It was another Euro Tour near miss for Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts in Germany on Sunday.
The Team Unicorn man reached the semi-finals of the European Darts Trophy in Germany before losing 6-1 to Rob Cross. It will be very frustrating for Huybrechts, who had produced some scintillating darts on his way to the last four.
He was superb in beating Peter Wright 6-3 in the last 16, despite a 110 average from his opponent. He then saw off Dave Chisnall 6-4 in the quarter-finals in one of the best matches of the tournament. Huybrechts averaged 100, hit 6 x 180s and turned the match with a superb 140 finish, hitting treble 20, ‘tops’, ‘tops'.
But against Cross in the semi-finals, he could muster only an 83 average.
The tournament was won by World No.1 Michael van Gerwen, who beat Cross 6-4 in the final in Gottingen to claim his 6th Euro Tour title of 2017 and his 20th in total. Cross had beaten a trio of Unicorn players on his way to the final. In the last 16, he was a 6-2 winner over Keegan Brown, then came a 6-3 win over Michael Smith in the quarter-finals. Smith had been hampered by a foot injury all weekend.
But Smith will be the No.3 seed for the European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium at the end of the month. And Joe Cullen is the No.7 seed…..Cullen beat Alan Norris to reach the quarter-finals in Germany at the weekend, but then lost out 6-0 against Van Gerwen.
Five other Unicorn stars have qualified for the European Championship…..in their home country, the Huybrechts brothers Kim and Ronny will be joined by countryman Dimitri van den Bergh, along with Kyle Anderson and Ian White.
James Wade failed to qualify, while Gary Anderson isn’t playing after opting out of this year’s 12 Euro Tour events, which count towards qualification for Hasselt.
Report from STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy PDC