Box office stars Smith and Aspinall collide (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The second set of fixtures from Groups E-H take place in Wolverhampton on Sunday afternoon as the opening day winners look to put one foot in the knock-out phase.
Saturday’s winners face off at the Aldersley Leisure Village as they look to make it four points from four, while Saturday’s losers clash in a potentially make-or-break battle.
A repeat of the US Masters final sees top 16 stars Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall go head-to-head in Group H – which has been widely dubbed ‘The Group of Death’ since the draw was made last week.
Smith took the spoils in a tough opener against Glen Durrant, missing double 15 for a nine-darter on the way to a 5-3 victory, and the World Championship and World Matchplay finalist is looking to collect the group winner’s bonus for the second successive year.
Aspinall, meanwhile, made a perfect start to only his second Grand Slam campaign, whitewashing Martin Schindler with a 98 average to continue his sublime spell of form this season.
Three-time Lakeside Champion Durrant, who is representing the BDO in this event despite being a PDC Tour Card Holder, aims to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat to Smith by seeing off 2018 World Youth finalist Schindler.
Durrant has reached the knock-out phase in two of his three previous Boylesports
Grand Slam appearances and starts out as considerable favourite to inflict another defeat on the German youngster – who has struggled to replicate his 2018 success this season.
A must-win battle in Group E sees local hero Jamie Hughes take on women’s world number one Lisa Ashton, with the loser staring elimination in the face.
Tipton thrower Hughes, who came through last week’s PDC qualifying event, averaged 95.7 despite defeat to Dave Chisnall and will take encouragement from his performance after being hampered by an arm injury in recent months.
Ashton gave a fine account of herself in a 5-2 defeat to Rob Cross, and the reigning Ladies World Master will be hoping to spoil the party for the Black Country faithful by keeping alive her aspiration of becoming the first female to reach the knock-out stages.
Players Champion Daryl Gurney aims to kick on from his opening game whitewash of Richard Veenstra when he takes on German number two Gabriel Clemens in Group G.
Gurney has reached at least the Quarter-Final stage of eight televised tournaments this year and is looking to better his run to the Last Eight at the Wolves Civic in 2017.
Clemens, who progressed from the Tour Card Holder qualifier, underlined his status as Germany’s hottest darting property at present with a 99 average in thrashing Brendan Dolan 5-1 for a dream Grand Slam debut.
Dolan, a winner of two Players Championship events this season and a quarter-finalist in last year’s World Championship, aims to utilise his vast experience against Dutch ace Veenstra – who averaged just 75 on a nervy debut.
Peter Wright, the 2017 runner-up, looks to take a big step towards topping the group for the second year running by defeating debutant Ryan Harrington.
Despite a radical change of setup, Wright averaged 98 in overcoming Wayne Warren 5-2 and will look to draw upon his big stage experience to see off qualifier Harrington – who held his nerve in a last-leg decider to edge past Danny Noppert.
Noppert, last week’s World Series Finals runner-up, looks to bounce back from that disappointing defeat 24 hours ago by effectively ending the qualification hopes of Welsh veteran Warren – a four-time BDO major quarter-finalist.
The action gets underway from 1pm GMT, with group matches to be contested over the best of nine legs.
Boylesports Grand Slam 2019 Match Schedule
Sunday November 10
1.15pm Brendan Dolan v Richard Veenstra (G)
1.45pm Danny Noppert v Wayne Warren (F)
2.15pm Jamie Hughes v Lisa Ashton (E)
2.45pm Martin Schindler v Glen Durrant (H)
3.15pm Daryl Gurney v Gabriel Clemens (G)
3.45pm Peter Wright v Ryan Harrington (F)
4.15pm Michael Smith v Nathan Aspinall (H)
4.45pm Rob Cross v Dave Chisnall (E)