Nijman & Rafferty share Development Tour success in Hildesheim

Wessel Nijman (PDC)

Wessel Nijman produced a sensational 113 average to clinch his sixth Winmau Development Tour crown on Saturday, as Nathan Rafferty also added to his title haul in Hildesheim.

Saturday's double-header saw over 320 players in action at Halle 39, and it was two of the most successful stars in Development Tour history who claimed a share of the spoils.

Nijman stole the headlines with his exploits in Event Eight, powering to the title with an epic deciding-leg win against Niko Springer, where he averaged 113.03 and hit seven 180s.

The Dutchman hit back from 4-2 down to condemn Springer to a fifth consecutive defeat in a Development Tour final, reeling off legs of 13, 12, 13, 14 and 12 darts to pocket the £2,500 top prize.

Nijman registered four ton-topping averages on his way to glory in Germany, following up early wins over Danny de Jong and Paul-Merlin Pfeifer by averaging over a ton to dispatch Rafferty in the last 64.

The 23-year-old averaged 106 to deny his compatriot Jurjen van der Velde in another last-leg thriller, before impressing further in 4-2 and 5-4 wins against Levy Frauenfelder and Order of Merit leader Gian van Veen.

Nijman landed a brace of ton-plus checkouts to halt Van Veen's bid for a third title in the space of four events, and he defeated another fellow Dutchman in the semi-finals, winning through a nine-leg battle with Danny Jansen.

German prospect Springer conceded five legs in as many matches to breeze through to the quarter-finals, while successive 5-3 wins against Daniel Perry and Marvin van Velzen saw him scoop £1,000 as runner-up.

Rafferty - a finalist in Friday's Event Seven - then rounded off Saturday's play with Event Nine success, sealed with a 5-2 thumping of Jansen in the evening's showpiece.

The Northern Irishman kicked off his title bid with wins against Tyler Mantle, Marteau Keano and Viktor Tingstrom, while a ton-topping average saw him sweep aside Tyler Thorpe to reach the last 16.

There, Rafferty whitewashed Dutchman Bram van Dijk, before following up a 5-2 quarter-final win over Jarred Cole with a five-leg blitz of Nathan Potter en route to his 11th Development Tour title.

Jansen survived a late onslaught from Nijman in the semi-finals to deny his compatriot a remarkable double in Hildesheim, and the pair occupy fourth and third spots respectively on the Development Tour Order of Merit.

Van Veen retains a £1,675 lead at the summit, with Keane Barry in second spot following his brace of titles during February's opening weekend.

The top two players from the 2024 Development Tour Order of Merit will win a PDC Tour Card for 2025-26 and a place in the 2024/25 Paddy Power World Darts Championship.

This weekend’s Winmau Development Tour action will conclude with Event Ten on Sunday, with play getting underway at approximately 0930 BST in Hildesheim.

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2024 Winmau Development Tour
Saturday May 4, Halle 39, Hildesheim
Event Eight

Wessel Nijman 5-4 Gian van Veen
Danny Jansen 5-0 Colinn Haverkate
Niko Springer 5-3 Daniel Perry
Marvin van Velzen 5-3 Angelo Balsamo

Wessel Nijman 5-4 Danny Jansen
Niko Springer 5-3 Marvin van Velzen

Wessel Nijman 5-4 Niko Springer

Event Nine

Wessel Nijman 5-3 Sebastian Bialecki
Danny Jansen 5-0 David Fidler
Nathan Rafferty 5-2 Jarred Cole
Nathan Potter 5-2 Mason Whitlock

Danny Jansen 5-4 Wessel Nijman
Nathan Rafferty 5-0 Nathan Potter

Nathan Rafferty 5-2 Danny Jansen