Simon faces van der Voort in European Trophy opener

CITY marksman Simon Stevenson will take his place alongside the world’s top darts players tonight after qualifying for the final European event of the year.

The 2018 European Darts Trophy will take place at Lokhalle, Gottinghen in Germany and The Mirrorman is in the line-up chasing a share of the £135,00 prizefund.

Stevenson was one of just 18 British players that qualified at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin and after having drawn a bye in the opening round faced the former world championship quarter-finalist, Kevin Painter.

Painter took the opening leg in 13 before Stevenson ran out a comfortable 6-1 winner, posting a very creditable 93.5 average.

He levelled in 17 then moved ahead with legs in 15 and 19 before taking out a 12 darter, having scored 460 points with his first nine darts.

Two more legs, both in 17, were enough to see him progress where he came up against Nathan Aspinall, who came to prominence in the PDC ranks after winning the 2015 Development Tour.

Stevenson took the first leg in 15, when finishing at the first time of asking from 103 and despite edging in front with wins in 17 and 14, the 27-year-old Stockport thrower, pegged him back to 3-3 before going in front himself for the first time with a win in 12.

The Mirorman made it 4-4 with a 14-darter, moved one away from victory when taking the next in 18, before a rousing 15-darter, which he killed off with a checkout of 101, put him on the plane to Germany.

He will tonight face the former Austrian Darts Open champion Vincent van de Voort with the winner having the formidable task of trying to stop Michael van Gerwen progressing.

Stevenson has only ever met the Dutchman on one previous occasion and was edged out 6-5 in round two of Players Championship 19 last August.

Play starts tonight at 18.15 (BST) and The Mirror Man is fourth on.

All PDC European events can be watched online by PDCTV-HD subscribers or alternatively you can follow live coverage as it is being streamed by top bookmaker’s websites worldwide.

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