STUART Kellett eased to the next stage of the Dutch Masters following a 6-2 success against German qualifier Bernd Roith in Veldhoven on Friday afternoon.
The Northwich ace recovered from a slow start – he lost two of the opening three legs – to set up a second round encounter with world number three, and ninth seed, Simon Whitlock on Saturday.
“I scored well after struggling a bit with my doubles at the beginning but I got there eventually so I’m happy,” said the 32-year-old afterwards.
“I played on the other stage here last year and lost, so it’s nice to play in front of this crowd and win.”
Kellett won five successive legs en route to victory, his third on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit at Roith’s expense.
The German won the opening leg before his Cheshire-based opponent finished 74 to level, only to be punished for missed doubles in the next to trail 2-1.
Kellett hit two of four maximums in the match during the next two legs to move ahead, following with finishes worth 81 and 79 to lead 5-2 before finishing double 18 to seal victory.
His task now is to beat Whitlock, from Hornsby in Australia, for the first time.
They meet during tomorrow’s evening session at the NH Hotel Koningshof.