Michael van Gerwen beats Raymond van Barneveld in European Darts Open

Michael van Gerwen impressed with victory over his fellow Dutchman in Germany (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)
Michael van Gerwen impressed with victory over his fellow Dutchman in Germany (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen saw off fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld to book his place in the last 16 of the European Darts Open in Leverkusen.

Van Gerwen – beaten in the Premier League by Gerwyn Price in Newcastle on Thursday night – landed four 180s as he defeated his former World Cup partner Van Barneveld 6-4 at the Ostermann Arena.

Speaking to Viaplay Xtra after his win in Germany, Van Gerwen said: “Never underestimate Raymond van Barneveld. He is a fantastic player and you have to play well to beat him.

“It is the first good game I have played on the European Tour since the start, so I am fine. I feel good now, and this is what we want.”

World number two Peter Wright crashed out after Ricardo Pietreczko delighted the home crowd as the German recovered from 5-1 down to survive six match darts and edge a last-leg decider.

World champion Michael Smith had little trouble as he ended the hopes of qualifier Rene Eidams 6-3, while Welshman Price produced a fine fightback to beat Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5, finishing with a match average of 109.

Belgian Dimitri Van den Bergh beat James Wade 6-2 to set up a third-round clash with Van Gerwen on Sunday afternoon.

Elsewhere, Ireland’s William O’Connor impressed with a 6-0 whitewash of Germany’s Martin Schindler before Northern Irishman Josh Rock closed out the night with a comfortable 6-2 win over Ian White.

Luke Humphries withdrew from the tournament due to medical reasons, which saw Brendan Dolan receive a bye into the last 16.

During the afternoon session at the Ostermann Arena, Rob Cross and Dirk van Duijvenbode safely progressed to the third round, but Joe Cullen, Jonny Clayton and Chris Dobey all suffered early exits.

Cross, the 2018 world champion, coasted past Ryan Joyce 6-1 with an average of 105 while Dutchman Van Duijvenbode beat Ted Evetts 6-3 and Baltic Sea Darts Open winner Dave Chisnall reeled off five consecutive legs to defeat Jim Williams 6-2.

World number 12 Cullen saw his hopes ended after a 6-4 defeat against Ross Smith, Ryan Meikle beat former Premier League winner Clayton 6-3 and Danny Noppert was a 6-2 winner over Dobey.

There were also victories for Damon Heta and Stephen Bunting, who edged out Ryan Searle in a last-leg decider.