John Mann impresses on opening day of Q School

JOHN Mann made a big impression on his first ever visit to Q School when winning his way though to the last 16 from a UK entry of 435 players when the 2018 event began in Wigan yesterday.

The final two players at the UK Qualifying School on each of the four days will win an automatic PDC Tour Card.

Other players will be awarded ranking points throughout the event, to form the UK Order of Merit and awarded one point per win from the first round which is drawn without byes which will help form the final Qualifying School Order of Merit.

A further 15 PDC Tour Cards will be awarded to the leading players in the Order of Merit at the end of the four days and Mann is one of eight players currently sitting in joint seventh place on four points.

WHAT A MANN: Plymouth's John Mann made a big impression on the opening day of Q School with wins against five quality players before losing in the last 16 to the 2017 Australian

Masters winner Corey Cadby.

He began with a 5-2 defeat of Sheffield’s Steven Marfleet before ending the hopes of Paul Goodwin 5-1.

Mann was pushed the full distance in round three by the experienced York marksman Martyn Turner, who had won his first Tour Card back in 2011, but held his nerve in the ninth and decisive leg to win 5-4.

Stoke-on-Trent marksman Andy Boulton, a winner of five open tournaments was dispatched 5-0 in the next round before “The Pilgrim” came up against 35-year-old Tony Newell.

Newell was a Tour Card winner in 2014 and 2016 and qualified for the 2016 UK Open where he got through to round three before being ousted by Adrian Lewis, but that form counted for nothing as Mann triumphed 5-1.

Now into the last 16, the 22-year-old Australian Corey Cadby now stood in Mann’s way of further progress and the 2016 World Youth Champion was just too good on the day, producing clinical finishing that earned him a 5-1 victory.

Cadby was widely tipped to win a Tour Card at some point over the four days and so it proved when he was one of the two winners on the opening day.

Surprisingly Eddie Dootson was the other, at the age of 56.

The left-hander had competed at Q School without success in the previous three years before finally winning his coveted Tour Card.

Simon Stevenson was in the hunt to regain his Tour Card which he lost at the end of the 2017 and made a bright start when defeating Bolton’s Stuart Stubbs 5-3.

He then won 5-2 against Cumbrian Harry Robinson before disappointingly being dispatched 5-1 by Matt Padgett.

Mike Beard who, despite living in Holsworthy, plays for the Porters in the Plymouth City Super League did not have the best of days on the oche when he crashed out in round one to Kelvin Self.

All three players will return to the Robin Park Leisure Centre today in search of that elusive Tour Card or more Order of Merit ranking points.

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