Chris Dobey celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The 13th and final European Tour event of the season gets underway in Gibraltar on Friday as the 32 qualifiers battle it out in Round One.
For many, qualification hopes for next month’s European Championship could hinge on their result at the Victoria Stadium on Friday, with five places still up for grabs in the £500,000 major.
With Ted Evetts, Ross Smith and John Henderson having failed to qualify for Gibraltar, Justin Pipe is in prime position to move in to the top 32 on the European Order of Merit, but has been handed a tough opening tie against Belgian number one Kim Huybrechts.
Huybrechts currently occupies 40th position and requires a run to at least the Last 16 if he is to gatecrash Gottingen.
Danny Noppert is just £1,000 adrift of 32nd spot heading into the decisive Euro Tour event, and the former Lakeside finalist looks to bolster his qualification hopes by seeing off Keegan Brown – who is already assured of a place in Gottingen.
Ritchie Edhouse, who finds himself £2,000 adrift of the provisional qualifying places, faces a tough test against Czech Open champion Jamie Hughes in the evening session.
World Cup of Darts finalist William O’Connor looks to all but secure his European Championship spot by overcoming Chris Dobey – who is already safe but will be keen to set up a show-down with fellow North East star Glen Durrant in Round Two.
Portugal’s Jose De Sousa, recent winner of a Players Championship event, faces Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas for the right to take on defending champion Michael van Gerwen on Saturday.
Former Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton aims to deny Tony Newell a win at the first attempt on the Euro Tour this season, while 2008 world finalist Kirk Shepherd comes up against Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk.
Dutch sensation Jeffrey de Zwaan will take on a resurgent Steve West – semi-finalist on the ProTour last weekend – as Darren Webster opens up against emerging Dutch talent Wessel Nijman in the afternoon session.
World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh looks to safeguard his European Championship spot by denying recent Players Championship semi-finalist Scott Taylor.
Multiple major champion Robert Thornton faces David Francis – one of four host nation qualifiers to have reached the main stages on Thursday evening.
Dyson Parody, Gibraltar’s most successful darter, starts out against Norway’s Cor Dekker, while young gun Justin Hewitt marks his stage debut with a tie against Tour Card holder Carl Wilkinson.
Michael Rosenauer, the sole German representative in the competition, looks to keep the flag flying by ending the hopes of host nation qualifier Antony Lopez.
World Championship quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce faces veteran Matt Clark, while in-form Ipswich star Ryan Meikle meets Paul Rowley.
The action gets underway from midday BST, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
Gibraltar Darts Trophy 2019 Schedule
All times BST (local time one hour ahead)
Friday September 27
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Wessel Nijman v Darren Webster
Krzysztof Kciuk v Kirk Shepherd
Ryan Joyce v Matt Clark
Cor Dekker v Dyson Parody
Ryan Meikle v Paul Rowley
Justin Pipe v Kim Huybrechts
Carl Wilkinson v Justin Hewitt
Steve Beaton v Tony Newell
Evening Session (6.15pm-10.15pm)
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Steve West
William O’Connor v Chris Dobey
Keegan Brown v Danny Noppert
Antony Lopez v Michael Rosenauer
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Scott Taylor
Darius Labanauskas v Jose De Sousa
Robert Thornton v David Francis
Ritchie Edhouse v Jamie Hughes