DENNIS NILSSON claimed a debut win on the PDC European Tour with a thrilling 6-5 defeat of Steve Beaton as the HappyBet International Darts Open began with the first round on Friday.
The 41-year-old - a former runner-up in Sweden's Strongest Man competition - has previously competed in the World Championship five years ago before winning through a qualifier in Scandinavia to seal a first European Tour appearance.
There, he claimed a narrow win over former European Tour winner Beaton in a thrilling contest, which saw four ton-plus checkouts shared before the former Lakeside Champion missed his chance for victory in the deciding leg.
Nilsson took out an early 120 finish as he moved into a 3-1 lead, with Beaton hitting back to level with checkouts of 136 and 121 only to see the PDCNB qualifier power take out 160 and 90 to move to the brink of victory.
Beaton took the next two to send the game into a decider, but missed match darts at double 16, eight and four to allow Nilsson in, and the Swede took out 106 to secure a second round spot, where he meets Daryl Gurney on Saturday.
Another former European Tour winner, Vincent van der Voort, was knocked out in Friday's first round as Peter Jacques enjoyed a 6-4 triumph to set up a tie with another Dutchman, Benito van de Pas.
The former Austrian Darts Open winner had led 2-0 and opened the third leg with six perfect darts, but allowed Jacques back into the game before the English qualifier took four of the final five legs for victory.
Kyle Anderson (pictured) averaged 100.59 as he set up an all-Australian second round tie with Simon Whitlock by defeating Dutchman Jerry Hendriks 6-1, finishing a clinical six doubles from eight attempts in the victory.
Anderson raced into a four-leg lead without missing a double, with Hendriks finally getting a dart at a double himself in leg six as he kept the tie briefly alive before the Australian closed out the win.
Reigning International Darts Open winner Mensur Suljovic will open his title defence on Saturday night against Ireland's William O'Connor, who came from 2-0 and 4-2 down against Dimitri Van den Bergh before defeating the Belgian 6-4.
German favourite Max Hopp now meets Alan Norris after claiming a 6-4 win over Welsh left-hander Mark Webster, who hit back from 3-1 down to level before the former World Youth Champion finished the stronger.
Youngster Josh Payne was too strong for German qualifier Bernd Roith, with a 6-4 win booking the youngster a date with shooting star Rob Cross, who was the runner-up in the German Darts Grand Prix in Mannheim a fortnight ago.
York left-hander Chris Quantock also overcame a Host Nation Qualifier as a 6-3 win over Dragutin Horvat - which featured 6/10 on his doubles - set up a second round tie with number one seed Peter Wright.
Richie Corner also overcame German opposition with a 6-3 win over emerging Berlin ace Martin Schindler, following a second 120 finish of the match with a 147 checkout as he set up a tie with fellow Yorkshireman Joe Cullen.
Darren Webster now meets Premier League ace Dave Chisnall after a key 138 finish helped him come from 4-3 down to defeat Luke Woodhouse 6-4 in their first round tie.
Dutch left-hander Ron Meulenkamp takes on Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner Michael Smith following his 6-1 win over Mick McGowan, taking out 118 and 6/11 in his finishing on the way to victory.
Emerging Irish ace Steve Lennon impressed with a 99 average and 6/12 doubles as he overcame Simon Stevenson 6-2, setting up a second round showdown with Gerwyn Price.
Former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown came from 2-0 down to defeat Dutch qualifier Michael Plooy 6-4 in their opener as he moved through to play Ian White on Saturday.
Brendan Dolan whitewashed Andy Hamilton in a battle of two former TV finalists, with the Northern Irishman now set to take on Premier League star Jelle Klaasen in the last 32.
Greek ace John Michael set up a second round meeting with former European Tour winner Mervyn King courtesy of a 6-3 win over Hungarian debutant Nandor Bezzeg.
Christian Kist defied finishes of 150 and 164 from Justin Pipe as the Dutchman came from 4-1 and 5-3 down to claim victory in the deciding leg of their contest, meaning that he now plays Kim Huybrechts.
The Belgian's elder brother Ronny Huybrechts will also be in action in Saturday's second round, after holding off a fightback from Ted Evetts to eventually claim a 6-4 win from their tie.
HappyBet International Darts Open
Friday September 22
Brendan Dolan 6-0 Andy Hamilton
Steve Lennon 6-2 Simon Stevenson
Darren Webster 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Christian Kist 6-5 Justin Pipe
Chris Quantock 6-3 Dragutin Horvat
William O'Connor 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ron Meulenkamp 6-1 Mick McGowan
Josh Payne 6-4 Bernd Roith
John Michael 6-3 Nandor Bezzeg
Keegan Brown 6-4 Michael Plooy
Max Hopp 6-4 Mark Webster
Ronny Huybrechts 6-4 Ted Evetts
Peter Jacques 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Richie Corner 6-3 Martin Schindler
Dennis Nilsson 6-4 Steve Beaton
Kyle Anderson 6-1 Jerry Hendriks
Saturday September 23
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Gerwyn Price v Steve Lennon
Ian White v Keegan Brown
Jelle Klaasen v Brendan Dolan
Mervyn King v John Michael
Kim Huybrechts v Christian Kist
Cristo Reyes v Ronny Huybrechts
Benito van de Pas v Peter Jacques
Joe Cullen v Richie Corner
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Dave Chisnall v Darren Webster
Daryl Gurney v Dennis Nilsson
Michael Smith v Ron Meulenkamp
Peter Wright v Chris Quantock
Rob Cross v Josh Payne
Mensur Suljovic v William O'Connor
Alan Norris v Max Hopp
Simon Whitlock v Kyle Anderson
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