Cullen's semi-final run inspired by family heartbreak

Cazoo European Championship

Oct 18 2021

Joe Cullen has opened up about the loss of his mother recently following his run to the Cazoo European Championship semi-finals.

Cross denies Van Gerwen to end title drought at Cazoo European Championship

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Oct 17 2021

Rob Cross defeated Michael van Gerwen to claim his second Cazoo European Championship title.

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Oct 16 2021

Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen will clash in a high-profile quarter-final at the Cazoo European Championship.

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Cazoo European Championship

Oct 15 2021

Former winners Michael van Gerwen and James Wade will collide in the Cazoo European Championship on Saturday night.

Hempel stuns Wright as Cazoo European Championship begins

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Oct 14 2021

Florian Hempel sent Peter Wright crashing out on the opening night of the Cazoo European Championship.

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Oct 14 2021

Check out all the ways to watch the 2021 Cazoo European Championship around the world.

Cazoo European Championship preview

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Oct 13 2021

The 2021 Cazoo European Championship gets underway on Thursday in Salzburg.

Cazoo European Championship schedule of play confirmed

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Oct 01 2021

Peter Wright will begin his title defence on the opening night of the Cazoo European Championship.

Cazoo European Championship field & draw confirmed

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Sep 26 2021

Peter Wright will begin his defence of the Cazoo European Championship title against Florian Hempel.

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European Tour

Sep 22 2021

The 2021 European Tour season will conclude this coming weekend with the Gibraltar Darts Trophy.

The 2021 Cazoo European Championship took place at the Salzburgarena, Austria from October 14-17.

The top 32 players on the 2021 European Tour Order of Merit competed for the title and £500,000 across four days.

2021 Cazoo European Championship
Thursday October 14
Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
First Round x8

William Borland 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Rob Cross 6-3 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-5 Callan Rydz
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Lewy Williams
Florian Hempel 6-3 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Adam Hunt
Joe Cullen 6-0 Ted Evetts

Friday October 15
Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
First Round x8

Adam Gawlas 6-4 Joe Murnan
Danny Noppert 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Mervyn King
Ryan Searle 6-5 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Damon Heta 6-3 Gabriel Clemens

Saturday October 16
Afternoon Session (1345 local time, 1245 BST)
Second Round x4

Joe Cullen 10-5 William Borland
Rob Cross 10-4 Brendan Dolan
Jose de Sousa 10-8 Luke Humphries
Danny Noppert 10-4 Ryan Searle

Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
Second Round x4

Nathan Aspinall 10-6 Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Adam Gawlas 
Michael van Gerwyn 10-4 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 10-9 Florian Hempel

Sunday October 17
Afternoon Session (1345 local time, 1245 BST)
Quarter-Finals 

Nathan Aspinall 10-9 Danny Noppert
Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross 10-5 Jose de Sousa
Joe Cullen 10-7 Mensur Suljovic

Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
Semi-Finals

Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross 11-3 Joe Cullen

Final
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross

Draw Bracket
(1) Gerwyn Price v (32) Ritchie Edhouse
(16) Adam Gawlas v (17) Joe Murnan
(8) Michael van Gerwen v (25) Boris Krcmar
(9) James Wade v (24) Adam Smith-Neale
(4) Michael Smith v (29) Ryan Searle
(13) Krzysztof Ratajski v (20) Danny Noppert
(5) Nathan Aspinall v (28) Mervyn King
(12) Damon Heta v (21) Gabriel Clemens
(2) Mensur Suljovic v (31) Adam Hunt
(15) Peter Wright v (18) Florian Hempel
(7) Simon Whitlock v (26) William Borland
(10) Joe Cullen v (23) Ted Evetts
(3) Brendan Dolan v (30) Kim Huybrechts
(14) Rob Cross v (19) Keane Barry
(6) Jose de Sousa v (27) Lewis Williams
(11) Luke Humphries v (22) Callan Rydz

Format
First Rounds - Best of 11 legs
Second Round - Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals - Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals - Best of 21 legs
Final - Best of 21 legs

Prize Fund
Winner - £120,000
Runner-Up - £60,000
Semi-Finalists - £32,000
Quarter-Finalists - £20,000
Second Round Losers - £10,000
First Round Losers - £6,000
Total - £500,000

Rob Cross ended his two-year wait for a PDC title in Salzburg on Sunday, defeating Michael van Gerwen in the final to win the Cazoo European Championship for a second time. 

Cross claimed his fifth televised crown with an 11-8 victory over Van Gerwen in the final at the Salzburgarena, almost two years on from his last TV title win - which came in the same event.

Four-time European Champion Van Gerwen was on the charge for a fifth success in the event after picking up stunning victories over Gerwyn Price and Nathan Aspinall earlier in the day, but was let down by 27 missed double attempts in an edgy final.

Cross was on hand to take his chances and pocket the £120,000 winner's prize, which sees him move back up to 11th on the PDC Order of Merit, having faced the possibility of dropping out of the world's top 16 prior to the event.

"It's nice to win again after the last 18 months, which has probably been the hardest time of my life," revealed Cross, who also defeated Jose de Sousa and Joe Cullen on Finals Day.

"I have to dedicate this to my family, friends, management and sponsors who have stood by me and been incredibly supportive.

"I love playing in Austria, I've got a great record here. I love the people, I'd play here every week if I could.

"Granted, I didn't play my best tonight, and I'm thankful that Michael wasn't himself in the final. You have to take chances when they are presented to you."

The win also secures Cross' place in November's Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts, with the 31-year-old looking forward to a busy end to 2021.

Cross added: "I think this is going to be a turning point for me, with the confidence it's going to give me I know I'm going to get better over the next few months. I would love to win another World Championship."

Van Gerwen was seeking a first ranking title since November 2020 and a first European Championship success since 2017.

Despite coming up short in the final, the Dutchman showed signs of a return to his best with averages of 107.74 against Price in the quarter-finals and 103.41 against Aspinall in the semi-finals.

"When you play like I did in the final then you deserve to lose," Van Gerwen declared in an honest assessment.

"You can find a million excuses but I have to say I didn't show up in the final, it wasn't good enough and I can only blame myself.

"I am starting to perform a little bit better - except for the final - but I don't like picking up runner-up trophies. It doesn't count for anything, I'm a winner."

A repeat of the 2017 European Championship final saw Cross land the first break of throw with a 123 finish on the bull to move 3-2 up, only for Van Gerwen to land a 138 checkout to hit straight back.

Cross opened up daylight for first time at 5-3, and led 6-4 at the second interval before a 13-dart break of throw saw him move 7-4 in front.

The next two legs also went the way of Cross, before Van Gerwen sparked into life, winning the next three legs to move within touching distance of glory at 9-7.

But after the Dutchman missed five darts at doubles to move within a leg, Cross found double four to break throw and move to the brink of the title.

After Cross missed a match dart at tops for a 107 checkout, Van Gerwen found the same target to break, but his hopes were short-lived as Cross closed out victory in the next leg by checking out 81 in two darts.

Sunday saw the tournament reach its conclusion with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session, before the semi-finals and final in the evening.

Aspinall won through to his first European Championship semi-final after winning a thrilling sudden-death leg against Danny Noppert, and pushed Van Gerwen all the way in the last four after clawing back a 7-1 deficit.

"I played probably the best I've played in a tournament for two or three years," he said. "It's nice to get to the latter stages and I threw everything at Michael.

"You can't give one of the best players in the world a 7-1 head start, but I dug deep and I'm proud of myself to take it to the last leg. He had a fantastic last leg but I can take a lot of positives from this weekend."

Cullen, meanwhile, defeated Austrian crowd favourite Mensur Suljovic 10-7 to reach his second European Championship semi-final in an encouraging run.

"Considering the circumstances, I'd have snapped your hand off to reach the semi-finals but there's a lot of disappointment there," admitted Cullen, who went down 11-3 in the last four after Cross won the opening nine legs without reply.

"I played nowhere near my best in the semi-final. Rob punished me and he was the rightful victor. It's frustrating because I played steady all weekend and did the right things at the right times but got ironed out in the end."

Drawboard