Rob Cross, Mark Webster and Justin Pipe were amongst the eight players to seal their qualification for next month’s World Series of Darts Finals, after coming through an 86-man field at the Barnsley Metrodome on Monday evening.
Cross continued his magnificent form by dropping just five legs en route to confirming his World Series debut. Cross, a winner of three Players Championship events this year, began his campaign with a 5-2 win over Andy Boulton, before beating Welshman Robert Owen in a hard-fought affair.
‘Voltage’ then faced a decisive last 16 tie against young Suffolk star Ryan Meikle, who defeated Benito van de Pas in the preceding round. However, Cross clinched a comprehensive 5-1 win to seal his progression and maintain his sensational floor form.
Former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster was another high-profile name to seal his spot at next month’s event. The left-hander dropped just three legs in beating Scott Taylor and Ross Twell in his opening two matches, before overcoming another former Lakeside winner Stephen Bunting 5-3 to confirm his qualification.
Webster’s fellow Welsh star Jonny Clayton was the first man to come through this evening’s qualifier. ‘The Ferret’ kicked off his campaign with a stunning whitewash win over three-time world champion John Part, before he edged out William O’Connor, who sealed his Ally Pally spot by winning Saturday’s Tom Kirby Memorial title.
Clayton then came through another deciding-leg shootout to defeat John Henderson, who defeated Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld to reach his first major semi-final at last week’s World Grand Prix. This set up a crunch showdown against ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans, but the Welshman showed his class to close out a convincing 5-2 win.
Elsewhere, Justin Pipe will make his World Series of Darts Finals debut next month after coming through a series of hard-fought clashes at the Barnsley Metrodome. ‘The Force’ received a bye to the last 64, where he defeated the veteran Richie Corner 5-3.
Pipe then came through a last-leg decider to defeat Belgian starlet Mike De Decker, before sealing his place at the Braehead Arena with an impressive 5-3 win over world number seventeen Ian White, who last appeared in this event back in 2015.
Chris Dobey will make his second World Series of Darts Finals appearance after coming through three successive last-leg deciders to qualify. The North-East ace defeated Ron Meulenkamp 5-3 in the preliminary round, before defeating another Dutchman Vincent Kamphuis in a dramatic ninth and final leg.
Dobey then saw off former Lakeside finalist Alan Norris 5-4, to set up a decisive last 16 tie against young Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan, who defeated Josh Payne and Vincent van der Voort earlier in the night. However, ‘Hollywood’ booked his spot by beating his third Dutchman of the night- in his third deciding-leg triumph of the qualifying campaign.
Another man set to make his second appearance at the World Series of Darts Finals is Belgian ace Dimitri van den Bergh, who dumped out his fellow countryman Kim Huybrechts en route to sealing his qualification.
Van den Bergh received a bye through to round-one, where he defeated 2012 World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton. He then stunned his compatriot Huybrechts 5-1, before overcoming former World Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan to round-off an excellent night’s work in Barnsley.
Former BDO star Jan Dekker came through some difficult ties to qualify for the World Series of Darts Finals for the very first time. He defeated former major winners James Wilson and Paul Nicholson in his opening matches, before seeing off the ‘Muffin Man’ Steve Hine 5-3 in his crucial third-round battle.
Finally, Simon Stevenson will compete in just his fourth ever PDC televised major after defeating a host of experienced names at the Barnsley Metrodome. The Plymouth ace received a bye to round-one, where he dumped out 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton.
Stevenson then eased past Dutch star Yordi Meeuwisse 5-2, before edging out former World Championship semi-finalist Andy Jenkins in a ninth and final leg, to seal his spot at next month’s event at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow.
Nevertheless, a host of established names suffered chastening early exits. Three-time world champion John Part was whitewashed in the preliminary round by Jonny Clayton, whilst former Premier League stars Wes Newton and Kevin Painter were beaten at the same stage by Ryan Meikle and Rowby-John Rodriguez.
1996 Lakeside world champion Steve Beaton was thrashed 5-1 by Paul Nicholson in the last 64, whilst Robert Thornton, who returned to form at last week’s World Grand Prix, was dumped out by Simon Stevenson. Darren Webster, Cristo Reyes, James Wilson, Christian Kist and Andy Hamilton were also condemned to round-one exits in Barnsley.
The Dutch trio of Benito van de Pas, Vincent van der Voort and Jermaine Wattimena fell by the wayside in the last 32, as Kim Huybrechts, Joe Cullen, Alan Norris & World Grand Prix semi-finalist John Henderson were defeated at the same stage. Elsewhere, Stephen Bunting & Ian White were both cruelly denied in the final stage of qualifying.
The full list of results from this evening’s qualifier can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Ladbrokes World Series Finals Qualifier