Pauk Nicholson produced a miracle comeback to keep alive his hopes in the European Darts Trophy with a 6-5 win over Colin Lloyd, as big guns Michael van Gerwen, Wes Newton and John Part progressed to the last 16 in Sindelfingen.

european darts trophyThe Asset, the runner-up in last year’s Dutch Darts Masters event in Nuland, found himself 5-1 down in his second round clash with Lloyd at the Glaspalast on Sunday evening.

But the former Players Championship Finals winner hit back to win five successive legs to move into Monday’s final stages, where he continues against Dean Winstanley in the third round.

“I keep winning 6-5, I did it against Ronny Huybrechts in the first round too, and I don’t want to keep doing that,” admitted Nicholson. “I don’t know how I won that but it’s great to be through.

“The experience of getting to a European Tour final in Nuland last year will stand me in good stead on Monday, and I hope that the hard work I’ve put in, and the mental belief I have now, might pull me through.”

Winstanley secured his place in the last 16 with a 6-3 win over German teenager Max Hopp, the 16-year-old who continued his emergence with another strong display.

In-form Dutch star three Michael van Gerwen whitewashed Darren Webster 6-0 as he booked his place in the third round in comfortable style, as he edges closer to securing second place in the PDC Order of Merit.

Van Gerwen entered the event ranked third in the OoM, but a run to the semi-finals on Monday night would see him jump above Adrian Lewis to a career-high ranking.

“Sometimes you need to win games like this when you’re not at your best, and I’m pleased to have done that,” said van Gerwen.

“Tomorrow will be a tough day because it will be four games if I am going to win the event, but I want to get to number two in the world and it’s great to have a chance to do that.”

Van Gerwen will meet European Tour debutant Jamie Robinson in the last 16, after the Essex thrower matched Nicholson in coming from 5-1 down to take victory as he defeated Brendan Dolan.

Robinson had also come from 5-2 down against Richie Burnett in the first round, and admitted: “”It’s certainly not planned, but maybe when the other players have got to five legs, the pressure has come off me, and I never give in. I keep trying and it’s coming together for me.”

McCoy’s Premier League Darts star Wes Newton edged out former World Youth Champion Arron Monk 6-5 to set up a third round game with Peter Wright, who swept past Colin Osborne 6-1.

UK Masters champion John Part remains on course for a second successive European Tour title after he defeated another Premier League star, Robert Thornton, 6-4 in a high-quality contest.

“That’s a fantastic win for me,” said Part. “Robert beat me in Wigan a couple of weeks ago and he’s in great form. There was a lot of respect between us during the match and I missed a few doubles, but to cross the winning line is great for me.”

The Canadian now plays Ronnie Baxter, who came from 2-0 down against Ireland’s Connie Finnan to take a 6-4 victory from their clash.

Another Premier League star, Andy Hamilton, also missed out as he went down 6-3 to Mark Webster, who replied to a 154 finish from the Stoke ace with a superb ten-darter as he moved into the last 16.

Webster will meet Ian White in Monday’s third round, after the German Darts Masters runner-up of last September took a superb 6-2 win over Ross Smith.

World number nine Justin Pipe defeated Joe Cullen 6-1 and will now meet Nick Fullwell in the third round, after the Midlander overcame Kevin Painter 6-4.

Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts’ reward for a narrow 6-5 win over Jamie Caven is a third round clash with York’s Terry Temple, who knocked out Terry Jenkins 6-4 with a memorable performance.

Austrian star Mensur Suljovic defeated Michael Smith 6-4 and will now play Andy Smith in the third round, after he overcame Mervyn King in a deciding leg.

The tournament concludes on Monday, with the third round being held in the afternoon session before the destiny of the £20,000 title is decided by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session at Stuttgart’s Glaspalast.

European Darts Trophy Second Round Results

Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, Germany
Sunday March 31

Afternoon Session
Ian White 6-2 Ross Smith
Brendan Dolan 5-6 Jamie Robinson
Peter Wright 6-1 Colin Osborne
Justin Pipe 6-1 Joe Cullen
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Jamie Caven
Michael Smith 4-6 Mensur Suljovic
Mervyn King 5-6 Andy Smith
Terry Jenkins 4-6 Terry Temple

Evening Session
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Connie Finnan
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Darren Webster
Robert Thornton 4-6 John Part
Wes Newton 6-5 Arron Monk
Max Hopp 3-6 Dean Winstanley
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Kevin Painter
Colin Lloyd 5-6 Paul Nicholson
Andy Hamilton 3-6 Mark Webster

Monday April 1
Third Round
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Mensur Suljovic v Andy Smith
Kim Huybrechts v Terry Temple
Wes Newton v Peter Wright
Justin Pipe v Nick Fullwell
Michael van Gerwen v Jamie Robinson
John Part v Ronnie Baxter
Ian White v Mark Webster
Dean Winstanley v Paul Nicholson

Evening Session (7pm)
Quarter-Finals
Suljovic/Smith v Huybrechts/Temple
Newton/Wright v Pipe/Fullwell
van Gerwen/Robinson v Part/Baxter
White/ v Winstanley/Nicholson

Semi-Finals
Final
All games on Monday played in draw bracket order, and the best of 11 legs.

Match Information
Afternoon Session
Ian White opened the European Darts Trophy’s second round games with an impressive 6-2 win over Ross Smith. White, last year’s runner-up to Adrian Lewis in the German Darts Trophy, continued his run of form at the Glaspalast by winning the opening four legs against Smith – hitting legs of 14, 14 and 13 darts in succession – as he maintained a ton-plus average with some heavy scoring and clinical finishing. Smith finished 68 and 80 to win two of the next three, but White sealed the win on tops.
“I enjoy playing here,” said White. “It’s a good crowd and I feel relaxed up on stage, and I seem to play good darts here.”

Comeback kid Jamie Robinson continued his memorable European Tour debut by following up his first round fightback against Richie Burnett – when he hit back from 5-2 down to take victory – to see off Brendan Dolan in a deciding leg. Dolan made a strong start, winning the game’s first three legs – taking out a 14-darter to break in the second – before Robinson got off the mark, but another brace for the Northern Irish star pushed him to the brink of victory at 5-1. Robinson hit back in leg eight and then finished 101 and 121 before landing tops to force a decider, and when Dolan missed the bull to finish 92, another double top checkout gave the Colchester thrower victory and a place in the last 16.
“It’s certainly not planned, but maybe when the other players have got to five legs, the pressure has come off me, and I never give in,” said Robinson. “I keep trying and it’s coming together for me, and I’m happy.”

Peter Wright swept aside Colin Osborne with a 6-1 win to book his third round spot. After Wright took the opener, Osborne hit back with a 71 finish to level – but the Lowestoft thrower pulled clear by taking leg three, edging a scrappy fourth on double one and finishing 40 to lead 4-1. He then took out 36 and tops to secure the win.

Justin Pipe dropped only one leg as he defeated Joe Cullen to reach the third round. Pipe hit a 180 in taking the opening leg, and punished Cullen for missed doubles in the second as he moved 2-0 up before the youngster hit his second 180 of the game to get off the mark. Cullen added another maximum in leg four, but missed his chance to level as Pipe moved 3-1 up, took out 62 in the next leg and landed a 180 as he moved clear at 5-1, before punishing further misses from the Bradford ace to seal the win on double eight.
“It’s great to win 6-1 and I want to continue this form on Monday now,” said Pipe. “I beat Joe last year in Austria and went on to win the tournament, so I hope it’s a good omen for me!”

Kim Huybrechts held off Jamie Caven’s fightback to take a dramatic 6-5 win as he won through to the European Darts Trophy’s third round. The Belgian came from 2-1 down to win four successive legs, including legs of 11 and 13 darts, to move to the brink of victory at 5-2. Caven, though, hit back with double 19, double ten and a 68 finish to force a deciding leg. Caven started the better with scores of 100, 139 and 92 to be first to a finish, with Huybrechts hitting back with a maximum – before the English ace missed double 14 twice and double seven before then bursting his score needing seven to allow Huybrechts in on double six to finally seal the win.
“I was so nervous!” admitted Huybrechts. “I was 5-2 up and needed just one good leg but it didn’t come. Jamie missed his doubles in the last leg, and I’m so lucky to be through.”

Mensur Suljovic reached the third round of a second successive European Tour event by defeating Michael Smith 6-4. Suljovic punished missed doubles from Smith by taking out 120 and 127 to win the first two legs before the youngster hit back with a 13-darter. The Austrian took out 80 to lead 3-1, but Smith finished 70 and then took out a 12-darter to level the game. Suljovic took out 114 to regain his cushion, and edged the eighth leg on double eight, and though Smith hit back in 14 darts, the Austrian was the more consistent in leg ten and took out 63 for the win.

Andy Smith sneaked past Mervyn King to book his place in the last 16 against Mensur Suljovic on Monday. Smith kicked off the game with an 11-darter before a brace of double four finishes edged King ahead, and he also led 3-2 before Smith levelled and then finished 101 and 119 to move to the brink of victory. Smith missed a dart at double top for the match as King took the ninth leg, and tops from the Bradwell ace forced a decider, but scores of 140, 100 and 140 put Smith first to a finish and he took out double eight for a 14-darter to seal the win.
“It was a very close match,” said Smith. “Mervyn came back well and I thought I’d lost it when it went to the last leg, but I dug in and made sure I hit the winning double. Mervyn’s a class player so I’m happy with that and it will be a different challenge again on Monday against Mensur, but I’ll do my best to stop him.”

Terry Temple defeated Terry Jenkins 6-4 to complete the afternoon session’s second round games at the European Darts Trophy. Jenkins won the opener on double five, but Temple levelled with a 72 finish, hit double five to win the third leg and 95 to move 3-1 up. Jenkins posted tops to win the fifth, but Temple landed seven perfect darts in the next, missing out on a possible nine-darter by missing treble 19 but winning the leg in 11 darts for a 4-2 lead. Jenkins hit back with a 13-darter, and landed two 180s of his own as he levelled, but Temple hit a 110 finish to edge back ahead and double 16 to seal a fine win.
“I’m really happy to be in the third round,” said Temple. “I’m pleased with the win, and even if Terry didn’t play his best darts I took my chances.”

Evening Session
Ronnie Baxter kicked off the evening session with a 6-4 win over Connie Finnan in a see-saw contest. Finnan made the better start, hitting double 11 to win the first leg and taking out 62 in the second before Baxter hit back, taking out double ten, a 13-darter to level, a 114 finish to move 3-2 up and double eight for a fourth successive leg. Finnan hit back with an 11-darter and then levelled with the aid of a 180, but Baxter regained the edge with double 16 and punished four missed doubles from the Irishman to seal victory on double five.
“My performance wasn’t as good as yesterday, when I beat Kevin Dowling, but it’s a win and I’ll take that,” said Baxter. “Connie threw some brilliant darts and gave me some nervous moments there.”

Michael van Gerwen swept past Darren Webster without dropping a leg to set up a third round clash with Jamie Robinson in the European Darts Trophy on Monday. Van Gerwen asserted his command by hitting double eight, double ten and double two to take the first three legs before finishing double top in the next two for a 5-0 cushion, with Webster missing two darts to get off the mark in leg five. Van Gerwen then sealed the win in style by completing a 13-darter on tops.
“Sometimes you need to win games like this when you’re not at your best, and I’m pleased to have done that,” said van Gerwen. “Tomorrow will be a tough day because it will be four games if I am going to win the event, but I want to get to number two in the world and it’s great to have a chance to do that.”

John Part continued his challenge for a second successive European Tour title with a 6-4 win over in-form Robert Thornton. Part won the opening leg on double five before Thornton punished misses from the Canadian in the next two and then finished 70 on tops to lead 3-1. Part, though, took the next three to move 4-3 up, but missed a quartet of darts at double 11 as the Scot levelled, only to then take out 69 for a 5-4 lead and punish four missed doubles from Thornton to force a decider by landing double 11 for the victory.
“That’s a fantastic win for me,” said Part. “Robert beat me in Wigan a couple of weeks ago and he’s in great form. There was a lot of respect between us during the match and I missed a few doubles, but to cross the winning line is great for me.”

Wes Newton booked his place in the last 16 with a narrow 6-5 win over Arron Monk in a thrilling contest. Monk took the game’s opening leg with a 101 finish, but Newton checked out 64 to level and then took the next two with 107 and 122 combinations before the Fleetwood ace punished five missed doubles from his opponent by landing tops for a 4-1 cushion. Monk’s double trouble continued in the next leg, but Newton missed the bull for a 127 finish to allow him back in on double eight, and he then took out double ten to pull back to 4-3. Newton then missed the bull to take out 124 as Monk scrambled home double five to level, but the Fleetwood ace produced a fine ninth leg to finish double eight to regain the edge. Monk then saved the game by landing the bullseye for an 83 combination to force a decider, but Newton landed two tons and a 140 to be first to a finish, giving him the cushion to miss six darts for the game before finally landing double two to take victory.
“Arron’s a very dangerous player and very good and I’m happy to win that,” said Newton. “I was so nervous in the last leg and I was praying for that double to go in at the end!”

Dean Winstanley ended German hopes with a 6-3 win over 16-year-old prospect Max Hopp. Winstanley took the opening leg on tops, before Hopp hit the same bed to level – but the youngster was punished for missed doubles in the next two as Winstanley finished 64 and a 13-darter to move 3-1 up. Hopp took two of the next three to stay in touch at 4-3, but Winstanley followed an earlier 78 finish by landing tops to win his fifth leg and double eight to secure the win.
“I’m really chuffed to be through,” said Winstanley. “Max is a local lad and he was great, and the crowd really got behind him.”

Nick Fullwell produced an upset with a 6-4 win over Kevin Painter, as he set up a clash with Justin Pipe in the third round. Painter finished 93 for the first leg before the pair traded double top finishes to leave the former Players Championship Finals winner 2-1 up. Fullwell finished double four and double nine to move ahead, but Painter hit back by taking out 66 on double 18 to level. Fullwell took the next two, including a 14-darter, to move 5-3 up, and though Painter finished 101 to stay in the hunt, the Midlands ace took out 78 on tops to claim the spoils.
“It wasn’t the best game but I’m happy to be through,” said Fullwell. “Anything’s possible now going into the final day, the draw’s wide open and we’re all in it to win it.”

Paul Nicholson produced a sensational comeback from 5-1 down to defeat Colin Lloyd 6-5 and reach the European Darts Trophy’s last 16. Lloyd made a quick start, taking out 83 to win the opening leg and also grasping the next two before Nicholson finished 80 to get off the mark. Double 14 restored Lloyd’s cushion at 4-1 before Nicholson was punished for missing six darts to win the seventh leg as Lloyd hit a 171 to set up double eight. Nicholson took out double two and double eight to hit back to 5-3, before posting double 12 and double 16 to force a deciding leg, and when Lloyd struggled to find the treble he took advantage by being first to a finish and landing tops.
“I keep winning 6-5, I did it against Ronny Huybrechts in the first round too, and I don’t want to keep doing that,” admitted Nicholson. “I don’t know how I won that but it’s great to be through. The experience of getting to a European Tour final in Nuland last year will stand me in good stead on Monday, and I hope that the hard work I’ve put in, and the mental belief I have now, might pull me through.”

Mark Webster completed the second round action at the European Darts Trophy with a 6-3 win over Andy Hamilton. Hamilton took two of the first three legs before Webster took out 40 to level, 71 to move ahead and double two to take a key 4-2 cushion. Hamilton overcame the double troubles which he suffered in the previous leg with a 154 finish to hit back, but a brilliant ten-darter from Webster – which featured scores of 140, 177, 144 and double top – put him 5-3 up before he sealed the win on double 12.

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