Young quartet Keane Barry, William Borland, Adam Gawlas and Lewis Williams each pulled off impressive victories over seeded opposition on Day Two of the Hungarian Darts Trophy.
The emerging talents were among the stand-out performers in the Second Round of the season’s first European Tour event at the Budapest Sports Arena, as five seeds crashed out.
Irish teenager Barry sent World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode packing with a 6-3 victory in the afternoon session, punishing an out of sorts display from the Dutchman – who averaged just 84.6.
Borland will face his Scottish compatriot Peter Wright in Sunday’s Last 16 after edging past Mensur Suljovic in a last-leg decider.
Suljovic had battled back from 5-1 down to send the tie the distance, but it was the world number 78 who held his nerve on tops for a 14-darter to seal victory.
Welsh ace Williams enjoyed a shock 6-3 victory over recent World Matchplay semi-finalist Krzysztof Ratajski, reeling off six consecutive legs from 3-0 down to prevail with a 98.8 average and six doubles from seven attempts.
The evening session saw the star names largely progress unscathed, though Premier League champion Jonny Clayton fell victim to Czech youngster Gawlas in a deciding leg.
The 19-year-old punished a staggering 25 missed darts at doubles from Clayton as he came from 3-0 down to seal victory and a place in the Last 16.
Michael van Gerwen got off and running in style with a 6-4 success over Daryl Gurney, averaging 101.5 with a high checkout of 126 to kick-start his latest quest for a first PDC title of the year.
Peter Wright delighted a 2,500-strong crowd by overcoming Germany’s Florian Hempel 6-3 with four 180s along the way.
Top seed Joe Cullen eased his way to a 6-3 win over Belgium’s Geert de Vos with eight maximums and a 100 average to his name.
World number one Gerwyn Price missed double 12 for a nine-darter in an eventful 6-4 win over debutant Richard Veenstra.
— Live Darts (@livedarts) September 4, 2021
Price trailed 4-2 as the referee struggled to maintain order in the crowd, but the Welshman sparked into life with four consecutive legs to complete the turnaround.
Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa also battled back from behind to book his place in Round Two as he overturned a 3-1 deficit with five legs on the spin to see off Joe Murnan.
Michael Smith swept aside Greek qualifier John Michael 6-3 with a 101 average, while Rob Cross recovered from 4-2 down to defeat Ross Smith 6-4.
James Wade averaged 99.5 in a narrow 6-5 victory over Willie O’Connor, while in-form Brendan Dolan thrashed Alan Soutar 6-1 with 60 per cent on the doubles.
Damon Heta prevailed in the all-Australian clash with World Cup team-mate Simon Whitlock, reeling off five consecutive legs from 4-1 behind to seal an emotional win in memory of his close friend Kyle Anderson.
UK Open finalist Luke Humphries averaged 101 in a superb 6-2 win over Devon Petersen with five 180s to his name, as Nathan Aspinall brushed aside World Youth champion Bradley Brooks 6-1 with a 101.7 average and six from eight on the doubles.
Saturday September 4
Rob Cross 6-4 Ross Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski 3-6 Lewis Williams
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Alan Soutar
James Wade 6-5 William O’Connor
Mensur Suljovic 5-6 William Borland
Devon Petersen 2-6 Luke Humphries
Dirk van Duijvenbode 3-6 Keane Barry
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Bradley Brooks
Jonny Clayton 5-6 Adam Gawlas
Joe Cullen 6-3 Geert De Vos
Damon Heta 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Jose de Sousa 6-3 Joe Murnan
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Richard Veenstra
Peter Wright 6-3 Florian Hempel
Michael Smith 6-3 John Michael
Keane Barry and Berry van Peer have secured two-year PDC Tour Cards via the Development Tour Order of Merit, with Barry joining Ryan Meikle in the 2020/21 World Championship.
The Development Tour campaign concluded in Barnsley on Sunday, with Meikle finishing top of the Order of Merit ahead of Irish sensation Barry.
With Meikle already assured of a Tour Card for 2021, the second available Tour Card is awarded to Dutch ace Van Peer – who returns to the circuit for the first time since 2017.
Barry, 18, narrowly missed out on winning a Tour Card at Qualifying School in January but will make his eagerly-awaited debut next season and head to Ally Pally for the second successive year.
A former BDO and JDC World Youth Champion, Barry picked up two Development Tour titles in Barnsley at the weekend to underline his position as one of the sport’s brightest young talents.
Van Peer, who has overcome dartitis to resurrect his career, finished third on the Development Tour Order of Merit, and has previously featured in the 2017 Grand Slam of Darts.
Meikle, a six-time Development Tour title winner, topped the final Order of Merit after winning two events this season and will make his second successive World Championship appearance in December.
The Development Tour weekend is proceeded by the PDC World Youth Championship on Monday, which will see 96 players compete for a place in November’s final.
1. Ryan Meikle (£7,000)
2. Keane Barry (£6,000)
3. Berry van Peer (£4,250)
4. Damian Mol (£3,750)
5. Ted Evetts (£3,450)
6. Kevin Doets (£2,950)
7. Martin Schindler (£2,400)
8. Callan Rydz (£2,350)
9. Wessel Nijman (£2,250)
10. Niels Zonneveld (£2,200)
Keane Barry admits his Qualifying School disappointment was “tough to take” but insists he will learn from the experience.
Barry was beaten by Scott Waites in a play-off for a Tour Card on the final day of Qualifying School.
The 17-year-old, however, bounced back by winning the JDC Super 16 title in Milton Keynes to add to his BDO and JDC world titles.
Barry will continue to compete on the JDC circuit in 2020 as well as the Development Tour and Challenge Tour.
The Irish ace has established himself as one of darts’ brightest young prospects and made his World Championship debut in December.
On his Q School experience, he admitted: “I fell at the last hurdle, which was tough to take, but it’s all experience to take on board.”
“Next year I’ll know what it’s all about.
“I still have a lot of things to look forward to and it’s all going in a good way.”
Barry defeated 13-year-old Luke Littler 5-3 in the Super 16 final with a 95 average on The Masters stage in Milton Keynes.
Keane Barry reacts to his 3-0 victory over Leighton Bennett to be crowned 2020 BDO World Youth Champion and also outlines his plans for the year ahead, including a trip to Qualifying School.