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Michael van Gerwen survives Madars Razma scare at European Championship

Van Gerwen survives Razma scare at European Championship
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Michael van Gerwen survives two match darts from Madars Razma to progress through to the European Championship second round.

Michael van Gerwen has survived a scare against Madars Razma to earn his place in the second round of the European Championship.

In a thrilling contest which saw Razma average 104.92, the Latvian led 5-4 and missed a dart for an 80 checkout before Van Gerwen took the match into a decider.

The 11th leg was dramatic, as Razma missed another dart at double top - this time for a 142 finish - before Van Gerwen stepped in to record a 68 checkout for a 12-dart leg against the throw.

There were a number of surprises on Friday night as the likes of Joe Cullen, Josh Rock and Jonny Clayton all bowed out of the tournament at the first hurdle.

Cullen lost 6-3 to Krzysztof Ratajski, Daryl Gurney got the better of fellow Northern Irishman Rock by a 6-2 scoreline and Clayton rued a miscount during the latter stages of his match with Jose De Sousa before succumbing to a 6-4 defeat.

Recently-crowned World Grand Prix champion Luke Humphries again showcased his excellent form in a 6-1 triumph over Brendan Dolan.

Dutch youngster Gian van Veen produced a performance that further enhanced his growing reputation as they thrashed Damon Heta by the same scoreline, averaging 107.34 in the process.

James Wade took advantage of a below-par Dirk van Duijvenbode to prevail 6-3, while in the final match of the evening, emerging German star Ricardo Pietreczko marked his debut by knocking out defending Ross Smith by a 6-3 scoreline, setting up a showdown with Van Gerwen.

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Michael van Gerwen in action in March 2016
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