Gawlas & Veenstra among first eight through from Q Schools Stage 1A

Adam Gawlas

Adam Gawlas and Richard Veenstra were among the first eight players to make it through PDC Qualifying Schools Stage 1A on Monday, while Raymond van Barneveld made his highly-anticipated return.

The opening day of Q Schools saw Stage 1A began in Milton Keynes (UK Q School) and Niedernhausen (European Q School), with over 300 players bidding to reach the Final Stage, where PDC Tour Cards will be awarded.

The opening day in Europe saw Gawlas, Veenstra, Michael Plooy and Lorenzo Pronk become the first four players to make it through, while in the UK, Eddie Lovely, Chas Barstow, Derek Coulson and Dale Hughes advanced.

Former World Youth Championship runner-up Gawlas set the standard on the opening day in Germany, as the 18-year-old Czech averaged well over 90 in four of his five wins, sealing his path through with victory over Croatia's Pero Ljubic.

Experienced Dutchman Veenstra, a former Lakeside Championship semi-finalist, also enjoyed a successful start to his bid for a place on the PDC tour for the first time.

Multiple-European Tour event qualifier Plooy and Q School debutant Pronk made it a trio of Dutch successes on Day One thanks to last eight wins over the much-fancied German prospect Nico Kurz and Belgium's Geert De Vos respectively.

Much of the attention in Niedernhausen was focused on five-time World Champion Van Barneveld, making his comeback appearance in PDC competition after announcing his decision to come out of retirement.

The Dutch legend got off to a strong start with a trio of victories, including a 100 average in the last 32 against Gillian Koehoorn, before going down to Ljubic 6-5 in the last 16.

Van Barneveld will be among the players returning for the second day of Stage 1A on Tuesday where the final four players from each venue will once again advance to Final Stage.

In Milton Keynes, experienced campaigner Lovely got the better of Scottish youngster Nathan Girvan in their qualification decider.

Barstow, in his third Q School appearance, defeated former Grand Slam of Darts qualifier Adam Smith-Neale, while Welsh pair Coulson and Hughes defeated John Imrie and Josh McCarthy respectively.

Elsewhere at the Marshall Arena, Fallon Sherrock exited at the last 64 stage, Wes Newton reached the last 32, while Kevin Painter and Wayne Warren failed to make it beyond the last 128.

Click here for full results from Stage 1A Day One of UK Qualifying School

Click here for full results from Stage 1A Day One of European Qualifying School

UK Qualifying School Stage 1A Day One
Last 16

Eddie Lovely 6-2 Stephen Gallimore
Nathan Girvan 6-2 David Wawrzewski
Adam Smith-Neale 6-5 David Airey
Chas Barstow 6-5 Kevin Thomas
John Imrie 6-1 Kevin McDine
Derek Coulson 6-0 John Scott
Josh McCarthy 6-2 John Brown
Dale Hughes 6-3 Connor Scutt

Last Eight
Eddie Lovely 6-2 Nathan Girvan
Chas Barstow 6-4 Adam Smith-Neale
Derek Coulson 6-4 John Imrie
Dale Hughes 6-5 Josh McCarthy

European Qualifying School Stage 1A Day One
Last 16

Nico Kurz 6-3 Dennie Olde Kalter
Michael Plooy 6-3 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Pero Ljubic 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Adam Gawlas 6-1 Jiri Brejcha
Geert De Vos 6-5 Moreno Blom
Lorenzo Pronk 6-2 Michael Unterbuchner
Remo Mandiau 6-4 El Abbas El Amri
Richard Veenstra 6-2 Niko Springer

Last Eight
Michael Plooy 6-4 Nico Kurz
Adam Gawlas 6-1 Pero Ljubic
Lorenzo Pronk 6-4 Geert De Vos
Richard Veenstra 6-4 Remo Mandiau