Darts – White bows out of European Championship

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Ian White slumped to a 6-1 defeat in Dortmund as he was knocked out in the first round of the Unibet European Darts Championship.
White had won two Players Championship events in Barnsley and Milton Keynes earlier in the year, collecting £52,000 on the order of merit. This meant he entered the latter stages of the year in red hot form and number one seed in Dortmund.

His opponent Richard North only secured his place in Germany a week prior to the tournament, making a European Tour final and leapfrogging several competitors.

Despite being ranked well above his Southampton based opponent, White struggled to find form in his return to the television stage.
The 49-year-old took the opening leg with a 64 checkout but it was all downhill from there. A break from North push him ahead in the race to six before he doubled his cushion on double two.

North added a further two legs to go one away from victory, before adding the finishing touches on tops to seal a career defining win.
Following the demolition in Dortmund, White’s opponent said: “I thought it would be much more difficult than that, but Ian seemed to struggle. It can be a struggle in the first round sometimes and that seemed to happen to him for some reason and I just took advantage.”

Despite a poor season so far, Adrian Lewis continues to qualify for PDC television majors. He faces St Helens’ Dave Chisnall in the final first round match of the 2018 European Championship.

The Stoke-on-Trent born thrower has lost sic of his previous eight contests against ‘The Yellow Peril’, but the two have not met yet in the 2018 season.

‘Jackpot’ came out on top in 2011, the last time they played each other on the European Championship stage, when the tournament was held at Butlins, Minehead.

Lewis has enjoyed a successful season on the European Tour making three quarter-finals and two semi-finals but with the final four rounds being played throughout the Sunday session, has struggled to keep up with the Field.

The more drawn out nature of the television format should favour Lewis, with his enigmatic style perfect for the short best of 11 format.
Many former players have said that Lewis is no longer the natural talent he was in his prime, calling for him to speed up his style as he prepares for a jam packed end to the season.

Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen survived a scare against Paul Nicholson after ‘The Asset’ took the first two legs with an outstanding 110 average.

A 127 checkout on the bullseye got the blood pumping for Nicholson, but he would lose a crucial fifth leg meaning he entered the break 3-2 down.

‘The Green Machine’ would real off a further three legs, including a showpiece 170 checkout to sink
Despite being fast out of the blocks, the world number one would take the following six legs, continuing his quest for a fifth consecutive European crown.

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