Taylor & Barney KO'd From European Championship
Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld were knocked out of the partypoker.net European Championship in two amazing second round games with Ronny Huybrechts and Robert Thornton at the RWE Sporthalle in Muelheim, Germany on Saturday.
World Champion and four-time European Champion Taylor went down 10-5 to Ronny Huybrechts, as the Belgian produced the biggest victory of his career.
After Taylor took the game's opening leg, Huybrechts punished a string of misses from the world number one to win five successive legs in moving 5-1 up.
Taylor, inspired by his third 180 of the game, hit back to win three successive legs in pulling back to 5-4, but the Belgian turned the game back in his own favour with a pair of 14-dart finishes and a 96 checkout to lead 8-4.
Taylor landed a 174 score and tops to win a fifth leg, but crucially missed three darts at double 14 to continue his fightback as Huybrechts landed double ten to lead 9-5 before the Belgian took out 104 on double 16 for a famous victory.
"It's the best win I've ever had," admitted Huybrechts - who had been whitewashed 9-0 by Taylor in the UK Open last month. "Whenever you come into darts, it's Phil who you dream of beating and my dream came true today.
"I didn't play my best ever game, but I had to keep believing and when he missed his doubles, I hit the ones that mattered. I was so nervous at the end but I wanted to take that chance on 104 and I did.
"I'll relax now and prepare for the quarter-finals because it's a new day tomorrow."
Huybrechts will now play Robert Thornton in the last eight, after the Scot also caused a sensation with a thrilling 10-9 win over number eight seed Raymond van Barneveld - who had never previously lost to the former UK Open champion.
The match proved a tight one, with the lead changing hands four times as the pair shared the opening 12 legs, before Thornton took out 133, 64 and 142 to move 9-6 up and to the brink of victory.
Van Barneveld took out 164 to hit back, and when Thornton wobbled at the finishing line the Dutch ace hit back to force a deciding leg, in which he crucially missed two match darts at tops to allow the Scot in to finally seal victory on double five.
"It was a crazy match and I'm so happy to have won," said Thornton. "I thought had Raymond beaten at 9-7, but I always seem to make it tough for myself and do it the hard way!
"He had the momentum going into the last leg and I know he rarely misses in a situation like that, so I knew how important it was when he gave me a second chance.
"It's the first time I've ever beaten Raymond and I'm over the moon to be through to the final day, and hopefully I can improve on this and go all the way now."
A fantastic second round at the RWE Sporthalle also saw world number two Michael van Gerwen average almost 105 in a superb 10-3 win over Mervyn King, as he took out a pair of 136 finishes and a 130 checkout on the bull in a crowd-pleasing performance.
"I wasn't at my best in the first round against Kurt Van De Rijck and I wanted to improve today, so I'm very happy with that performance," said van Gerwen.
"I played very well and had some good finishing. Mervyn's a brilliant player so I'm very proud to beat him."
King admitted: "Michael played really well and I've got no complaints there. I didn't score as well as I normally do and Michael made me pay, but he was superb and I can't criticise my own game - I went up there and gave my all but it wasn't good enough today."
Van Gerwen will now play fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen in the quarter-finals on Sunday, after the former Lakeside Champion impressed with four ton-plus finishes and a 103.76 average in a 10-6 win over Justin Pipe.
"It took me a while to get into my own rhythm in this game, but after the tenth leg I felt good and that showed," said Klaasen. "The 167 was a good finish at the right moment and my finishing was very good - probably the difference there.
"I was probably more focused during this game than I have been in other games recently, but if I can play my game like this then I could do well this weekend.
"In the last five years I've been playing well but not well enough in the big tournaments, but I've changed my darts this year and changed by throw and it's coming together now."
Reigning champion Simon Whitlock moved into the last eight by defeating former world number one Colin Lloyd 10-6 in an entertaining battle.
The pair shared the first eight legs before Whitlock took the game's first break with a 13-darter as he took command, and he ended the game with six maximums and a near-100 average following a strong performance.
"I'm like a dog with a bone and I don't want to let go of this title," smiled Whitlock. "I won't be giving this up easily and I'm really pleased with this win.
"It was a hard game and Colin played very well. There weren't many chances there to break him so it was important that I took my chances on those two occasions, and I thought I was pretty consistent today and I took my doubles well."
Whitlock now meets Jamie Caven in the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon, after the Derby ace swept past world number four James Wade 10-2.
Caven had whitewashed Dave Chisnall 6-0 in the first round and won the opening four legs against Wade, and was on hand to punish the left-hander for his missed doubles as he took six successive legs in reaching his fourth major quarter-final.
"I'm absolutely delighted," said Caven. "James didn't play like he can but I felt that I didn't let him in the early part of the game either.
"To beat a player of James' calibre 10-2 is phenomenal for me but I was confident I'd get the job done. I tried to get on with my darts and not think about other things or get distracted.
"I'm enjoying myself and feeling confident, focused and relaxed. I've had some good battles with Simon before and who knows what will happen on Sunday."
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, meanwhile, will take on Andy Hamilton in the other quarter-final after the Stoke pair also progressed on Saturday.
Hamilton continued his run of reaching the last eight of every major tournament in the past 12 months with a 10-8 win over Paul Nicholson.
After the first six legs were shared, Nicholson took the next three for a 6-3 lead and also held a 7-4 cushion before Hamilton, fired up by a 13-darter, turned the game on its head by taking the next five legs.
Nicholson hit back to 9-8 as he continued to battle, but Hamilton landed a sixth 180 of the game in a 14-darter which sealed the win.
"It was a great battle," said Hamilton. "Paul played some good darts but I hung in there and fought like I do, and came out on top at the end.
"The 130 finish to pull back to 6-4 was important, and without that Paul might have gone on to win, but I got the momentum. I'm played well, my focus is good and I want to go on and win my first major now."
Hamilton's Stoke rival Lewis produced a superb display to defeat Kevin Painter 10-4 in their second round clash.
Painter led 2-1 before Lewis took command with finishes of 158 and 103, and the two-time World Champion pulled clear from being 5-4 up to take five successive legs in sweeping to victory, landing an 11-darter and taking his tally of 180s to six for the match.
"Kevin played well but I picked off a couple of good finishes at the right time," said Lewis. "I've been playing well for the last couple of months and I feel like I'm getting there.
"I'm not here to make up the numbers and it would be great to go all the way on Sunday - but there will be no easy games so I'll concentrate on getting read for Andy Hamilton."
Painter conceded: "I felt quite good but it didn't quite go for me tonight and I was beaten by a class player.
"I wasn't really at the races but Adrian's getting back to his old form and he's looking good. He outscored me all the way through and had a couple of lovely checkouts."
Sunday afternoon's quarter-finals will be followed on Sunday evening by the climax of the £200,000 event, which will see the semi-finals and final held at the RWE Sporthalle in Muelheim.
Full coverage of the tournament is available in the UK through www.LIVEPDC.TV for both the afternoon and evening sessions on Sunday, with ITV4 broadcasting live coverage from the evening session from 8pm (BST).
Coverage of the event is also live through RTL7 in the Netherlands, Sport1 in Germany, Fox Sports in Australia and Sky New Zealand.
partypoker.net European Championship
Saturday July 6
Jelle Klaasen 10-6 Justin Pipe
Andy Hamilton 10-8 Paul Nicholson
Simon Whitlock 10-6 Colin Lloyd
James Wade 2-10 Jamie Caven
Adrian Lewis 10-4 Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld 9-10 Robert Thornton
Phil Taylor 5-10 Ronny Huybrechts
Michael van Gerwen 10-3 Mervyn King
Sunday July 7
2pm-6pm Local Time (1pm-5pm UK Time)
As Per Draw Bracket
Ronny Huybrechts v Robert Thornton
Simon Whitlock v Jamie Caven
Michael van Gerwen v Jelle Klaasen
Andy Hamilton v Adrian Lewis
Best of 19 legs
9pm-12am Local Time (8pm-11pm UK Time)
Huybrechts/Thornton v Whitlock/Caven
van Gerwen/Klaasen v Hamilton/Lewis
Best of 21 legs
Best of 21 legs
* Please note that Semi-Finals will now commence at 9pm local time. At 8pm local time a charity game will be played on-stage.
Jelle Klaasen v Justin Pipe
0-0 - Justin Pipe won the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Klaasen lands a 180 in the opening leg, but Pipe takes out a 14-darter on double eight to move ahead.
1-1 - The Dutchman finishes double 18 to take out 61 in two darts to level.
1-2 - Pipe finishes double 16 to move back ahead.
1-3 - Klaasen lands another 180, but Pipe finishes double 16 to break throw.
2-3 - Klaasen breaks back immediately, with Pipe hitting a 180 but missing a dart at double 16 to allow the Dutchman to return from an earlier miss at double eight - to complete a 127 finish - by hitting the double with his third dart.
3-3 - Klaasen opens with a 180 and completes a 12-darter with a 121 finish, ending on double 14.
4-3 - Klaasen hits the front with another break of throw, taking out 110 on double 18.
4-4 - Pipe breaks back with a 14-darter, finishing 83 on double 16.
4-5 - Pipe misses double 12 to complete a 144 combination, but returns to land double six.
5-5 - Klaasen lands a 180, his fourth of the game, and levels by hitting double nine.
5-6 - Klaasen lands a 180 but Pipe finishes 64 on double 16 to move back in front.
6-6 - Pipe misses the bull for a 170 finish, and Klaasen returns on double 18 to level.
7-6 - Klaasen breaks throw with a superb 167 checkout.
8-6 - Pipe opens with a 180, but Klaasen finishes 106 on double 18 for a fourth ton-plus finish of the game.
9-6 - Klaasen hits tops for an 11-darter to move a leg away from the win.
10-6 - Double 18 sees the Dutchman reach his first televised quarter-final for three years with a 103.76 average.
Andy Hamilton v Paul Nicholson
0-0 - Paul Nicholson won the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Nicholson misses the bull for a 164 finish, but Hamilton is off-target on tops to break, and his opponent returns to hit double four to win the opener.
1-1 - The pair trade 180s, before Hamilton lands double ten to level.
1-2 - Nicholson lands double ten to hold throw and regain the lead.
2-2 - Hamilton levels on double 16.
3-2 - Hamilton secures the game's first break of throw by hitting double eight.
3-3 - Nicholson breaks back by taking out 86 on double seven.
3-4 - Nicholson moves back in front, finishing 79 on double 11.
3-5 - Nicholson breaks in a dramatic leg, with Hamilton missing one dart at double 16 and three further darts on the wire of double eight, with Nicholson initially off-target on tops for a 160 checkout but returning to post double five.
3-6 - Nicholson misses three darts to win the leg across two visits, but Hamilton misses double 16 for a 112 finish to step in, allowing his opponent back in to finish double five to move three legs clear.
4-6 - Hamilton hits back with a 130 checkout.
4-7 - Nicholson is first to a finish, with a 180 from Hamilton coming in vain as his opponent finishes 80 on tops.
5-7 - Nicholson this time hits a 180 only to lose the leg, as Hamilton posts double 16 for a fine 13-darter.
6-7 - Hamilton hits a 180 and posts tops to break throw and pull back to just one leg behind Nicholson.
7-7 - Nicholson misses a dart at tops, and Hamilton lands double eight to level the contest.
8-7 - Hamilton lands a 180 to join Nicholson on eight, and when his opponent misses three darts to win the leg, the Stoke ace posts double four to move ahead with a fourth succesive leg.
9-7 - Hamilton is first to a finish, but misses three darts to take the leg only to be allowed back by a miss at tops from Nicholson, with double ten putting the UK Open runner-up a leg away from the win.
9-8 - Nicholson takes out double eight to keep his hopes alive.
10-8 - Hamilton opens with a 180, and seals the victory with a 14-dart finish on double eight.
Simon Whitlock v Colin Lloyd
0-0 - Colin Lloyd wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Lloyd finishes 64 to win the opening leg in 15 darts.
1-1 - Whitlock levels on double eight.
1-2 - Lloyd lands a 180 as he regains the lead.
2-2 - Whitlock replies with a maximum in a fine 11-darter, taking out 81 on double 12.
2-3 - Lloyd misses a dart at tops, but Whitlock misses the same bed with one dart to break, and the Essex ace lands double ten to hold throw.
3-3 - Whitlock finishes 74 on double top to level the match once more.
3-4 - Lloyd takes out 87 on double five to continue the trend of players holding throw.
4-4 - Whitlock kicks off with a maximum and posts double 16 to square the game.
5-4 - Whitlock takes the first break of throw, landing double 12 for a 13-darter.
6-4 - The reigning champion posts a maximum and pins tops, at the fourth time of asking, to move two legs clear.
6-5 - Lloyd is first to a finish, with Whitlock hitting a 180 in vain as his opponent posts tops for a fine 13-dart finish.
7-5 - Whitlock hits tops to regain his two-leg cushion.
7-6 - Lloyd finishes 44 on tops to hit back.
8-6 - Whitlock lands double four to edge away from his opponent.
9-6 - The pair trade 180s before Whitlock misses the bull for a 130 finish, but when Lloyd is unable to post double six, the Australian returns to hit double four to break and move a leg away from victory.
10-6 - Whitlock fires in a sixth 180, and finishes 66 on double 18 to claim the win.
James Wade v Jamie Caven
0-0 - Jamie Caven wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Caven takes out 12 to win the opening leg.
0-2 - Caven breaks throw with double ten to move two legs up.
0-3 - Caven opens with a 180, and though Wade replies with a 171, the Derby ace posts double eight to continue his fine start.
0-4 - Wade misses a dart at tops, his first double chance of the game, and Caven hits the same bed to break throw once more.
1-4 - Wade misses double ten to take out 140, but even though Caven lands a 180 to apply the pressure, the world number four returns to hit double ten to win his first leg.
2-4 - The left-hander pins tops for a 14-darter to win his second leg of the game.
2-5 - Caven opens with a 180 and lands double 12 for a 13-darter.
2-6 - Caven lands another maximum and finishes double ten for another break to regain his four-leg lead.
2-7 - The Derby thrower posts a 171 before taking out 65 on double 16 to take a five-leg cushion.
2-8 - Wade wires a dart at tops, and Caven makes him pay by taking out 70 on double 16 to move just two legs away from a quarter-final spot.
2-9 - Wade misses another dart at double top, to take out 78, and Caven lands double 18 to edge closer to his fourth major televised quarter-final.
2-10 - Caven hits a 180, and when Wade misses three darts to keep the game alive, the Derby ace seals a brilliant win on double 14.
Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter
0-1 - The pair trade 180s in the opening leg before Painter takes out 24 to lead.
1-1 - Lewis levels by hitting tops for a 14-darter.
1-2 - Painter edges back ahead by finishing 32 with an improvised pair of double eights.
2-2 - Lewis fires in a superb 158 checkout to level.
3-2 - Lewis posts a 180, and when Painter misses double 18, he takes out 103 on double 16 to break for the first time.
3-3 - Painter breaks back by landing tops.
4-3 - Lewis hits double 18 for a third successive break of throw.
5-3 - Lewis posts a 180 and tops for a two-leg lead.
5-4 - Lewis misses double six for a 126 finish and three further darts to win the leg, and Painter returns from missing double ten for a 140 finish to hit the bed to win his fourth leg.
6-4 - Lewis fires in his fourth 180 of the game as he takes the tenth leg.
7-4 - The world number three finishes 76 on tops to move three legs clear of Painter.
8-4 - Lewis posts a fifth maximum and finishes 87 on double 18 for a brilliant 11-dart finish.
9-4 - A sixth 180 of the game pushes Lewis to a finish first, and he takes out 56 on double ten to move a leg away from the quarter-finals.
10-4 - Lewis seals the win on double nine, ending with an average of 100.34.
Raymond van Barneveld v Robert Thornton
0-1 - Thornton lands a 180 in the opening leg, and finishes tops for a 13-darter to take the lead.
1-1 - The pair trade 180s, with van Barneveld landing double ten to level in 13 darts.
2-1 - van Barneveld breaks throw by landing double eight for a 96 finish.
2-2 - Thornton breaks back, with van Barneveld this time missing double eight for another 96 finish and three further darts at the bed to allow the Scot in on tops.
2-3 - Double ten helps Thornton to win a key leg to regain the lead at the first break.
3-3 - van Barneveld levels by posting double eight.
3-4 - Thornton regains the edge by posting double top for a 13-darter.
4-4 - The Dutchman also lands tops as he squares the game once more.
5-4 - Thornton misses five darts at doubles top and ten, and van Barneveld breaks on double 16.
5-5 - Thornton breaks back immediately, finishing 95 on double five with his opponent waiting to pounce.
5-6 - Double top sees Thornton regain the lead - with the advantage having changed hands four times now.
6-6 - Thornton misses two darts at tops to break throw and lead by two legs, and van Barneveld lands double 16 to level.
6-7 - Thornton edges back in front by taking out a thrilling 133 on double eight.
6-8 - Thornton posts a 180 and finishes 64 in two darts on double eight to finally take a two-leg lead.
6-9 - van Barneveld fires in a second 180, but Thornton takes out a stunning 142 checkout to move to the brink of victory.
7-9 - The Dutchman keeps his hopes alive with a brilliant 164 finish!
8-9 - Thornton opens with a 180, but he misses the bull for a 124 finish and two further darts at double four, and the Dutchman breaks by landing double 18.
9-9 - van Barneveld takes the game to a deciding leg with a 13-darter, adding a third 180 and double six.
9-10 - van Barneveld opens with two 140s, with Thornton replying with his fifth 180 of the game before his opponent scores 90. Thornton adds a 137 to leave 40 - but when van Barneveld cannot finish 91, Thornton steps up only to miss two darts at double top and one at double ten. The Dutchman misses two match darts at tops, and Thornton posts double five for a dramatic win.
Phil Taylor v Ronny Huybrechts
1-0 - Taylor opens with a 14-darter, with both players kicking off the game with 180s before the World Champion pins double eight.
1-1 - Huybrechts finishes 78 in two darts to level the game.
1-2 - Taylor misses a dart at double 16 for a 101 finish, and Huybrechts hits the same bed to complete an 82 combination to break.
1-3 - Taylor scores a 177, but is unable to capitalise when Huybrechts initially misses three darts at double five, with a pair of missed darts at tops allowing the Belgian back in to finish double two.
1-4 - Huybrechts is first to a finish, but misses double 16 for an 81 checkout only to be allowed back in again when Taylor misses tops, and the Belgian hits double eight to move three legs clear.
1-5 - Taylor lands a 180 but again is unable to land the winning double, this time at the bullseye, as Huybrechts finishes 77 on tops to win a fifth successive leg.
2-5 - The duo trade 180s, and Taylor regains his range on the doubles by landing double 16 to hit back.
3-5 - Huybrechts misses five darts at doubles for a 6-2 lead, and Taylor continues his revival by hitting double four to break.
4-5 - Taylor takes out 72 on double six to win a third straight leg, cutting the gap to one.
4-6 - Taylor is unable to finish 126, and Huybrechts lands tops to take out 59.
4-7 - Double top again helps Huybrechts as he regains his three-leg cushion.
4-8 - Huybrechts moves four legs clear of the world number one by finishing 96, although it comes in improvised fashion as he hits a single one before taing out treble 19 and double 19.
5-8 - Taylor opens with a 174, and when Huybrechts misses a dart at tops, the four-time European Champion hits the same bed to win his fifth leg.
5-9 - Huybrechts misses a dart at tops for a 120 finish, but Taylor misses three darts at double 14 to allow the Belgian back on double ten to move a leg away from the biggest win of his career.
5-10 - Taylor is unable to finish 143, and Huybrechts steps in to finish 104 on double 16 for a famous win.
Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
1-0 - van Gerwen takes the opening leg on double seven.
1-1 - King replies by finishing 96.
2-1 - King lands a 180, but van Gerwen takes out 100 to move back ahead.
3-1 - van Gerwen breaks for the first time with a brilliant 136 checkout.
4-1 - The Dutchman wins a third successive leg with a 14-darter.
4-2 - van Gerwen misses double five to finish 130, and King lands double ten win his second leg.
5-2 - van Gerwen this time finishes 130, on the bullseye, to regain his cushion.
5-3 - van Gerwen posts his second 180 of the game, but King finishes 111 on tops.
6-3 - Double 16 sees van Gerwen win his sixth leg.
7-3 - King misses a dart at tops, and van Gerwen breaks throw by hitting double 16 once again.
8-3 - King lands a 180, but van Gerwen takes out his second 136 checkout of the game.
9-3 - van Gerwen hits his third 180 of the game and takes out 88 to move one leg away from victory.
10-3 - The Dutch ace posts a fourth maximum and takes out 72 on double 16 to wrap up the win.
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