Joe Cullen, Jelle Klaasen, Mervyn King and Brendan Dolan all claimed dramatic 6-5 victories as they won through to the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon at the expense of Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade, Dave Chisnall and Ross Smith.

Austrian Darts Open23-year-old Cullen from Yorkshire, reached the last eight at the European Tour event in Wiener Neustadt for a second successive year following a thrilling clash with van Barneveld.

The youngster led 5-3 but missed match darts in the next two legs as the Dutchman levelled – only for van Barneveld to then see a dart at double 16 for a 104 checkout land just outside the wire as Cullen returned to take out 99 on double 18 for a famous win.

Dutch ace Jelle Klaasen also stared defeat in the face in a high-quality third round game with world number three James Wade, who missed seven match darts in the deciding leg of their clash.

King, meanwhile, edged out Dave Chisnall in another 11-leg epic, which saw the world number nine hit five 180s and finishes of 144 and 120, only to miss his chance in the deciding leg.

Chisnall hit a maximum as he left 85 after nine darts, but could only score six as he sought the killer blow, and King stepped in to hit tops for a 13-darter to move into a quarter-final with Cullen.

Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan was the third round’s other 6-5 winner as he edged out emerging Ross Smith, who missed five darts at double eight in the 11th leg of their clash.

World number two Michael van Gerwen also had some nervous moments in his 6-3 win over Ronnie Baxter, who led 3-2 but could not answer a barrage from the Dutchman, who hit legs of 11, 11 and 14 darts in sweeping to the victory.

Dennis Smith averaged almost 103 in an impressive 6-1 win over Robert Thornton as he reached his first-ever European Tour quarter-final, where he now plays Colin Lloyd after the Essex ace overcame Wes Newton 6-4.

Steve Beaton’s 6-1 win over Kevin McDine sets him up for a clash with Klaasen in the quarter-finals, as the £100,000 tournament reaches its conclusion on Sunday night, with the last eight matches to be followed by the semi-finals and final at the Arena Nova.

Austrian Darts Open Third Round Results

Sunday June 2
Afternoon Session
Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Ross Smith 5-6 Brendan Dolan
Robert Thornton 1-6 Dennis Smith
Wes Newton 4-6 Colin Lloyd
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 James Wade
Kevin McDine 1-6 Steve Beaton
Raymond van Barneveld 5-6 Joe Cullen
Dave Chisnall 5-6 Mervyn King

Evening Session
Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan
Dennis Smith v Colin Lloyd
Jelle Klaasen v Steve Beaton
Joe Cullen v Mervyn King

Semi-Finals
van Gerwen/Dolan v Smith/Lloyd
Klaasen/Beaton v Cullen/King

Final

All games are the best of 11 legs.

Match Information
Michael van Gerwen came from 2-0 down to book his place in the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals with a 6-3 defeat of Ronnie Baxter. Baxter hit a 180 and tops to win the first leg, before punishing missed doubles from van Gerwen to take out 90 and double his lead – but was made to pay for six missed doubles in the third when van Gerwen took out 96 to hit back. Van Gerwen landed a 180 as he levelled in the fourth, before Baxter regained his lead with a 14-dart finish. The Blackpool ace, though, missed tops for a 145 finish in leg six as van Gerwen pinned double ten, before the Dutch ace found his best form – taking legs of 11, 11 and 14 darts to power to victory. The pair traded 180s in leg seven as van Gerwen left 32 after nine darts, before the Dutchman hit seven perfect darts in leg eight with two 180s and another treble 20 before missing his attempt at treble 19 for a perfect leg, and he then landed tops in the next to seal the win.

Brendan Dolan snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he edged out Ross Smith 6-5 to reach the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals. The pair shared the opening two legs, with Dolan edging the third following misses from Smith, who then took out 141 in leg four. Dolan won the fifth and then finished 92 to break for a 4-2 lead, only for Smith to punish him in the next as he landed double 16 and then took out 56 to level. Dolan finished 72 to move 5-4 up, but missed a dart for the match at tops for a 120 finish as Smith forced a decider, and it was the Challenge Tour event winner who was first to a finish in leg 11, scoring 140, 180 and 105 – only to miss five darts outside double eight to allow his opponent back in on double 16.
Brendan Dolan: “Ross should have won that and he had me beaten in the last leg, so I suppose I’m still lucky to be in, but I’ve got a chance to improve now and I’ll have to against Michael van Gerwen tonight. He’s been phenomenal and the best player in the world in the last six or eight months and he’ll be awesome up here, so I’ve got to pull my finger out!”

Dennis Smith powered his way into the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals with a superb 6-1 win over Robert Thornton, averaging almost 103 in a fine display. The pair traded 180s in the opening leg as Smith hit a 14-darter, before Thornton levelled in the second on double 16. Smith, though, won the third leg with another 14-darter before taking out 121 on the bull to break in the fourth as he moved 3-1 up with a 12-darter. Thornton replied with a 180 in the fifth but missed his chance to break back as Smith posted double 16 before moving 5-1 up on tops and hitting the same bed to complete a 13-darter in the next as he sealed a fine win, with the pair sharing six 180s and Thornton’s average only dipping below 100 in the final leg.
Dennis Smith: “I put the pressure on Robert there and I’m really happy to be in the next round. I’ll settle down now and prepare for the evening, and I’ll try to do the same again in the quarter-finals.”

Colin Lloyd won through to his first quarter-final of 2013 at the Austrian Darts Open with a 6-4 win over Wes Newton. After the pair shared the opening two legs, with Lloyd kicking off with a 14-darter, the Essex ace then defied a 180 fom Newton to win the third before breaking on double ten for a 3-1 lead. Newton edged the fifth to break back, despite missing five darts at doubles initially, but was punished for missing his chance to level in the next as Lloyd edged 4-2 up. Newton took the next two to level and landed a 180 in leg nine, but missed double 16 as Lloyd regained the lead at 5-4. Newton hit a 180 to leave 78 in the next, and when Lloyd missed the bull for a 121 checkout he returned to the oche, but missed double 12 and six and Lloyd stepped back to hit double four to take victory.

Jelle Klaasen reached his first European Tour quarter-final with a dramatic 6-5 win over James Wade, who missed seven match darts in the deciding leg. Wade made a sensational start, winning the first three legs and taking out finishes of 121 and 104 in the process. Klaasen hit back, taking out 80, 130 and 50 to level, and the next two legs were shared before the pair traded 180s in leg nine, which Wade took with his second 13-darter in succession. The pair also traded maximums in the tenth leg, with Wade missing one match dart for a 104 finish as Klaasen hit double nine to force a decider. Wade, with scores of 137, 86, 100 and 140, was first to a finish as he left 38 after nine darts, with Klaasen trailing, but the world number four missed four darts at double ten and one each at double five, two and one to allow Klaasen back in, and he sneaked the victory on double six in a game which saw both players end with ton-plus averages.
Jelle Klaasen: “It was a really good game. It’s always tough against James and I missed a few chances. In the last leg, maybe I was a little bit lucky but that’s darts.”

Steve Beaton dropped only one leg as he swept past Kevin McDine to reach the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals. Beaton landed a 177 as he won the opening leg in 14 darts, and the pair traded 180s as he took the second on double 18 before McDine hit back with another maximum and double 16 to get off the mark. Beaton, though, hit legs of 14 and 13 darts to move 4-1 up, landed double 16 for a 5-1 lead and hit the same bed to seal the win and set up a quarter-final with Jelle Klaasen.
Steve Beaton: “Kevin’s played really well in the last few days so I’m really pleased to win so well. Anything can happen now and I’m feeling confident and looking forward to tonight.”

Joe Cullen reached the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals for a second successive year with a thrilling 6-5 win over Raymond van Barneveld. After van Barneveld won the game’s opening leg with a 13-dart finish, Cullen took the next three to move 3-1 up, hitting a 14-darter to break throw in the process. Cullen also had a chance to win the fifth as van Barneveld hit back, and the Dutchman then took out 85 to level – only to miss his chance to move ahead in the next in two visits as Cullen edged 4-3 up on double four and then took out double ten to move to the brink of victory. However, he missed match darts in the next two legs as van Barneveld finished 56 and 79 to force a decider. Cullen hit a 180 in the deciding leg, and when van Barneveld missed double 16 for a 104 finish to snatch victory, the youngster made no mistake at the third time of asking by taking out 99 on double 18 – joyously leaping across the stage.
Joe Cullen: “It’s a very good win and it means a lot to me. I rarely react but I’d missed do many doubles for that match that when I won it, I was so relieved and it all came out. Raymond wasn’t at the top of his game and I had to take my chance, which I did.”

Mervyn King edged past Dave Chisnall in another dramatic 11-leg contest as he reached the Austrian Darts Open quarter-finals. Chisnall took a 2-0 lead with finishes of 144 and 120, and both players hit 180s in the third leg as King hit back with a 13-darter before levelling in 12 darts, landing a maximum and a 102 finish. Chisnall took the next two to move 4-2 up, punishing misses from King in leg five before posting a sparkling 12-dart finish, but missed his chance to lead by three legs as King hit back to win the seventh. King defied a Chisnall 180 to level at four-all before hitting double four to edge the ninth. Chisnall produced a superb 13-darter to force a deciding leg in which he hit a fifth 180 of the game in leaving 85 after nine darts – but he could only score six, single two, single three and single one, as he searched for the killer blow, and King finished tops for a 13-darter to edge the win.
Mervyn King: “It was always going to be close. Dave’s a fantastic player and if he’d hit his doubles later on then I might not have been in the game. I’m looking forward to playing Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals because he’s a class young player and I’ll have to turn up and play very good darts to beat him.”

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