Paul Nicholson back to winning ways at European Darts Grand Prix

Last Updated May 05 2018, 08:36Darts
Paul Nicholson - back to winning ways
Paul Nicholson - back to winning ways

Paul Nicholson returned to winning ways on the Glaspalast stage in Sindelfingen with a first round win as the European Darts Grand Prix began on Friday.

A finalist back in 2013 - narrowly missing out on the title in a 6-5 defeat to Wes Newton - Nicholson was keen to banish those memories and got off to the perfect start with a 6-2 victory over Dawson Murshell.

Averaging 96.5, ‘The Asset’ landed 40 percent of his efforts on the doubles, including a match-high 105 finish as he brushed aside the European Tour debutant.

"It's fantastic to be back on this stage," said Nicholson. "I was staring at that dreaded double-twelve I missed back in 2013, but it is great to be back playing darts here. Before the game, I just took myself away from the practice room, got in my zone, and I am delighted to get through."

He will face Mervyn King, a champion in this event in 2014, in the second round.

Home favourite Max Hopp, a winner on the European Tour this year, crashed out in the opening round in a 6-4 defeat to James Wade. In a scrappy affair, Wade kept his nerve on the doubles and recovered from 2-0 and 3-2 down to progress.

Danny Noppert swept aside Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 in arguably the game of the evening session.

After the first six legs went with throw, the Dutchman - averaging just shy of 100 - found his rhythm and landed a 101 checkout to break throw on his way to the second round.

Noppert’s compatriot Jermaine Wattimena also squeezed into the second round, winning a last-leg decider against Toni Alcinas.

In a highly entertaining affair, Kyle Anderson ensured his presence on day two with a 6-4 win over ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans.

The Aussie, who made the semi-finals of the 2017 Unibet European Championship, fired a beautiful 121 checkout to seal the victory.

That match-winning checkout was then bettered in the final game of the evening as Robert Marijanovic saw off Andy Boulton 6-3.

The Croatian landed a brilliant 123 combination finish on double nine to secure the victory. Elsewhere, Jamie Caven beat Mareno Michels 6-1, and Jamie Lewis progressed against Christian Bunse 6-4.

Earlier in the day, home favourite Martin Schindler delighted the crowd as he whitewashed Robert Owen 6-0.

The German number two was the top performer in the afternoon session in Sindelfingen, booking his place in the second round in style as he took out 120 to round up a convincing display over Owen.

Clinically taking out six doubles from ten attempts, the youngster will now face Joe Cullen on Saturday.

Former European Tour event winner Vincent van der Voort put in the performance of the day as he produced a 103.4 average in his win over Steve Lennon.

The Dutchman was back to his best as he fired in five 180s in the match to set up a clash with Rob Cross on Saturday evening.

Former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd pulled off an upset as he beat Stephen Bunting 6-2 to line up a clash with reigning European Darts Grand Prix champion Peter Wright.

Shepherd, playing in his second European Tour event of the year, was in fine form and managed to stave off a Bunting comeback to wrap up the victory.

Arron Monk opened the afternoon session with a 6-3 win over Peter Hudson, whilst Alan Tabern comfortably dealt with debutant Mats Gies by the same scoreline.

Madars Razma, playing in his third European Tour event, produced a strong display as he saw off Steve Hine 6-4.

The Latvian star, who hit two 180s and hit six doubles from 11 attempts en route to the win, will now take on Ian White in round two.

German qualifier Gabriel Clemens went the same way as Compatriot Hopp as he suffered a 6-3 loss to Jan Dekker.

The Dutchman produced a solid display, including a magnificent 136 checkout, and will now face Premier League star Whitlock in round two.

Matt Padgett upset the odds with a 6-4 victory over Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Padgett, making his first European Tour appearance in four years, was clinical on the doubles as he hit six from eight attempts to set up a clash Dave Chisnall.

The action continues in the European Darts Grand Prix on Saturday with the second round, with all games broadcast throughout the weekend for all PDCTV-HD Subscribers worldwide.

Related darts links

Most Read

England progressed to the round of 16 after hammering Panama1

9/1 England hit Panama for six

England progressed to the World Cup round of 16 after hammering Panama 6-1 in their Group G encounter in Nizhny Novgorod.

Yuya Osako (second, right) celebrates Japan's World Cup goal with his team-mates2

Sunday's World Cup betting tips

George Pitts and Tom Carnduff look at Sunday's World Cup action, with the attention turning to Group H in Sunday's final two games.

Kylian Mbappe3

Sunday's Paper Talk

Manchester City and Manchester United will try to sign Kylian Mbappe this summer with Paris Saint-Germain facing severe Financial Fair Play trouble. Get all the gossip.

Who are you backing to be top scorer at the World Cup4

World Cup: Golden Boot latest

Harry Kane is now favourite ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for World Cup Golden Boot after he moved to the top of the goal scoring charts.

Clive Cox5

Cox hopeful Harry Angel can recover

Clive Cox hopes Harry Angel has escaped from his nasty incident in the stalls before the Diamond Jubilee Stakes without any serious damage.

Most Read

England progressed to the round of 16 after hammering Panama1

9/1 England hit Panama for six

England progressed to the World Cup round of 16 after hammering Panama 6-1 in their Group G encounter in Nizhny Novgorod.

Yuya Osako (second, right) celebrates Japan's World Cup goal with his team-mates2

Sunday's World Cup betting tips

George Pitts and Tom Carnduff look at Sunday's World Cup action, with the attention turning to Group H in Sunday's final two games.

Kylian Mbappe3

Sunday's Paper Talk

Manchester City and Manchester United will try to sign Kylian Mbappe this summer with Paris Saint-Germain facing severe Financial Fair Play trouble. Get all the gossip.

Who are you backing to be top scorer at the World Cup4

World Cup: Golden Boot latest

Harry Kane is now favourite ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for World Cup Golden Boot after he moved to the top of the goal scoring charts.

Clive Cox5

Cox hopeful Harry Angel can recover

Clive Cox hopes Harry Angel has escaped from his nasty incident in the stalls before the Diamond Jubilee Stakes without any serious damage.

Racing Tips

Newmarket trainer Roger Varian

Monday's racing preview

Keith Hamer expects more Windsor success for Buffer Zone and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Richard Mann has three selections for Sunday with the nap of the day running at Wolverhampton.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Next Race Off
18:15 Gulfstream
3
(3)
Little Nick V.
J: Jeffrey Sanchez
4
(4)
Gray Dude
J: Emisael Jaramillo

Football Tips

Yuya Osako (second, right) celebrates Japan's World Cup goal with his team-mates

Sunday's World Cup betting tips

George Pitts and Tom Carnduff look at Sunday's World Cup action, with the attention turning to Group H in Sunday's final two games.

Paul Higham looks at the Group A action on Monday

Monday's Group A betting tips

Paul Higham is not expecting a feast of goals as Uruguay faces hosts Russia for top spot in Group A while Egypt and Saudi Arabia look to avoid the wooden spoon.

Portugal are tipped for a narrow victory over Iran by Tom Carnduff

Monday's Group B betting tips

Tom Carnduff looks over the Group B action on Monday evening, and is backing Spain and Portugal to progress to the round of 16.