Wicked Wizardry in Budapest - Day 1 Hungarian Darts Trophy
The tenth Euro Tour of the year got underway in Hungary on Friday as the Hungarian Darts Trophy First Round action commenced. Simon Whitlock sets up a rematch with Michael van Gerwen on Saturday after he beat home favourite Janos Vegso 6-2 including six maximums on the oche.
The Wizard impressed last month in his hometown having beat the reigning Premier League and World Matchplay champion at the New South Wales Darts Masters in front of his adoring fans. The reigning World Cup of Darts winner averaged 95.23 and included two ton plus finishes in back-to-back legs to set up another tie with MVG.
A finish off 122 in the second leg broke his Hungarian opponent before a 147 check out in the third leg gave him breathing space, the highest of the match. An edgy finish saw the Winmau man finish the match with another break of throw, finding double four for the eight and final leg of the tungsten tussle.
Ryan Meikle continued his impressive run in 2022 by reaching the Second Round in Budapest after beating Gabriel Clemens 6-4 in the last match of Friday’s action. The Red Dragon star averaged the lower of the two players on the oche with both players including three maximums each.
The Barber included his highest finish of the match in the third leg having gone 2-0 down to his German opponent, finishing 82 for a hold of throw.
The Ipswich thrower crucially broke throw in the tenth leg knowing if he lost the leg, the German Giant would have had the darts in the eleventh and deciding leg. Double tops second dart completed a 47-checkout allowing Meikle to progress, going through to face former World Matchplay Semi Finalist Krzysztof Ratajski in Saturday’s afternoon session.
Daryl Gurney won the all Northern Irish battle at the end of Friday’s afternoon session in Hungary, beating young Nathan Rafferty 6-1 showing experience beats youth on this occasion. The Winmau man goes through to face US Darts Masters champion Michael Smith in the Second Round, maybe an upset could be on the cards?
Superchin was in sensational form on the oche averaging a fantastic 105.30 missing just four darts at double over the seven legs played. His 22-year-old opponent’s only success came in the second leg with the highest finish of either player in the match, taking a 108 checkout to level at 1-1 knowing if he missed Gurney would return for double 16.
Having impressed during the World Matchplay with his blind 180 and victory over Gary Anderson in Blackpool, the former Grand Prix champion showed just why he is a PDC Major champion after closing with a 76 finish on double eight second dart to reach the next round against Bully Boy.
The action continues Saturday from Hungary with Peter Wright the reigning World Champion returning to competitive action having missed the three World Series in Australia and New Zealand. World Number 1 Gerwyn Price will not be in action having pulled out of the tournament yesterday meaning Madars Razma gets a bye to the Last 16 on Sunday.
By Harry Masterson
Hungarian Darts Trophy Results:
Madars Razma 6-5 Franz Roetzsch
Jim Williams 6-5 Brett Claydon
Boris Krcmar 6-1 Levente Sarai
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-2 Jeff Smith
Josh Rock 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Thibault Tricole
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-2 Andras Borbely
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Nathan Rafferty
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Ian White
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Daniel Larsson
William O’Connor 6-2 Pal Szekely
Chris Dobey 6-3 Ted Evetts
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Janos Vegso
Stephen Bunting 6-0 Callan Rydz
Ryan Meikle 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
Raymond van Barneveld (BYE)
Saturday’s Order of Play: Afternoon
Damon Heta (7) v Josh Rock
Danny Noppert (14) v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Ryan Searle (8) v Karel Sedlacek
Dirk van Duijvenbode (10) v Chris Dobey
Michael Smith (4) v Daryl Gurney
Krzysztof Ratajski (16) v Ryan Meikle
Dimitri van den Bergh (13) v William O’Connor
Jonny Clayton (15) v Dave Chisnall