STEVE BEATON survived a match dart to defeat Kim Huybrechts 6-5 in a dramatic first round game at the European Darts Trophy, as the European Tour event began in Gottingen on Friday.

The clash between the two former European Tour event winners promised to be the tie of the opening round and so it proved, though Beaton looked like a runaway winner as he raced into a 5-1 lead.

A determined Huybrechts, who averaged 96.2 and missed just three darts at double, fought back to level at 5-5 as both players battled to progress to the second round of the weekend's £135,000 event.

The Belgian missed a dart at the bullseye for a 121 checkout in a tense deciding leg before Beaton found tops with his last dart to land a high-pressure 78 finish and seal his place in the Unibet European Championship in Dortmund later this month.

Steve Beaton (PDC)

"I always believe I can win at any stage of a match, that's probably why I've lasted so long in the game," said Beaton, who will now take on Gerwyn Price in a replay of their World Grand Prix second round clash.

"It proves what a good player Kim is the way he didn't give in and came back at me. In the last leg I was hoping he would give me a chance which he did and I took it - that's darts!

"I love the crowd and I love playing darts - what could be better than playing on this stage?"

Vincent van der Voort (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe)

World number one Michael van Gerwen will face fellow-Dutchman Vincent van der Voort in round two after former European Tour event winner Van der Voort produced a sublime display to defeat Simon Stevenson 6-3.

The experienced Dutch star fired in five 180s and missed just three darts at double as he produced a 104 average to set up a third meeting with Van Gerwen in 2018.

Dutch Darts Championship finalist Ricky Evans topped Van der Voort's efforts with the display of the opening round, continuing his fine form with a 104.7 average to seep aside Andrew Gilding 6-1.

Jeffrey de Zwaan (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe)

World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan saw off German qualifier Steffen Siepmann 6-3 to set up a clash with World Champion Rob Cross, while world number two Peter Wright will take on Jelle Klaasen.

Klaasen - who became a father for the second time this week - secured a much-needed 6-4 win over Maik Langendorf, staving off a comeback from the German qualifier to edge closer to a place in the European Championship.

Krzysztof Ratajski, Richard North and Luke Humphries also pushed themselves a step closer to Dortmund.

Poland's Ratajski survived a match-dart to defeat Steve West 6-5, Humphries recorded a 6-4 win over Keegan Brown and North ran out a 6-3 winner over German youngster Christian Bunse.

Bunse was one of six German qualifiers to feature on the opening day, with 14th seed Max Hopp taking the number of German players in the tournament up to seven, the highest number to ever take part in a European Tour event.

Martin Schindler (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe)

Leading the way for the Host Nation Qualifiers was exciting youngster Martin Schindler, who delighted his passionate home crowd with a 6-3 victory over Luke Woodhouse to confirm his place at the European Championship.

Gabriel Clemens ensured there would be three German players starring in the second day of action as he claimed a convincing 6-3 victory over Brendan Dolan.

Elsewhere, Finland's Marko Kantele fired in five 180s in his 6-3 win over Robert Marijanovic, while former European Tour finalist John Henderson produced a strong last leg to edge past Mark Wilson 6-5.

April's Players Championship winner Mickey Mansell landed a 156 finish as he beat debutant George Killington 6-2, and Spain's Toni Alcinas ran out a 6-5 winner over Danny Noppert in a high-quality affair.

Ryan Joyce made it five out of five first round wins on the European Tour in 2018 with a 6-1 demolition of Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, while Matthew Edgar defeated Jeffrey de Graaf 6-3 to pick up a first victory on the continent for over three years.

European Darts Trophy crowd (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe)

Saturday's second round action sees the 16 seeded players enter the tournament, with coverage to be streamed from 1pm and 7.15pm local time.

The European Darts Trophy will be broadcast throughout the weekend for PDCTV-HD Subscribers, and through a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide.

2018 European Darts Trophy (ET13)
Schedule of Play
Friday October 12

First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Luke Humphries 6-4 Keegan Brown
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Jeffrey de Graaf
Mickey Mansell 6-2 George Killington
John Henderson 6-5 Mark Wilson
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Marko Kantele 6-3 Robert Marijanovic
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Steve West

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Richard North 6-3 Christian Bunse
Ricky Evans 6-1 Andrew Gilding
Martin Schindler 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Maik Langendorf
Steve Beaton 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Steffen Siepmann
Toni Alcinas 6-5 Danny Noppert

Saturday October 13
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Joe Cullen v Matthew Edgar
Michael Smith v Marko Kantele
Dave Chisnall v Ryan Joyce
Stephen Bunting v Mickey Mansell
Daryl Gurney v Luke Humphries
Simon Whitlock v Richard North
Ian White v John Henderson
Jonny Clayton v Gabriel Clemens

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Mervyn King v Martin Schindler
Gerwyn Price v Steve Beaton
Darren Webster v Ricky Evans
Michael van Gerwen v Vincent van der Voort
Peter Wright v Jelle Klaasen
James Wade v Toni Alcinas
Max Hopp v Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan