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Dimitri Van den Bergh fends off challenge from nine-dart Michael Smith to progress at bDutch Darts Championship

Ross Smith’s nine-darter and late comeback was not enough to defeat Dimitri Van den Bergh at the Dutch Darts Championship on Saturday, whilst Micheal van Gerwen progressed into the third round.

Former European Champion Smith had previously achieved perfection on the European Tour in Gibraltar a decade ago, and followed Luke Humphries and Luke Littler in hitting a nine-darter in the seventh leg of their tie.

Smith had been four legs down and went on to level, but Van den Bergh regained his composure to claim the next two legs and victory.

Van Gerwen, meanwhile, headlines the four Dutch players who progressed through Saturday's second round at Autotron, with Danny Noppert, Jermaine Wattimena and Gian van Veen also sealing their place in the final day of action on home soil.

Three-time World Champion Van Gerwen whitewashed fellow countryman Kevin Doets in their second round tie, finishing six doubles from nine attempts and sealing victory with a 108 checkout.

Noppert and Wattimena will meet in the last 16 after they both progressed in a deciding leg in Saturday's second round.

Noppert survived a missed match dart from Andrew Gilding - who was unable to land double 12 for a 141 finish in a dramatic conclusion to their tie - after Wattimena had earlier taken out 127 to seal the deal against Ricardo Pietreczko.

Van Veen escaped after two missed match darts from Dom Taylor in a dramatic finale to their 11-leg contest as he returned to take victory with his fifth dart at a double to progress to a clash with Gerwyn Price.

Van Gerwen's third round opponent will be Chris Dobey, who also enjoyed a whitewash win on Saturday as he denied Dutch youngster Moreno Blom a dart at a double in moving through to Finals Day.

2021 World Champion Price also failed to drop a leg as he progressed, seeing off Mickey Mansell with a 101 average.

Reigning champion Dave Chisnall kicked off his title defence with a resounding 6-2 success against Niels Zonneveld, averaging over 100 to advance to a last 16 showdown against Jonny Clayton.

Clayton defied five 180s from Host Nation Qualifier Marvin van Velzen to seal his progress, while Ryan Searle reeled off four straight legs to dump out James Wade with a ton-topping average.

Searle now plays Dutch-born Swede Jeffrey de Graaf, who was the first player to move through to the last 16 in Rosmalen, courtesy of a 6-3 victory over Masters champion Stephen Bunting.

Ritchie Edhouse converted 150 and 164 checkouts to deny second seed Damon Heta in an extraordinary tussle to continue his impressive European Tour form this year, after Luke Woodhouse averaged 99 to end Daryl Gurney's hopes of World Cup qualification.

Germany's Martin Schindler defied a 145 checkout from Brendan Dolan to maintain his hopes of a second European Tour win of 2024 with a 6-4 second round success as he moves through to meet Van den Bergh.

Northern Irish number one Josh Rock impressed with an average of 104.83 as he overcame Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 - taking a 3-0 lead before holding on to that advantage.

Cameron Menzies followed up Friday's first round win over Raymond van Barneveld with victory over another former World Champion, Peter Wright, in their all-Scottish tussle.

Wright led 3-1 early on, but Menzies took the next five legs without reply as he moved through to Finals Day for the second time in 2024.

The tournament concludes at Autotron in Rosmalen on Sunday, with the third round in the afternoon session ahead of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the decisive evening session.


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