Adrian Lewis, James Wade, Jonny Clayton, Luke Humphries, Chris Dobey and Ryan Meikle secured qualification for the opening two European Tour events of 2018, as Raymond van Barneveld endured a disappointing night on a dramatic evening at the Barnsley Metrodome on Friday.
Lewis continued his strong start to 2018 with a series of magnificent displays in Barnsley. He registered wins over Callan Rydz, Tony Newell, Cody Harris and Jarred Cole; averaging 94.90, 108.20, 103.70 and 104.90 in the respective matches to confirm his spot in the opening two European Tour events of the season.
Wade recorded hard-fought 6-4 victories over Paul Nicholson and John Part to seal his spot at the European Darts Open in Leverkusen, before turning on the style in qualifier two. He defeated Martin Lukeman by a familiar 6-4 scoreline, before completing the qualification double with a sensational 6-1 win over Matthew Edgar; averaging 111.10.
Players Championship Finals runner-up Jonny Clayton also completed the double at the Barnsley Metrodome. He defeated Terry Jenkins with a 101 average to confirm his spot at the European Darts Open, before averaging 106.80 and 102.50 to defeat Steve Hine and Raymond van Barneveld to triumph in the second qualifier of the evening.
Development Tour winner Luke Humphries will make his European Tour debut next month. He produced a ton-plus average to defeat Stephen Bunting, before seeing off Bradley Brooks to qualify for ET1, which he backed up with victories over Jamie Caven, James Richardson and David Pallett to seal his spot in Munich.
Chris Dobey also enjoyed a profitable evening at the Barnsley Metrodome. ‘Hollywood’ clinched his spot in Leverkusen with narrow wins over Matt Padgett and Matthew Edgar, before firing in 104.20 and 99.90 averages to see off Robert Owen and Brendan Dolan in qualifier two.
The sixth and final man to secure the qualification double was Suffolk star Ryan Meikle. Meikle overcame Robert Thornton and Alan Tabern in the opening event, before defeating Terry Jenkins 6-4 and claiming successive deciding-leg wins over Mark Webster and Michael Barnard to progress through qualifier two.
Former European Tour winners Steve Beaton and Justin Pipe both qualified for the European Darts Open, alongside former finalist John Henderson, Wayne Jones, Ritchie Edhouse, Richard North, Darren Johnson, Mark Wilson and Luke Woodhouse.
Former BDO stars Jamie Hughes and Cameron Menzies produced some sensational displays to secure their European Tour debuts next month. Hughes was in scintillating form; thrashing Ricky Evans 6-2 and whitewashing Peter Jacques and Robbie Green 6-0; averaging an extraordinary 125.30 in his first-round victory over a shell-shocked ‘Kong’.
They will be joined in Leverkusen by recent Challenge Tour event winner Martin Atkins, who followed up a 6-0 demolition of Michael Bradbury with battling wins over Ben Burton and Steve Lennon to confirm a spot in his maiden European Tour event.
Top seed Darren Webster was amongst the qualifiers for the German Darts Grand Prix in the second event of the evening, defeating Jim Brown and Andrew Gilding en route. Former World Youth champion Keegan Brown and former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting were also other high-profile names to qualify for ET2.
Former World Youth finalists Nathan Aspinall and Josh Payne also sealed their spots at the German Darts Grand Prix, whilst Steve West and James Wilson also progressed in convincing fashion. The veteran Alan Tabern joined Scott Taylor in securing their qualification, whilst Paul Rowley will make his European Tour bow in Munich.
Elsewhere, the Irish duo of William O’Connor and Steve Lennon also qualified for the second European Tour event of the year; defeating Kevin Painter and John Bowles respectively in their decisive final-round ties.
However, it was a frustrating night for five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, who was unable to qualify for either event despite registering three victories on the night. He lost 6-5 to Ross Twell in the second-round of qualifier one, before succumbing to an inspired Jonny Clayton in the final-round of the second event.
Three-time world champion John Part was just two legs away from qualifying for his first European Tour event since February 2015, after losing 6-4 to James Wade in the final stage of qualifier one. Meanwhile, the veteran trio of Robert Thornton, Terry Jenkins and Kevin Painter also endured a barren night.
The fields for the two European Tour events will be completed by eight players from the South & West Europe Qualifier and four players from the Host Nation Qualifier.
ET1 – European Darts Open
March 23-25, Leverkusen
UK Qualifier – Final Games – See Full Results In Match Centre
Ritchie Edhouse 6-0 Darren Webster
Steve Beaton 6-4 Ross Twell
Luke Humphries 6-3 Bradley Brooks
John Henderson 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Terry Jenkins
James Wade 6-4 John Part
Richard North 6-4 Andy Boulton
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Tony Newell
Cameron Menzies 6-3 Lee Bryant
Ryan Meikle 6-1 Alan Tabern
Justin Pipe 6-3 Richie Burnett
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Steve West
Wayne Jones 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Mark Wilson 6-4 James Richardson
Jamie Hughes 6-0 Peter Jacques
Martin Atkins (Wigan) 6-4 Steve Lennon
Chris Dobey 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Darren Johnson 6-2 David Pallett
UK Qualifiers: Ritchie Edhouse, Steve Beaton, Luke Humphries, John Henderson, Jonny Clayton, James Wade, Richard North, Adrian Lewis, Cameron Menzies, Ryan Meikle, Justin Pipe, Luke Woodhouse, Wayne Jones, Mark Wilson, Jamie Hughes, Martin Atkins (Wigan), Chris Dobey, Darren Johnson
ET2 – German Darts Grand Prix
March 31-April 2, Munich
Darren Webster 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Rhys Griffin
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Dave Ladley
Paul Rowley 6-5 Adam Hunt
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade 6-1 Matthew Edgar
Josh Payne 6-4 Richard North
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Jarred Cole
James Wilson 6-1 Cameron Menzies
Alan Tabern 6-1 Robert Thornton
Scott Taylor 6-5 Ryan Searle
Steve West 6-4 Eddie Dootson
Keegan Brown 6-3 Richie Edhouse
Luke Humphries 6-3 David Pallett
William O’Connor 6-4 Kevin Painter
Steve Lennon 6-3 John Bowles
Chris Dobey 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Ryan Meikle 6-5 Michael Barnard
UK Qualifiers: Darren Webster, Nathan Aspinall, Stephen Bunting, Paul Rowley, Jonny Clayton, James Wade, Josh Payne, Adrian Lewis, James Wilson, Alan Tabern, Scott Taylor, Steve West, Keegan Brown, Luke Humphries, William O’Connor, Steve Lennon, Chris Dobey, Ryan Meikle