Every tie is important at the International Darts Open, right from the very start.

With the majors looming, and the European Tour season drawing inexorably to a close, every penny earned is pivotal. Not least when the International Darts Open is the penultimate chance to grab European Championship spots. Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall have both dropped out, opening up the field significantly.

Two young stars after a big break open the show. Combine Harry Ward and Reece Robinson’s respective ages, and it’s almost the same as that of second round opponent Mensur Suljovic. Both English prodigies will fancy a go at the Austrian Darts Championship winner. It’s no secret that Benito van de Pas has suffered an awful dip in form. But the green shoots of recovery are appearing in his game. The Dutchman enters his first European Tour event since last April, and will take on William O’Connor.

Form hasn’t been a stranger to Justin Pipe. The Taunton star has been flying in floor events. His bid to take that hot streak to the German stage opens against home nation qualifier Christian Jentschke – the 25-year-old makes his debut in Riesa. Arron Monk, who has cashed at just two of his last 16 events, will at least pick up £1,000 for his International Darts Open efforts. He can double his money with a win over Kyle Anderson. The winner of this tie takes on reigning International Darts Open champion Gerwyn Price in round two.

Big Hendo Weekendo?

John Henderson was among the top performers in this week’s Players Championship meets. He’ll prove a tough test for Rob Cross, if the big Scot can overcome Brett Claydon first. Another German making a debut at the International Darts Open is Mike Poge; he’ll play James Richardson.

Mickey Mansell could be in line to play Northern Irish compatriot Daryl Gurney in the second round on Saturday. But the Clonoe Cyclone won’t be booking it in just yet; Danny Noppert is a tough nut to crack. In the final tie, Michael Rosenauer clashes with Mike de Decker.

All of the ties can be followed through the dartsnews.com live score feature.

International Darts Open 2019 schedule

Friday afternoon session

12:00 Harry Ward v Reece Robinson
12:30 William O’Connor v Benito van de Pas
13:00 Christian Jentschke v Justin Pipe
13:30 Arron Monk v Kyle Anderson
14:00 John Henderson v Brett Claydon
14:30 James Richardson v Mike Poge
15:00 Mickey Mansell v Danny Noppert
15:30 Mike De Decker v Michael Rosenauer

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

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Author: Ed McCosh