Robert Thornton, Mervyn King and Paul Nicholson were three of the high-profile names to secure qualification through to the HappyBet German Darts Open on Friday evening, as Steve Beaton landed a spectacular nine-dart finish on a dramatic night of action in Barnsley.
Thornton dropped just four legs in defeating the experienced duo of Terry Temple and Ray Campbell to secure his spot in this year’s third European Tour event, which will take place from April 21st-April 23rd in Saarbrucken.
Elsewhere, Mervyn King is the only UK qualifier to have secured a place in all three European Tour events in 2017 thus far. The former European Darts Grand Prix champion kicked off his qualification campaign with a 6-3 win over Richie Corner, before defeating David Pallett by the same scoreline to book his spot in Germany.
Paul Nicholson claimed two big scalps to continue his resurgence and secure a place in his second European Tour event of 2017. ‘The Asset’ ended his three-year European Tour hiatus after qualifying for last month’s opening event in Hildesheim, and he defeated both Daryl Gurney and Richie Burnett 6-4 to seal his qualification this time around.
Another former European Tour finalist to seal their spot in Saarbrucken was John Henderson. The Scot dropped just five legs en route to sealing his qualification, after seeing off youngsters Luke Woodhouse and Keegan Brown.
Former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton will compete in his first European Tour event since September after holding his nerve to progress. ‘The Hammer’ has endured a miserable slump of late which has seen him drop outside the world’s top 50, but he defeated Wes Newton and Jamie Lewis to round-off a fine night in Barnsley.
Steve Beaton landed a magical nine-darter against James Richardson in his board final, but it wasn’t enough for the former Lakeside world champion to qualify. ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ was edged out 6-4 by ‘Ruthless’, who followed up a whitewash of Ronnie Baxter by claiming another prized scalp to clinch his qualification.
Rob Cross continued his magnificent form to secure a place in his maiden European Tour event. The Players Championship Three winner registered consecutive 6-1 victories over Ricky Evans and William O’Connor, before edging out Welsh star Jonny Clayton in a last-leg decider to book his place.
Two other men set to make their European Tour debuts are Peter Jacques and Warrick Scheffer. Players Championship one finalist Jacques claimed victories over Callan Rydz, Robert Owen and Justin Pipe to qualify, whilst Scheffer followed up a narrow win over Matt Clark by thrashing his compatriot Devon Petersen 6-1.
Steve Lennon will be the fourth European Tour debutant in Saarbrucken, after continuing his fine start to life on the PDC Pro Tour. The young Irishman only secured a tour-card at Q-School earlier this year and followed up wins over Scott Taylor and John Norman Jr by easing past former world finalist Kevin Painter in the board final.
Darren Webster secured a place in his first Europen Tour event of the year with two hard-fought victories over Jonathan Worsley and Brendan Dolan. ‘The Demolition Man’ will be joined in Germany by Robbie Green, who conceded just five legs in beating Waynes Jones and Ted Evetts respectively.
Former World-Youth championship finalist Nathan Aspinall will also make his European Tour bow in a fortnight’s time after producing a series of fine performances in Barnsley. ‘The Asp’ saw off Andy Boulton in the opening round, before completing a sensational whitewash against Aussie ace Kyle Anderson in the decisive board final.
Former UK Open finalist Mark Walsh returned to winning ways to seal his qualification, edging out former BDO world number one James Wilson in his opening match, before easing past Matthew Dennant to book his place.
Walsh will be joined in Germany by Scottish star Jamie Bain, who came through three gruelling battles to qualify. Bain kicked off with a hard-fought deciding-leg win against Mickey Mansell in the preliminary round, before recording successive 6-4 wins against Scott Darbyshire and Joe Murnan.
Elsewhere, Josh Payne, Adam Hunt and Brian Woods were the final three men to seal qualification for the third European Tour event of the year. The trio all came through nervy 11-leg deciders in their final clashes, where they saw off John Bowles, Mark Webster and Tony Newell respectively.
It was a disappointing night for many established names. Daryl Gurney was the highest-ranked player to miss out on qualification, whilst former world champion Mark Webster was cruelly just one leg away from sealing his spot. Meanwhile, Chris Dobey, Kyle Anderson, Justin Pipe, Jamie Caven and Wes Newton also failed to make the cut.
The PDC ProTour weekend in Barnsley continues on Saturday with Players Championship Seven, as a 128-player field compete for £75,000 in prize money. The full list of results from Friday’s qualifier can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
HappyBet German Darts Open
Friday April 7, Barnsley Metrodome
Ted Evetts 6-3 Paul Rowley
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Mick McGowan
John Bowles 6-4 Jim Brown
Peter Jacques 6-4 Callan Rydz
Ray Campbell 6-3 Ricky Williams
Wes Newton 6-3 Martin Lukeman
Steve Hine 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Chris Quantock 6-0 Andrew Gilding
Rob Cross 6-1 Ricky Evans
Steve Lennon 6-2 Scott Taylor
Jamie Bain 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Matt Clark 6-4 Peter Hudson
Steve Beaton 6-5 Craig Gilchrist
James Richardson 6-0 Ronnie Baxter
Mervyn King 6-3 Richie Corner
David Pallett 6-5 Callum Loose
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Richie Burnett 6-1 Richard North
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Andy Boulton
Mark Walsh 6-5 James Wilson
Matthew Dennant 6-3 Ryan Palmer
Brian Woods 6-5 Chris Dobey
Tony Newell 6-5 Andy Jenkins
Robbie Green 6-2 Wayne Jones
Ted Evetts 6-5 Aden Kirk
Darren Webster 6-5 Jonathan Worsley
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Jim Walker
Josh Payne 6-5 Rob Hewson
John Bowles 6-5 Harry Robinson
Justin Pipe 6-2 Andy Parsons
Peter Jacques 6-1 Robert Owen
Robert Thornton 6-2 Terry Temple
Ray Campbell 6-5 Lee Bryant
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Jamie Caven
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Wes Newton
John Henderson 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Keegan Brown 6-4 Steve Hine
Mark Webster 6-5 Darren Johnson
Adam Hunt 6-3 Chris Quantock
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Ryan Meikle
Rob Cross 6-1 William O’Connor
Kevin Painter 6-2 Simon Preston
Steve Lennon 6-5 John Norman Jnr
Joe Murnan 6-3 Stephen Burton
Jamie Bain 6-4 Scott Darbyshire
Devon Petersen 6-2 Ross Twell
Warrick Scheffer 6-4 Matt Clark
James Richardson 6-4 Steve Beaton – Steve Beaton hits nine-dart finish
Mervyn King 6-3 David Pallett
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Richie Burnett
Nathan Aspinall 6-0 Kyle Anderson
Mark Walsh 6-2 Matthew Dennant
Brain Woods 6-5 Tony Newell
Robbie Green 6-3 Ted Evetts
Darren Webster 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Josh Payne 6-5 John Bowles
Peter Jacques 6-4 Justin Pipe
Robert Thornton 6-2 Ray Campbell
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Jamie Lewis
John Henderson 6-3 Keegan Brown
Adam Hunt 6-5 Mark Webster
Rob Cross 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Steve Lennon 6-3 Kevin Painter
Jamie Bain 6-4 Joe Murnan
Warrick Scheffer 6-1 Devon Peterson
James Richardson, Mervyn King, Paul Nicholson, Nathan Aspinall, Mark Walsh, Brian Woods, Robbie Green, Darren Webster, Josh Payne, Peter Jacques, Robert Thornton, Andy Hamilton, John Henderson, Adam Hunt, Rob Cross, Steve Lennon, Jamie Bain, Warrick Scheffer.