Vincent van der Voort beat Adrian Lewis in a thrilling encounter as the first round of the Happybet European Darts Matchplay came to a close on Friday at the edel-optics.de Arena in Hamburg.

In a strange affair, the Dutchman raced into a five-nil lead, taking out checkouts of 116, 105 and 81 in thne process as he looked to be cruising towards a whitewash victory.

Lewis then really started to rally, and finally started to find some luck on the doubles as he broke the van der voort throw to keep the game alive and get his first leg on the board.

A hold of throw followed, before he fired seven perfect darts on his way to another break and a third consecutive leg. 

The two-time World Champion was then the width of a wire away from becoming the first player since Ross Smith in 2013 to hit a nine-darter on the European Tour, as his final dart came just inside D12 for the crowning glory.

However, this was to be the final leg that Lewis collected, as van der Voort thwarted the comeback by landing D11 to clinch a 6-4 victory.

Greece's John Michael recovered from 5-2 down to beat debutant Erik Tautfest in a decider. With the first five legs going against the throw, the home-nation qualifier looked set to book his place in the Second Round, only for Michael to recover superbly.

Nevertheless, Tautfest had his chances as he missed eight darts for the match allowing Michael to break twice, before taking out a stunning 141 to seal the victory. 

Kyle Anderson also scraped through in a deciding leg as he saw off the challenge of Christian Kist, with Peter Jacques repeating the trick against Chris Dobey.

Stephen Bunting made a bright start to his weekend as he comfortably saw off Kenny Neyens. An electric start put him into a 5-0 lead, with Neyens avoiding the whitewash with three straight legs of his own, before Bunting stumbled over the line.

It's been a poor weekend for the home-nation qualifiers, with Mike Holz the next to crash out as he let a three-leg lead over Scotland's John Henderson slip in a 6-4 defeat.

Elsewhere, Dirk van Duijvenbode beat Darren Webster 6-3 and Nathan Aspinall saw off Chris Quantock by the same scoreline. 

Earlier in the day, German hopes were squashed as World Cup pairing Max Hopp and Martin Schindler crashed out of the competition. 

Hopp, who impressed with some expert finishing in Frankfurt last weekend, was left ruing missed doubles as he landed just two of his 16 attempts in a 6-2 defeat to Mike De Decker. 

Martin Schindler went closer to progressing, but squandered darts for the match as Andy Hamilton clinched three successive legs to take a 6-5 victory.

Justin Pipe put in the performance of the afternoon as he beat Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4, averaging 98.52 and landing 45% of his double attempts.

Peter Hudson kicked off the day with a 6-1 demolition of Brendan Dolan, with Richard North then inflicting the same result on Mickey Mansell.

James Wilson beat debutant Lee Bryant 6-4, whilst Jimmy Hendriks pushed aside Andy Jenkins to secure his second round berth. 

And there was more last leg decider drama as Marko Kantele edged out Antonio Alcinas. 

The HappyBet European Darts Matchplay continues on Saturday with the 16 seeded players entering the competition. 


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LIVE STATS
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HappyBet European Darts Matchplay
Friday June 9
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time)
First Round


Peter Hudson 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Richard North 6-1 Mickey Mansell
Justin Pipe 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski 
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Martin Schindler
James Wilson 6-4 Lee Bryant
Marko Kantele 6-5 Antonio Alcinas
Mike de Decker 6-2 Max Hopp
Jimmy Hendriks 6-4 Andy Jenkins 

Friday June 9 
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time)


Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Chris Quantock 
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Darren Webster 
John Henderson 6-4 Mike Holz
Peter Jacques 6-5 Chris Dobey
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Kenny Neyens 
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Adrian Lewis
John Michael 6-5 Erik Tautfest 
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Christian Kist