Gian van Veen and Ciaran Teehan claimed Winmau Development Tour titles as Events Eight and Nine took place on a high-quality day of competition in Wigan.
Saturday’s double-header saw 223 players aged 16-24 in action at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, with Van Veen adding to his Development Tour tally for the loss of just seven legs.
Van Veen flew over to England on Saturday morning after losing out to Gabriel Clemens at the Dutch Darts Championship on Friday night, and his dedication was rewarded with Event Eight success.
The 21-year-old recorded a trio of ton-plus averages en route to glory, defeating emerging teenager Thomas Banks 5-2 to celebrate his third Development Tour title.
The Dutchman breezed through the early rounds in emphatic fashion, averaging 106 to dispatch Teehan in round two, and demolishing Jim Moston 5-1 to storm into the semi-finals.
Van Veen continued his charge with a five-leg blitz of Germany’s Dominik Gruellich, averaging over 105 to set up a showdown against Banks, who reached round four on his UK Open debut in March.
The 16-year-old impressed in his run to the Event Eight decider, recording wins over Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, Owen Roelofs and last year’s Order of Merit winner Nathan Rafferty.
Banks shared the opening four legs of Saturday’s final against Van Veen, only for the Dutchman to win the remaining three legs to prevail, sealing the deal with a 118 checkout and a 97 average.
Elsewhere, Order of Merit leader Luke Littler reaffirmed his credentials with a sublime 111 average in his last 64 whitewash of Nic Mueller, before succumbing to Rafferty in the last eight.
Event Nine saw Teehan edge out Jurjen van der Velde to scoop a maiden Development Tour crown, accompanying his Challenge Tour title from 2019.
The Irish thrower survived a scare against Germany’s Marc Petermann in the last 32, before coming through a hard-fought quarter-final clash against former JDC World Champion Bradly Roes.
Teehan punished a below-par display from Jarred Cole in the semi-finals, and he secured the £2,500 top prize by firing in a 14-darter to deny Van der Velde in a last-leg shoot-out.
Dutch prospect Van der Velde began his campaign by averaging 105 in thrashing Event Eight runner-up Banks – one of five whitewash wins he claimed throughout Event Nine.
Former JDC World Champion Van der Velde also saw off Event One winner Christopher Toonders in the last eight, before whitewashing former World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks in the last four.
Elsewhere, Van Veen’s bid for back-to-back titles was curtailed in the last 16 by Jacob Gwynne, who defied a 102 average from his in-form opponent to win through a high-quality decider.
The second weekend of 2023 Winmau Development Tour action concludes with Event Ten at the Robin Park Tennis Centre on Sunday.
The top two players from the final 2023 Development Tour Order of Merit will win a PDC Tour Card for 2024-25 and a place in the 2023/24 World Darts Championship.
Following Saturday’s action, Littler boasts a £2,450 lead at the top of the Order of Merit, with Van Veen leapfrogging his compatriot Wessel Nijman into second spot.
2023 Winmau Development Tour
Saturday April 29
Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Nathan Rafferty 5-3 Luke Littler
Thomas Banks 5-2 Damian Vetjens
Gian van Veen 5-1 Jim Moston
Dominik Gruellich 5-2 Jurjen van der Velde
Thomas Banks 5-2 Nathan Rafferty
Gian van Veen 5-0 Dominik Gruellich
Gian van Veen 5-2 Thomas Banks
Jarred Cole 5-2 Jacob Gwynne
Ciaran Teehan 5-3 Bradly Roes
Jurjen van der Velde 5-2 Christopher Toonders
Bradley Brooks 5-1 Nathan Girvan
Ciaran Teehan 5-1 Jarred Cole
Jurjen van der Velde 5-0 Bradley Brooks
Ciaran Teehan 5-4 Jurjen van der Velde