Electric eight secure double European Tour qualification

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Terry Jenkins, Richie Burnett, Wayne Jones, Mark Walsh, Stuart Kellett, Dean Winstanley, Steve Maish and newcomer Glenn Spearing enjoyed double delight by winning through to the first two European Tour events of 2014 at the UK Qualifiers in Wigan.

With the year’s opening two £100,000 European Tour events to be held in Germany and Holland over the next month, the UK Qualifiers were held at the Robin Park Tennis Centre following the four-day Qualifying School.

Each event offered 20 places in the tournament, with the UK Qualifiers joined by a further eight European Qualifiers and four Host Nation Qualifiers in the first round of the main event, before the top 16 seeds enter at the second round stage.

Although each of yesterday’s qualifying events featured 20 seeded players, based on the One-Year ProTour Order of Merit, only five seeds secured qualification for both events, with three other players also winning places in both European Tour tournaments.

While Dean Winstanley and Steve Maish – who defeated Colin Lloyd 6-5 in both tournaments as he secured double qualification – have plenty of experience on the stage, Irish newcomer Glenn Spearing, 28, followed up his participation in Q School by winning through to both European Tour events.

Spearing overcame 2013 Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner Ross Smith to win his place in the German Darts Championship, before later seeing off former World Youth Champion Arron Monk to qualify for the Dutch Darts Masters.

Seven-time major finalist Jenkins defeated Kevin Dowling and Barrie Bates on his way to securing a place in Germany, and later picked up 6-1 wins over Lee Hayes and Chris Aubrey to earn a spot in the Dutch Darts Masters.

Burnett was pushed all the way by Richie Howson in his final game of Sunday’s first qualifier, and then sealed a place in Holland with a win over Vernon Sheppard.

Wayne Jones – a semi-finalist in the German Darts Masters last September – defeated Keegan Brown and Steve West in his deciders, while March’s UK Masters runner-up Stuart Kellett defeated Paul Amos and James Richardson as he qualified for both events.

Walsh, meanwhile, enjoyed two wins over Michael Burgoine on the day, and defeated Steve Douglas and Marc Dewsbury in his respective deciders.

Other qualifiers for the German Darts Championship included top 32 stars Andy Hamilton, Justin Pipe, Ronnie Baxter and Michael Smith, the World Youth Champion.

Brothers Lee and Joey Palfreyman also qualified, while Matt Padgett, Brian Woods and Jamie Bain followed up their Q School success by winning spots in Hildesheim alongside newcomer Barry Lynn, a 26-year-old from Braintree, Essex.

Dean Winstanley, Mark Dudbridge and Marc Dewsbury were other players to win through to the German Darts Championship, which will be held in Hildesheim from January 31-February 2.

The qualifiers for the Dutch Darts Masters included young quartet Joe Cullen, Jamie Lewis, David Pallett and Josh Payne, while Mick Todd followed up his success in winning back a Tour Card by defeating Andy Hamilton to secure a Veldhoven spot.

Andy Smith defeated Colin Osborne to qualify, while Darren Webster, Michael Mansell, Michael Barnard, Kevin Thomas, Terry Temple and Peter Hudson also progressed to compete in Holland from February 14-16.

There was disappointment, though, for world number six James Wade, who lost out 6-5 in both of his deciders on the day as Lynn and Thomas secured their European Tour spots.

German Darts Championship – European Tour Event 1 Halle 39, Hildesheim Friday January 31-Sunday February 2

Seeded Players 1 Michael van Gerwen 2 Dave Chisnall 3 Peter Wright 4 Brendan Dolan 5 Kim Huybrechts 6 Robert Thornton 7 Jamie Caven 8 Steve Beaton 9 Wes Newton 10 Mervyn King 11 Ian White 12 John Part 13 Paul Nicholson 14 Gary Anderson 15 Adrian Lewis 16 Kevin Painter

UK Qualifiers Stuart Kellett Andy Hamilton Ronnie Baxter Justin Pipe Matt Padgett Barry Lynn Steve Maish Richie Burnett Terry Jenkins Wayne Jones Michael Smith Mark Dudbridge Marc Dewsbury Dean Winstanley Brian Woods Joey Palfreyman Mark Walsh Jamie Bain Glenn Spearing Lee Palfreyman

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