By Alex Moss
24 MARCH 2017 • 1:49PM
Paul Harvey and Richie Corner claimed their first wins on the European Tour stage as the 2017 HappyBet German Darts Championship got underway this afternoon.
Harvey fired in seven 180s and averaged 102.78 on his way to a 6-4 win over Ryan Meikle in the first round.
The Nottinghamshire thrower was making his debut on the European Tour, having beaten Jamie Caven and Paul Rowley to come through the UK Qualifiers earlier this month, and enjoyed a memorable first appearance in Hildesheim.
Harvey secured the victory with an 11-darter against the Meikle throw in the tenth leg and will now face fourth seed Benito van de Pas in the last 32 tomorrow.
“I’m over the moon,” Harvey said. “I’m used to playing in front of crowds, but this is brilliant. I love it.”
Corner, meanwhile, had earlier got this year’s European Tour season up and running with a comfortable 6-2 success over former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd.
The 54-year-old, making only his second appearance in a European Tour event, raced into a 5-0 lead before Shepherd responded with back-to-back legs to keep his hopes alive.
But Corner wrapped up the win with a 61 checkout on double four in the next leg to clinch his first win on the European Tour, and set up a second round clash with defending German Darts Championship winner Alan Norris tomorrow.
Norris edged past Corner 6-5 when the pair met in the first round of the European Darts Matchplay in May last year, but Corner is hopeful of an upset.
“I played him (Norris) in Hamburg last year and he beat me 6-5, so it’s my turn,” he said.