Darts results: Michael van Gerwen knocked out of European Championship by 400/1 outsider Ross Smith

Ross Smith knocked out Michael van Gerwen
Ross Smith knocked out Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen has sensationally crashed out of the European Championship to 400/1 tournament outsider Ross Smith on the opening night in Gottingen.

The world champion headed to Germany chasing his third televised title in a row having recently won his fifth World Grand Prix a week before getting his hands on the Champions League of Darts 'belt' in dramatic fashion against Peter Wright on Sunday.

But van Gerwen, who was 6/5 to lift this trophy four the fifth time, crashed out at the first hurdle as Smith held his nerve to win a dramatic deciding leg with a stunning 114 checkout.

It was undoubtedly the 30-year-old's best result on the televised stage and his first anywhere over MVG in five attempts, but now he'll be confident of matching his best ever run in a major - at the very least - which is currently a quarter-final run at this year's 2019 UK Open quarter-finals.

An upset looked a possibility as early as the very first leg when the Kent thrower took out 124 to complete a 15-darter.

Van Gerwen was hardly rattled as he bounced back with relentless high scoring and clinical finishing to go into the first interval 3-2 up, averaging 111 at the time. That said Smith was still maintaining a high standard of play himself, making a 14-darter in-between MVG's legs of 13 and 11 darts.

The Dutchman, who has won 12 titles in 2019 since winning a third Ally Pally crown on New Year's Day including the televised Masters, Premier League, Melbourne Masters, New Zealand Masters as well as the aforementioned World Grand Prix, then found himself in big trouble when Smith won back-to-back legs to regain the lead, only to pull out an 11-darter.

MVG failed in his showstopper attempts for a 'tops tops' break when going low with his last dart in hand, and his opponent punished him to edge 5-4 ahead and one leg away from glory.

Van Gerwen held his throw comfortably in 14 darts to force a tense deciding leg in which Smith overcame a slow start to take out 114 following a 140 set up shot to complete an incredible triumph.

It continues the steady rise in the sport that Smith has enjoyed since coming back to darts at the start of 2018 after stepping away two years earlier due to becoming disillusioned with his struggles in the sport.

Van Gerwen was shocked by Steve West in the second round 12 months ago when James Wade went on to lift the trophy but the defending champion is out after being crushed 6-0 by Jonny Clayton.

It was a sensational performance from the Welshman, who averaged 111.33 and pinned six of his eight darts at doubles as Wade's 82.38 only earned him one attempt to win a leg, which he obviously missed.

Neither player managed a single 180 but Clayton's finishing more than made up for that, especially when taking out 130 to win the fifth leg.

Rob Cross looked back to his old self after his Champions League of Darts nightmare when he completed a 6-3 victory over Darren Webster with a 154 checkout.

The World Matchplay champion averaged 99.4, hit three 180s and pinned six of his 11 double attempts as he eased through to round two on Friday night.

The 2018 runner-up, Simon Whitlock, was an impressive 6-1 winner over Adrian Lewis, averaging 99.82, hitting four 180s and taking out six of his eight doubles.

Jackpot scored well enough with four maximums of his own but his average - and most importantly the result - was ruined by missing nine of his 10 attempts at the outer ring.

There was a minor shock earlier in the night when Ricky Evans dumped out three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant 6-5 after surviving two match darts.

Dave Chisnall's ears will have pricked up after hearing of MVG's exit having earlier began his quest for a maiden TV major with a 6-3 triumph over Dimitri van den Bergh.

Chizzy, whose superb week at the recent World Grand Prix was ended by the brilliant Dutchman in the final, threw six 180s and managed a high checkout of 110 in an entertaining clash.

The opening match of the night saw Joe Cullen cruise to a 6-2 victory over Mervyn King but the Rockstar will have to play better if he's to see off Cross in round two.

European Championship: Daily schedule & results

Thursday October 24 (1900 BST)
First Round (Best of 11 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Joe Cullen 6-2 Mervyn King
  • Dave Chisnall 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Glen Durrant 5-6 Ricky Evans
  • Adrian Lewis 1-6 Simon Whitlock
  • Rob Cross 6-3 Darren Webster
  • James Wade 0-6 Jonny Clayton
  • Michael van Gerwen 5-6 Ross Smith
  • Daryl Gurney 6-4 William O'Connor

Friday October 25
Afternoon Session (1245 BST)
First Round (Best of 11 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Jamie Hughes v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Keegan Brown v Stephen Bunting
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Chris Dobey
  • Nathan Aspinall v Steve Beaton
  • Mensur Suljovic v Vincent van der Voort
  • Ian White v Michael Smith
  • Peter Wright v Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts

Evening Session (1900 BST)
Second Round (Best of 19 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Joe Cullen v Rob Cross
  • Daryl Gurney v Simon Whitlock
  • Dave Chisnall v Jonny Clayton
  • Ross Smith v Ricky Evans

Saturday October 26 (1900 BST)
Second Round (Best of 19 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Suljovic/Van der Voort v Ratajski/Dobey
  • White/M Smith v Brown/Bunting
  • Price/Evetts v Aspinall/Beaton
  • Wright/De Zwaan v Hughes/Wattimena

Sunday October 27
Afternoon Session (1245 BST)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
TV Channel: ITV4

  • Four Matches

Evening Session (1900 BST)
TV Channel: ITV4
Semi-Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Two Matches

Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

Click here for European Championship draw & schedule

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