Youngsters impress as Hungarian Darts Trophy begins in Budapest

Bradley Brooks (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Youngsters Bradley Brooks, Luke Humphries and Keane Barry were amongst the stand-out performers as the PDC European Tour returned to action with the Hungarian Darts Trophy's first round on Friday.

The £140,000 event is the first of two European Tour events being held this year, with Budapest's Papp László Sportaréna hosting the PDC's first visit to Hungary.

World Youth Champion Brooks was amongst the most impressive winners on the day, edging out two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis in a thrilling tie.

Lewis hit back from 4-2 down with some superb darts, defying a 124 bull finish from Brooks to take the game to a deciding leg.

Brooks wired 152 as he was first to a finish, but Lewis missed four darts for victory of his own across two visits to give the youngster a reprieve which he finally took on double one.

"I watched Adrian growing up and he's a great player," said Brooks, a 21-year-old from Blackburn. "It was a great game and I enjoyed it, and it made it better to be playing in front of a crowd again."

UK Open finalist Humphries defied finishes of 111 and 124 from Latvia's Madars Razma, setting up a tasty second round tie with Devon Petersen - a European Tour winner in 2020.

Ireland's Barry was one of three teenagers to win on Friday afternoon as some of the top young talents in the sport showcased their abilities.

Barry finished six doubles from 12 attempts, including a 108 checkout, as he defeated Thomas Lovely 6-3 to move through to a tie with Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Czech prospect Adam Gawlas produced a superb finale to his tie with Boris Krcmar, who led 5-4 before the teenager took the last two legs in 14 and 13 darts to progress.

Welsh youngster Lewis Williams also impressed with a 6-3 defeat of Host Nation Qualifier Gabor Jagicza to set up a tie with Krzysztof Ratajski.

There was disappointment for the four Hungarian representatives in the event as they all lost out on Friday, although János Végső missed three match darts in his tie with Joe Murnan.

Végső led 2-0 and 5-4 before Murnan produced a timely 13-darter to force a decider, and when the home hope missed two darts at double eight and one at double four for the win, he returned to land a third-dart double five to progress to face Jose de Sousa.

"It was hard work - he did really well and he's a good player," said Murnan. "I knew the crowd would be against me because he's a fan favourite but I've got through, and I'll be better tomorrow."

Ross Smith impressed with a 100 average as he whitewashed Hungarian qualifier Peter Strbik 6-0, finishing six doubles from ten attempts which included a 109 checkout.

Alan Soutar ended home hopes with a 6-1 defeat of Jozsef Rucska, winning the opening four legs without reply before finishing 112 to complete a strong performance.

Daryl Gurney will meet Michael van Gerwen after seeing off another Dutchman, Vincent van der Voort, 6-2 with a superb first round display.

The former World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals winner averaged almost 100 and sealed victory with a 12-darter as he began his bid to win a second European Tour title.

"I didn't want to give Vincent a chance and I went 3-0 up and was playing great," said Gurney. "I'm glad to come through that game and to play on the European Tour again.

"If I play like this I'll give myself a chance but I think I'm going to play better against Michael and I'm looking forward to the game."

John Michael came from 4-2 down and averaged 99 in his narrow 6-5 win over Steve Beaton, who landed a 180 to leave 28 in the deciding leg only to see the Greek ace finish double ten for a 14-darter.

Simon Whitlock finished six doubles from 11 attempts and produced legs of 11 and 12 darts during his 6-4 win over Darren Webster, setting up an all-Australian contest with Damon Heta on Saturday.

Germany's Florian Hempel survived four missed match darts from Jake Jones in the deciding leg of their see-saw contest.

Jones led 3-1 and 4-3 but found himself 5-4 down, only for his opponent to miss three match darts in leg ten - but it was the Englishman's turn to miss in a dramatic finale as Hempel moved into a second round meeting with world number two Peter Wright.

Richard Veenstra enjoyed a winning European Tour debut by seeing off former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown 6-4.

The Dutchman came from a leg down to take command at 3-1 as he opened up a lead Brown would never wipe out, and Veenstra will now take on World Champion Gerwyn Price on Saturday.

"I'm so excited to play Gerwyn Price," said Veenstra. "My nerves are now gone and I think I will play a good game tomorrow. Anything can happen."

Belgium's Geert De Vos also enjoyed a winning European Tour debut, hitting a 161 finish in a 6-2 defeat of Geert Nentjes, while William Borland overcame Sweden's Johan Engström 6-4.

Following the withdrawal of Danny Noppert, Irishman William O'Connor received a first round bye and will enter the event against UK Open champion James Wade in the last 32.

Saturday's double session sees the 16 seeded players enter the action in the second round.

The Hungarian Darts Trophy is being broadcast on PDCTV throughout the weekend, as well as through bookmakers' websites worldwide.

Click here to watch in PDCTV.

Subscription options include £2.99 Day Pass and £3.99 Event Pass.

Follow live stats with Sportradar.

2021 Hungarian Darts Trophy
Friday September 3
First Round    
Afternoon Session 

William Borland 6-4 Johan Engström
Geert De Vos 6-2 Geert Nentjes
Richard Veenstra 6-4 Keegan Brown
Joe Murnan 6-5 János Végső 
Keane Barry 6-3 Thomas Lovely
Adam Gawlas 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Lewis Williams 6-3 Gabor Jagicza

Evening Session 
Florian Hempel 6-5 Jake Jones
Ross Smith 6-0 Peter Strbik
Alan Soutar 6-1 Jozsef Rucska
Luke Humphries 6-3 Madars Razma
Bradley Brooks 6-5 Adrian Lewis
John Michael 6-5 Steve Beaton
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Darren Webster
Vincent van der Voort v Daryl Gurney

Bye: William O'Connor

Saturday September 4
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Rob Cross v Ross Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski v Lewis Williams
Brendan Dolan v Alan Soutar
James Wade v William O'Connor
Mensur Suljovic v William Borland
Devon Petersen v Luke Humphries
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Keane Barry
Nathan Aspinall v Bradley Brooks

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Jonny Clayton v Adam Gawlas
Joe Cullen v Geert De Vos
Damon Heta v Simon Whitlock
Jose de Sousa v Joe Murnan
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price v Richard Veenstra
Peter Wright v Florian Hempel
Michael Smith v John Michael