didn't take them. It's horrible for him to lose that - Dirk's a fantastic player and there's no doubt he's going to win five, six, seven, eight in the next couple of years because he's an incredible player.

"I know how Dirk feels because I've lost four this year - it's very hurtful and if I'd lost a fifth it probably would have crushed me a little bit more.

"I'm over the moon - I don't want to be too down on myself, that's my fifth title in less than a year so I'm really happy."

Gian van Veen reached his second Euro Tour Quarter Final this year, producing a flawless finishing display in whitewashing Damon Heta 6-0 in the Second Round with an average of 114.15. Joe Cullen also returned to form with a run to the Semi Finals at the European Darts Matchplay, losing out in a last leg decider against Dirk van Duijvenbode in the Semi’s.

Humphries will return to action this weekend as the Professional Darts Corporation runs the inaugural Poland Darts Masters in Warsaw.

By Harry Masterson

2023 European Darts Matchplay Results:

Last 16:

Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Ryan Searle

Joe Cullen 6-4 Ryan Joyce

Michael Smith 6-4 Josh Rock

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-0 Dimitri van den Bergh

James Wade 6-2 Rob Cross

Gian van Veen 6-2 Martin Schindler

Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Danny Noppert

Luke Humphries 6-3 Stephen Bunting

Quarter Finals:

Joe Cullen 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Michael Smith

James Wade 6-3 Gian van Veen

Luke Humphries 6-2 Nathan Aspinall

Semi Finals:

Dirk van Duijvenbode 7-6 Joe Cullen

Luke Humphries 7-5 James Wade


Luke Humphries 8-7 Dirk van Duijvenbode

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