Price Defence Underway as Schindler Shines

Red Dragon Darts


Gerwyn Price’s bid to win a third successive International Darts Open title began with victory over Brendan Dolan on Saturday, as Nathan Aspinall, Chris Dobey and Martin Schindler lit up Riesa with stunning second round displays.

Welsh star Price has taken victory in Riesa for the past two years and also took European Tour glory at the WT Energiesysteme Arena in 2018 and 2019.

He will now compete for a fifth Riesa title, and a third in a row in the event, in Sunday’s final stages following a solid 6-4 defeat of Northern Irish stalwart Dolan.

“I played alright I think,” said Price. “Brendan was a bit off his game and I wasn’t at my best, but I’ll be a lot better tomorrow.

“Riesa has been good to me and fingers crossed it’s going to be the same this weekend.”

Price now plays Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko in Sunday afternoon’s third round, after the 2023 German Darts Championship winner held his nerve to come from 5-4 down and edge out James Wade in a deciding leg.

Saturday’s double session in Riesa featured a series of spectacular displays, led by Chris Dobey as Tuesday’s Players Championship 8 winner targets back-to-back ranking titles.

Dobey was impressive in his 6-4 success against Krzysztof Ratajski, converting a spectacular 170 checkout and registering legs of 15, 12 15, 12, 10 and 14 darts to triumph with a 111.19 average.

Premier League star Aspinall, meanwhile, averaged 113.14 to complete a 6-2 demolition of Jonny Clayton in a repeat of last year’s World Matchplay final.

Aspinall landed a brace of ton-plus checkouts and pinned six of his ten attempts at double to cap off an imperious performance.

International Darts Open Riesa 2024

German star Martin Schindler will now take on Richard Veenstra for a quarter-final spot after he delighted the Riesa crowd with a 6-3 defeat of former International Darts Open champion Joe Cullen, averaging 105 and landing six 180s in a fine display.

Veenstra’s memorable weekend continued as he followed up a first round win over Andrew Gilding by dumping top seed Dave Chisnall out in Riesa as four straight legs sealed a 6-2 success.

World Champion Luke Humphries, the German Darts Grand Prix winner a fortnight ago, opened his challenge for back-to-back European Tour wins with a 6-2 win over Jose de Sousa.

Humphries’ power scoring saw him land six 180s which gave him the breathing space to miss 11 doubles, as the world number one progressed with an average of 99.65.

“I wasn’t at my menacing best but I thought I played alright considering the [humid] conditions,” said Humphries, who now plays Stephen Bunting. “We all have to deal with it.

“I was looking forward to another good reception from the crowd and I got it. Hopefully I can give them some good darts tomorrow.”

Ritchie Edhouse conjured up a brilliant 160 checkout to win an extraordinary last-leg shoot-out against Michael Smith, recovering from 5-3 adrift and defying nine 180s from the 2023 World Champion to seal his spot in the last 16.

Ryan Searle and Ross Smith also claimed deciding-leg victories against Daryl Gurney and William O’Connor respectively, with former European Champion Smith battling back from 5-2 down to complete an unlikely fightback.

Cameron Menzies also edged through 6-5 in a dramatic decider against Josh Rock, who missed two match darts before the Scot prevailed at the sixth time of asking.

Danny Noppert continued his fine form to overcome Dimitri Van den Bergh in a battle of the 2022 and current UK Open champions, averaging almost 101 and crashing in six maximums to set up a blockbuster showdown against Aspinall.

Masters champion Bunting also landed a ton-topping average in his 6-1 thrashing of Michael Unterbuchner – aided by consecutive 124 and 146 finishes – while Damon Heta swept aside Callan Rydz by the same scoreline.

Gabriel Clemens completed a trio of German stars to provide home hope going into the final day of action, as the former World Championship semi-finalist overcame Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4.

Belgian Darts Open runner-up Rob Cross was a narrow 6-5 winner over Dutch youngster Gian van Veen as the former World Champion edged through to a tie with Edhouse on Sunday afternoon.

The year’s third European Tour event will conclude on Sunday at the WT Energiesysteme Arena, with the third round in the afternoon session ahead of the decisive quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.

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

Saturday April 13

Second Round

Afternoon Session

Ross Smith 6-5 William O’Connor

Damon Heta 6-1 Callan Rydz

Ryan Searle 6-5 Daryl Gurney

Chris Dobey 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski

Danny Noppert 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Stephen Bunting 6-1 Michael Unterbuchner

Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Jonny Clayton

Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Michael Smith

Evening Session

Ricardo Pietreczko 6-5 James Wade

Richard Veenstra 6-2 Dave Chisnall

Martin Schindler 6-3 Joe Cullen

Gerwyn Price 6-4 Brendan Dolan

Cameron Menzies 6-5 Josh Rock

Luke Humphries 6-2 Jose de Sousa

Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Rob Cross 6-5 Gian van Veen

Sunday April 14

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Richard Veenstra v Martin Schindler

Nathan Aspinall v Danny Noppert

Damon Heta v Ryan Searle

Gabriel Clemens v Chris Dobey

Luke Humphries v Stephen Bunting

Rob Cross v Ritchie Edhouse

Gerwyn Price v Ricardo Pietreczko

Cameron Menzies v Ross Smith

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)


Veenstra/Schindler v Aspinall/Noppert

Heta/Searle v Clemens/Dobey

Humphries/Bunting v Cross/Edhouse

Price/Pietreczko v Menzies/R Smith



Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order


Images: Jonas Hunold / PDC Europe

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