Dave Chisnall cleared the first hurdle in the £500,000 Unibet European Championship in Germany last night (Thursday), defeating Belgium's Dimitri van den Bergh 6-3 with a 98 average and six 180’s.
The St Helens ace, who is currently showing something approaching his best form of the year, went 2-1 up in an even first few legs, smashing in a 110 checkout but at the interval he was only 3-2 up with a 94 average.
Van den Bergh claimed a reprieve after seven missed darts at doubles from Chisnall, hitting double four to make it 3-3.
Chizzy, however, battled back via a 14 darter to lead 4-3 and gained a crucial break of throw to make it 5-3.
From there he eased through after a tense passage of play between the duo and now plays Jonny Clayton tonight (Friday) after the Welshman KO'd defending champion James Wade 6-0.
Earlier this afternoon (Friday) both Stephen Bunting and Michael Smith stormed into the second round of the tournament.
Stephen Bunting thumped Keegan Brown 6-1 and Smith hammered old pal and no. 2 seed Ian White by the same score. They now join Chisnall in the next round.
But the championship has already been blow wide open by the shock 6-5 exit of world champion Michael van Gerwen at the hands of the relatively unknown Ross Smith of Kent - and there are many players remaining who will fancy their chances of lifting the title..