Danny Noppert moved into a provisional qualifying place for the Unibet European Championship with victory in the opening round of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, while 13 other players also won to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Friday saw the start of the 13th and final European Tour event of 2019, after which the 32-player field will be confirmed for the European Championship, which will take place in Göttingen from October 24-27.
32 qualifiers were in action at the Victoria Stadium on day one, 26 of whom harboured hopes of forcing their way into qualifying positions for the European Championship.
The other six players competing on Friday were already assured of their qualifying places, they were Darren Webster, Steve Beaton, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Chris Dobey, Keegan Brown and Jamie Hughes.
The most significant result of the day saw Dutch number six Noppert survive a match dart from Brown to claim a vital 6-5 and give his qualification hopes a huge boost.
Noppert moves into the 32 spot on tournament count-back ahead of John Henderson, however he must beat World Championship runner-up Michael Smith, who is currently outside the provisional qualifying places, in Saturday's second round to continue his quest to Göttingen.
Dimitri Van den Bergh cemented his provisional qualification place by taking out a 135 finish on the bullseye to end the resilient challenge of Scott Taylor, claiming a 6-3 win.
The clash between two former European Tour event winners saw Kim Huybrechts end Justin Pipe's hopes with a 6-3 victory, while De Zwaan defeated Steve West by the same scoreline.
Two Host Nation Qualifiers will star in day two after Dyson Parody recovered from 5-2 down to beat Norway's Cor Dekker 6-5 and David Francis claimed a shock 6-4 win over Robert Thornton 6-4 to the delight of the Gibraltar fans.
Ryan Joyce and Jose De Sousa both missed double 12 for nine-dart finishes and posted ton-plus averages in their wins over Matt Clark and Darius Labanauskas.
Danish Darts Open runner-up Dobey edged out William O'Connor 6-4, while 19-year-old Dutchman Wessel Nijman picked up his first win on the European Tour, hitting the winning double at the tenth attempt to beat Webster 6-5 after Webster threatened a comeback from 5-1 down.
There were also wins for Michael Rosenauer, Paul Rowley and Poland's Krzysztof Kciuk on the opening day of the £140,000 tournament, which will see the winner claim the £25,000 top prize.
Gibraltar Darts Trophy: Friday results
Friday September 27
First Round (Best of 11 legs)
Afternoon Session (1200 BST)
- Wessel Nijman 6-5 Darren Webster
- Krzysztof Kciuk 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
- Ryan Joyce 6-3 Matt Clark
- Dyson Parody 6-5 Cor Dekker
- Paul Rowley 6-5 Ryan Meikle
- Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Justin Pipe
- Carl Wilkinson 6-3 Justin Hewitt
- Steve Beaton 6-5 Tony Newell
Evening Session (1815 BST)
- Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Steve West
- William O'Connor 4-6 Chris Dobey
- Keegan Brown 5-6 Danny Noppert
- Anthony Lopez 4-6 Michael Rosenauer
- Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Scott Taylor
- Darius Labanauskas 2-6 Jose De Sousa
- Robert Thornton 4-6 David Francis
- Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 Jamie Hughes