Humphries and Home Trio Impress in Hildesheim

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Ricardo Pietreczko, Gabriel Clemens and Nico Kurz moved through to the last 16 at the Interwetten German Darts Championship on Saturday, as newly crowned World Grand Prix champion Luke Humphries also impressed.

Day Two of the year’s final European Tour event saw the German trio deliver superb performances to delight the partisan Hildesheim crowd, with Pietreczko producing the performance of Saturday’s second round.

Ricardo Pietreczko Interwetten German Darts Championship 2023

Pietreczko recorded a personal-best average of 107.08 to account for his compatriot Martin Schindler, landing four 180s and converting 103 and 102 finishes to close out an emphatic 6-2 success.

Clemens, meanwhile, won six of the last seven legs to defeat Dave Chisnall by the same scoreline, defying a 140 checkout from the top seed to progress with a ton-topping average of his own.

Host Nation Qualifier Kurz also raised the roof with an epic victory over Jonny Clayton, taking out 119, 116 and a brace of 81 finishes to prevail – sealing victory with a 12-darter on the bull.

There were eight seeded casualties on a remarkable day of action at Halle 39, although Humphries endured no such trouble in his first appearance since sealing World Grand Prix glory last weekend.

The 28-year-old maintained his blistering form to breeze past Boris Krcmar, firing in a trio of 12-darters and averaging 106 to preserve his hopes of topping the European Tour Order of Merit.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen also tasted victory on Saturday evening, opening his bid for a fourth German Darts Championship with a hard-fought 6-3 win over Steve Lennon.

Interwetten German Darts Championship 2023

The Dutch superstar will now face Joe Cullen in a repeat of last year’s Premier League final, after Cullen ran out a 6-4 winner against Arron Monk, who landed a spectacular 161 checkout in defeat.

World Champion Michael Smith survived a huge scare in his clash against Alan Soutar, racing 4-0 ahead before dodging a match dart to deny the spirited Scot in a last-leg thriller.

Smith’s next assignment will see him play sixth seed Rob Cross, who also won through a deciding-leg tussle against Gian van Veen, reeling off 11, 13 and 14-dart legs in the latter stages to triumph.

Elsewhere, James Wade defied a 102 average from World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall to move through to Finals Day, and his reward is a mouth-watering showdown against Humphries.

Peter Wright landed a brace of 116 finishes to secure a resounding 6-2 win against Chris Dobey, who now faces an anxious wait in his bid for European Championship qualification.

Masters champion Dobey can still be overhauled by Kurz, Jules van Dongen and George Killington, who are all through to the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time.

Killington produced one of the best performances of his career to whitewash Dirk van Duijvenbode, averaging 103 to follow up his win over nine-dart star Scott Waites in Friday’s first round.

Van Dongen continued his resurgence by averaging almost 102 in sweeping aside world number nine Danny Noppert, who posted a ton-plus average of his own in defeat.

Martin Lukeman can also seal a European Championship spot at Dobey’s expense, and he preserved his hopes of qualification with victory against Ryan Searle.

Lukeman hit six 180s to record a 6-4 success against Searle, punishing a profligate display from the Somerset star to set up a meeting with second seed Damon Heta for a place in the last eight.

Australian number one Heta landed two ton-plus finishes to deny a spirited Darryl Pilgrim, producing a four-leg burst midway through the match to continue his bid for a second European Tour crown.

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Stephen Bunting maintained his blistering form to account for fifth seed Josh Rock, conjuring up a 126 finish on the bull to complete a 6-3 demolition of the World Youth Champion with a 101 average.

Elsewhere, European Champion Ross Smith – a late replacement for Gerwyn Price this weekend – capitalised on his lifeline to run out a 6-3 winner against 2019 champion Daryl Gurney with a 102 average.

Smith will now lock horns with German number one Clemens in Sunday’s opening last 16 tie, as the 2023 European Tour season draws to a close.

Following Sunday afternoon’s third round action, the German Darts Championship will conclude with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a blockbuster evening session.

The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

2023 Interwetten German Darts Championship

Saturday October 14
Second Round
Afternoon Session
Rob Cross 6-5 Gian van Veen
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Ryan Searle
Jules van Dongen 6-2 Danny Noppert
Damon Heta 6-4 Darryl Pilgrim
George Killington 6-0 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Josh Rock
Nico Kurz 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Ross Smith 6-3 Daryl Gurney

Evening Session
Joe Cullen 6-4 Arron Monk
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-2 Martin Schindler
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Steve Lennon
Peter Wright 6-2 Chris Dobey
Luke Humphries 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Michael Smith 6-5 Alan Soutar

Sunday October 15
Third Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Gabriel Clemens v Ross Smith
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen
George Killington v Ricardo Pietreczko
Stephen Bunting v Jules van Dongen
Damon Heta v Martin Lukeman
Nico Kurz v Peter Wright
Luke Humphries v James Wade
Rob Cross v Michael Smith

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order


Images: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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