Madars adds Razzmatazz in Euro Grand Prix
Round-up from today’s 2023 Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix clashes by Jethro Bremner-Allison.
Madars Razma stated “tomorrow I will play better, I promise you” after nearly chucking away a 5-0 lead in his R1 tie with Richie Edhouse in the European Darts Grand Prix.
In what was billed as a 50/50 match before any tungsten was tossed, Latvian ‘Razzmatazz’ Razma looked initially to be ripping up the form book, rampaging into a 5-0 lead. Edhouse was having double trouble, at one stage being 0/8, creating chances and then not being able to capitalise.
However, in leg 6 a brace of 180’s had Edhouse seeing out the leg in 13 darts and his confidence seemed to surge. The match flipped on it’s head with Edhouse speeding up and Razma’s elegant style starting to falter. All of a sudden Edhouse won 5 in a row to take us to a decider. Nerves kicked in for both and Razma finally fell over the line, pinning a double 7 in the final leg to book a date with “Heavy Metal” Ryan Searle tomorrow.
Beaming Pascal Rupprecht upset former BDO world champion Christian Kist in R1 of the European Darts Grand Prix, claiming his first win on tour. Kist, making his first European Tour appearance in 5 years got off to a good start, breaking Rupprecht’s throw in the first but the youngster soon settled into the game.
Having only played darts for a few years and having learned the game on YouTube, Rupprecht is a remarkable figure. Broad shoulders and arms long enough that he could presumably just place his dart in the double, he bounces the flight off his bottom lip before delivering unerringly accurate arrows. The match was nip and tuck for it’s duration right through until 5-5. However, showing remarkable aptitude to cope with pressure Rupprecht took out D18 in just 15 darts to see off the returning Kist. Dave Chisnall awaits the exciting talent in R2.
Dimitri Van Den Bergh will have a sleepless night after seeing Krzysztof Ratajski laid down the gauntlet to the whole field with a domineering 6-3 win over Graham Usher. Following his win, the Polish Eagle declared he “hoped to play even better tomorrow” after his 107 average signalled a return to form. “The doubles were easy for me today” Ratajski boasted after his win as he surely catapulted himself into contention for the title this weekend.
Sharing the first 6 legs, you could sense it was only a matter of time that Ratajski broke his opponent after 14, 13 and 12 darts legs. Usher succumbed to the pressure in the 7th leg and wasn’t able to respond as the ambidextrous Englishman bowed out of the tournament in R1.
Ross ‘the Boss’ Montgomery marched into a date with Jonny Clayton in with a hard-fought 6-4 win over Marko Kantele in Sindelfingen. In an often dour battle of deliberate players, it was nip and tuck as both players shared the first 8 legs before a surge across legs 9 & 10 pushed Montgomery across the line.
“It was the calmest I’ve been on stage; I’m learning” the doughty 60 year old Scot admitted after the battle. The small crowd played it’s part, clearly riling Montgomery in leg 2, however he regained his composure and it was usually ice cold Kantele who was starting lose his temper toward the end.
‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans booked a date with PL runner up Gerwyn Price tomorrow as he dominated Ian White; posting a 6-3 win.
After the stodge of Montgomery v Kantele, it felt the small but keen crowd were desperate for these two characters to enter the stage. Whilst never looking in too much doubt, despite Ricky completely dominating the averages the first 6 legs were shared. When asked afterward if he was surprised it was still close at that time, Evans replied “it’s the beauty of this stupid game but it’s why we love it.” 6 180’s and 3 ton-plus checkouts were the story for Ricky whilst Ian White continues to look a shell of the player who regularly used to contend in the business end of competitions.
Admitting he “made it difficult for himself” Keegan Brown took advantage of a favourable R1 draw when he unconvincingly put away relative unknown Marcel Walpen 6-3 despite not playing anything like his potential. Walpen was recently branded the “Swiss Co Stompe” by Weekly Dartscast, due to his striking similarity to the Dutch legendary arrowsmith.
However he couldn’t live with his moniker as he meekly bowed out of the tournament at the first opportunity. The match always looked to be heading in the direction of NHS hero Brown. Even when he dallied on the doubles, Walpen allowed him plenty of time including the chance to nail “madhouse” in 21 darts in Leg 2. The Needle moves on to a match with Northern Irish superstar Josh Rock and will know he needs to improve to keep that match competitive.
Dutch beanstalk Martijn Kleermaker put a stuttering Alan Soutar out in R1 of the European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen.
Soots was outplayed throughout the tie and could have no complaints as the Giant made it look easy winning 6-4 with a 98.5 average. Last year’s beaten finalist Rob Cross lies in wait tomorrow. The turning point came in leg 7 when Kleermaker, who’s only struggles seemed to be on the doubles pinned a beautiful 96 finish with 2x D19’s. After then the free flowing throw had you wondering how he isn’t higher than his current 43 in the rankings. Back to the drawing board for out of sorts fire fighter Soots as again his average langusihed in the 80’s .