Joe Cullen is within touching distance of achieving his dream and winning a place at the World Matchplay.
Cullen was at his very best as he won the all Unicorn clash with Terry Jenkins 6-1....the youngster averaging 96 against the No.8 seed.
And the £1,000 prize money that he is guaranteed for reaching the 2nd Round should, barring miracles, be enough to see Cullen at the Winter Gardens for his Matchplay debut in two weeks time through the Pro Tour Order of Merit.
He now plays Johnny Haines in round two.
But for Jamie Caven – an anxious wait....victory over Brian Woods in Dusseldorf would almost certainly have seen Caven qualify for Blackpool as well.
It has been a really tough time for Jamie after the recent death of his father and he took the brave decision to go to Germany to play.....
The thoughts of everyone at Unicorn are with Jamie and his family at this time.
But after leading 5-3, he lost 5-6 against Brian Woods and Caven now has to wait and see how results go for the rest of the tournament, with the likes of Colin Osborne and James Hubbard in with a chance of knocking ‘Jabba’ out of a Matchplay qualifying position.
Caven is now in the 16th and last qualifying position going into the weekend’s action.
Elsewhere on day one, Wes Newton received a bye after his scheduled opponent Steve Maish didn’t make the trip to Germany....Newton will now play Mark Dudbridge on Saturday.
Colin Osborne kept his Matchplay hopes alive, as he whitewashed Jim Walker 6-0, but Osborne knows he may need to reach the quarter-finals to clinch a Blackpool spot....and he plays Kevin Painter in round two!
Painter was a 6-3 winner over Ryan de Vreede.
Raymond van Barneveld breezed into round two.....a 102 average, two 12 dart legs, a 121 finish and an impressive 6-2 victory over Ian White....he now plays Brendan Dolan, who beat Dean Winstanley in a deciding leg.
James Wade enjoyed a 6-3 victory over Magnus Caris and Unicorn’s world no.3 now plays Jelle Klaasen in the 2nd Round.
But disappointment for Devon Petersen, Arron Monk, Andy Hamilton and Paul Nicholson in Dusseldorf.
Hamilton averaged 104 but lost in a last leg to PDC Unicorn Youth World Champion James Hubbard, Monk was beaten 6-2 by Steve Brown and Devon Petersen went down by the same score to the in-form Ronnie Baxter, while Nicholson couldn’t recover from going 4-0 behind to Kim Huybrechts and lost 6-2 to the Belgian.
• Meanwhile, there is better news of Team Unicorn star Gary Anderson....the eye problem that has forced him out of the last four tournaments is clearing up and he will be fit and raring to go for the World Matchplay later this month.
Selected other results:
Denis Ovens 3-6 Tonci Restovic
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Kevin Munch
Justin Pipe 3-6 Gino Vos
Mervyn King 6-3 Stuart Kellett
Mark Hylton 1-6 Jelle Klaasen
Co Stompe 1-6 Mark Dudbridge
Richie Burnett 6-2 Andy Jenkins (BURNETT AVERAGED 121.57)
Adrian Lewis 6-0 Karsten Kornath
John Part 3-6 Tomas Seyler
By STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC