Humphries Halts Littler As Heta Shines

Red Dragon Darts


Luke Humphries returned to winning ways against Luke Littler on an extraordinary day of action at the European Darts Grand Prix, while Damon Heta produced one of the best performances in European Tour history in Sindelfingen.

Humphries and Littler’s latest showdown took centre stage on Day Two at the Glaspalast, and it was Humphries who emerged victorious in an 11-leg epic.

Littler had won the pair’s last six meetings since January’s World Championship final, but Humphries ended that streak in style, courtesy of a sublime 11-dart break in a last-leg decider.

“That record wasn’t something that was playing on my mind,” insisted Humphries, who averaged 101 and crashed in five 180s to complete a comeback from 5-4 down.

“Luke is a fantastic player and in elite level sport, these runs of results can happen, but of course I’m relieved that run is over!”

Saturday’s second round action saw 16 matches take place across two sessions, and Heta stole the show with a mesmerising display, registering the third-highest average in European Tour history.

European Darts Grand Prix 2024

The Australian number one averaged 117.48 to defeat Mickey Mansell 6-2 – landing four 11-darters to sink the Northern Irishman, who averaged 104 in defeat.

Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price also hit the heights during a blockbuster evening session, averaging 110 in resounding wins over Christian Perez and Brendan Dolan respectively.

Anderson was imperious on his return to European Tour action, and he will renew his rivalry with Price in Sunday’s last 16, after the Welshman dispatched Dolan in a seven-leg blitz.

Elsewhere, reigning champion Rob Cross defied a 106 average from Martin Schindler to triumph in a last-leg classic, surviving two match darts to end Schindler’s hopes of back-to-back European Tour titles.

Gabriel Clemens is the last German representative standing in Sindelfingen, punishing an erratic performance from his compatriot Ricardo Pietreczko to progress to a meeting with top seed Dave Chisnall.

Michael van Gerwen began his bid for a third European Darts Grand Prix crown with a thumping 6-1 win over Sweden’s Johan Engstrom, aided by a ton-topping average and finishes of 103, 112 and 114.

Michael Smith fended off a valiant fightback from birthday boy Raymond van Barneveld to triumph in a battle of the former World Champions, wrapping up proceedings with a 14-dart hold in the decider.

Earlier in the day, Stephen Bunting produced a brilliant tops-tops 100 finish to celebrate a dramatic 6-5 win over Ryan Searle, rallying from 5-3 down to win a 15th consecutive last-leg decider on the European Tour.

Jonny Clayton and Danny Noppert also celebrated deciding-leg victories on Saturday afternoon, dumping out Chris Dobey and Daryl Gurney in the process.

Clayton converted 106, 118, 121 and 127 checkouts before surviving four match darts to prevail in a last-leg shoot-out, as Noppert fired in a 13-dart break to deny Gurney with a 103.89 average.

Chisnall returned to winning ways with a battling 6-3 victory against Keane Barry, while Scott Williams pinned six of his nine attempts at double to extend Krzysztof Ratajski’s winless run on the European Tour.

Josh Rock landed a brace of 170 checkouts to wrap up a 6-2 rout of Jeffrey Sparidaans, while Ross Smith’s mid-match burst saw him defeat Luke Woodhouse by the same scoreline.

Smith’s reward is a last 16 clash against Ritchie Edhouse, who followed up his opening round win over James Wade by demolishing fifth seed Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1.

The third round will take place on Sunday afternoon in Sindelfingen, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

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

2024 European Darts Grand Prix

Saturday April 20
Second Round
Afternoon Session
Scott Williams 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ross Smith 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Ryan Searle
Ritchie Edhouse 6-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Danny Noppert 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Keane Barry
Josh Rock 6-2 Jeffrey Sparidaans

Evening Session
Gary Anderson 6-3 Christian Perez
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Michael Smith 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Damon Heta 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Rob Cross 6-5 Martin Schindler
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Johan Engstrom
Luke Humphries 6-5 Luke Littler
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Ricardo Pietreczko

Sunday April 21
Third Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Josh Rock v Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price v Gary Anderson
Rob Cross v Danny Noppert
Luke Humphries v Stephen Bunting
Ritchie Edhouse v Ross Smith
Damon Heta v Scott Williams
Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton
Dave Chisnall v Gabriel Clemens

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order


Images: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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