Dimitri van den Bergh and Martin Schindler also won through to the PDC World Youth Championship Final in Wigan
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 06/11/18 11:19am
Mark Webster and Stephen Bunting headlined the eight Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers as the field for Wolverhampton was finalised following a busy day of darts in Wigan.
The last-chance qualifier for PDC Tour Card Holders saw 93 players compete at the Robin Park Tennis Centre on Monday evening in a bid to secure last-gasp Grand Slam qualification, and Bunting and Webster were the first men to seal their spots.
‘The Bullet’ defeated Canadian youngster Dawson Murschell and Tony Newell, before whitewashing Austria’s Rowby-John Rodriguez to secure his third Grand Slam appearance.
Three-time Wolverhampton quarter-finalist Webster will make his 10th Grand Slam appearance this year, after edging out World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan 5-4 in their decisive showdown.
The Welshman had earlier seen off Mario Robbe and Matthew Edgar for the loss of just four legs, and he’ll be featuring in his first PDC major since last year’s World Championship.
Former World Youth champion Keegan Brown will feature in the cross-code event for the first time since 2015, after registering four victories in Wigan.
The 2014 quarter-finalist dropped just four legs in defeating Lee Bryant, Brendan Dolan and Darren Johnson, before seeing off Irishman Steve Lennon 5-3 in his final tie.
Bolton’s Joe Murnan qualified for a second successive year after winning all four of his games in last-leg deciders; defeating Ritchie Edhouse, Prakash Jiwa, Luke Humphries and Tytus Kanik en route.
Andrew Gilding claimed a host of big-name scalps to seal his Grand Slam debut. ‘Goldfinger’ kicked off his campaign with successive 5-1 wins over Ricky Evans and Adrian Lewis, before easing past veteran Alan Tabern 5-2.
The 2015 UK Open semi-finalist then faced Alan Norris in a straight shootout for qualification, where Gilding held his nerve to prevail in a deciding leg.
Former UK Open quarter-finalist Steve Hine rolled back the years to seal his Wolverhampton bow; following up wins over John Goldie, Kevin Burness and Scott Taylor by defeating former World Youth champion Arron Monk 5-3 in his decisive rubber.
Ryan Searle was yet another debutant to come through Monday’s qualifier. Searle kicked off his campaign with wins over Mark Wilson and Sven Groen before the Somerset star dumped out both Darren Webster and Kyle Anderson to seal his spot in style.
Wade picks up another title
James Wade lifted his second title in the space of seven days with a dramatic 11-10 win over Michael Smith in the final of the bwin World Series of Darts Finals at the Multiversum in Vienna.
German star Martin Schindler rounded-off a memorable day in Wigan by following up his earlier qualification for the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final by securing a Grand Slam debut.
Schindler will take on reigning World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh in the World Youth Championship Final at Minehead later this month, after coming through a 96-man field earlier in the afternoon.
The diminutive German recorded whitewash wins over Rhys Hayden and Geert Nentjes, before defeating Bradley Kirk and Callan Rydz to progress through to the final.
Meanwhile, Van den Bergh overcame Melvin de Fijter, Thomas Lovely, Christian Bunse and Ted Evetts to keep his title defence alive.
Van den Bergh was already assured of Grand Slam qualification following his World Youth title triumph twelve months ago, but ‘The Wall’ maintained his irrepressible form throughout the course of the evening to join the Belgian.
Schindler held his nerve to record last-leg victories over Simon Stevenson and Jamie Lewis, before claiming a 5-3 win over Jan Dekker to confirm his place in Wolverhampton.
Nevertheless, there was disappointment for a host of big names who missed out on qualification.
World No 5 Daryl Gurney was beaten by Dekker, while former Grand Slam finalists Dave Chisnall and Robert Thornton were beaten by Jeffrey de Zwaan and Kyle Anderson respectively.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis was beaten in his opening tie by an inspired Gilding, while Joe Cullen, Kim Huybrechts, Darren Webster and Steve Beaton also failed to qualify for next weekend’s event.
Martin Schindler 5-3 Jan Dekker
Stephen Bunting 5-0 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Andrew Gilding 5-4 Alan Norris
Steve Hine 5-3 Arron Monk
Mark Webster 5-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Joe Murnan 5-4 Tytus Kanik
Keegan Brown 5-3 Steve Lennon
Ryan Searle 5-4 Kyle Anderson
Darts season is in full swing and continues on Sky Sports with the Grand Slam of Darts which gets underway with a double session on Saturday, November 10 and continues through to the final on Sunday, November 18
The World Championships are just around the corner and get underway from the iconic Alexandra Palace on December 13.