Nijman & Rafferty extend Development Tour title hauls in Wigan

Wessel Nijman (PDC)

Wessel Nijman and Nathan Rafferty extended their Winmau Development Tour title hauls after sharing the spoils in Saturday’s double-header in Wigan.

The Robin Park Tennis Centre played host to Events 13 and 14 on Saturday, with over 250 players battling it out across another marathon day of darts.

Dutch star Nijman took centre stage in the opening event of the day, defeating Germany’s Niko Springer 5-2 to clinch his second Development Tour title of 2024.

The 23-year-old also denied Springer to triumph in Event Eight last month, and he converted finishes of 112 and 142 to celebrate the seventh Development Tour crown of his career.

Nijman kicked off Event 13 with a trio of whitewash wins against Dominik Gruellich, David Schlichting and Moreno Blom, and he continued his serene progress by breezing past Jenson Walker.

The Dutchman registered his fourth whitewash of the campaign against Felix Springer in the last 16, before averaging 102.95 in a quarter-final demolition of Beau Greaves – Friday’s Event 11 champion.

Nijman then launched a superb comeback to deny Rafferty in the last four, reeling off three straight legs in 15, 15 and 14 darts to overturn a 4-2 deficit.

Rafferty had averaged 108 earlier in the campaign, but the Northern Irishman bounced back with victory in Event 14, defeating Marvin van Velzen 5-3 to pocket the £2,500 top prize.

The 24-year-old converted 80, 96, 69, 61 and 70 combinations to secure the 12th Development Tour title of his career, drawing him level with Dimitri Van den Bergh on the all-time list.

Rafferty avenged his defeat to Nijman with a deciding-leg win of his own in the Event 14 semi-finals, having accounted for Springer in the last eight.

The former World Youth Championship runner-up also came through a last-leg shoot-out against Jon-Sebastian Wright in the last 32, after brushing aside James Buckby, Janek Hill, Justin van der Velden and Jake Fewell.

Van Velzen impressed in his run to the Event 14 showpiece, dumping out Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and former World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks, before whitewashing Greaves in the quarter-finals.

Nijman’s exploits lift him above his compatriot Gian van Veen into second place on the Development Tour Order of Merit, with Rafferty up to fourth ahead of Sunday’s Event 15.

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.

The event draws and results are listed in the Match Centre.

Click here for match stats and results through DartConnect.

2024 Winmau Development Tour
Saturday June 22, Wigan
Event 13

Nathan Rafferty 5-2 Christopher Toonders
Wessel Nijman 5-0 Beau Greaves
Niko Springer 5-4 Nathan Girvan
Keanu van Velzen 5-0 Charlie Manby

Wessel Nijman 5-4 Nathan Rafferty
Niko Springer 5-0 Keanu van Velzen

Wessel Nijman 5-2 Wessel Nijman

Event 14

Marvin van Velzen 5-0 Beau Greaves
Connor Hopkins 5-1 Owen Roelofs
Wessel Nijman 5-2 Dylan Dowling
Nathan Rafferty 5-2 Niko Springer

Marvin van Velzen 5-0 Connor Hopkins
Nathan Rafferty 5-4 Wessel Nijman

Nathan Rafferty 5-3 Marvin van Velzen