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Joe Cullen Gets First PDC Unicorn Youth Tour Win in Austria

cullen PDC-Youth

JOE CULLEN claimed his maiden professional title with a 4-2 defeat of Paul Barham in Saturday’s PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event in Austria.

The 21-year-old from Bradford had not previously won past the last 16 in six Youth Tour events, but continued the form which saw him reach the final of a Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier last month to win the €660 first prize at the Arena Nova in Wiener Neustadt.

He defeated Jonathan Mulley, Leon Crump, Reece Robinson and Steve Haggerty to reach the final, before denying Barham a second Youth Tour victory.

Essex’s Barham led 2-1 but missed his chance to break in the fourth as Cullen levelled, before the Yorkshireman punished three more misses by hitting double 16 for a 3-2 lead with the game’s first break.

Cullen then hit double 16 for a second successive leg in securing victory, and said: “I’m delighted.

“I’ve not had a great run in the previous events but that shows the standard of players on the Youth Tour, so to win one of these is a big honour.

“It’s a massive confidence boost for me too, and hopefully I can keep this form up in Sunday’s Players Championship and also going into the UK Open in a few weeks.”

Barham had defeated Austrian prospect John Rodriguez in the semi-finals, having also overcome Josh Jones, Holland’s John De Kruijf and Italian youngster Martino Tagliapietra in the event.

Rodriguez won €220 for his run to the last eight, hours after he also competed for the first time on the PDC ProTour in the Austrian Open Players Championship.

Essex’s Steve Haggerty was denied a second final of the year by Cullen, while Adam Smith-Neale and Reece Robinson joined Jones and Patrick Kovacs in the last eight.

Shaun Griffiths, who topped the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour Order of Merit ahead of Saturday’s event, was a first round victim, losing 3-0 to Smith-Neale, while Under-21 World Champion Arron Monk and Event Three winner Ryan Harrington lost in the last 32.

Smith-Neale also defeated Dutch pair Co Stompe Jnr and Michael van Gerwen to reach the last eight in his best run since the first event.

The eighth PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event will be held at the K2 Centre in Crawley on Saturday May 21. Players aged 14-21 can still enter this event until 12pm on Friday by calling the PDC Head Office on 08712 501 180.

PDC Unicorn Youth Tour Event Seven
First Round
Tebor Tax 3-0 Markus Steinkellner
Wouter Vaes 3-0 Schantal Domenik
James Rodriguez 3-0 Arno Merk
John De Kruijf 3-0 Marie Lechner
Josh Jones 3-0 Daniel Zingl
Reece Robinson 3-0 Aden Kirk
Jonathan Mulley 3-2 Daniel Holzinger
Chris Aubrey 3-0 Teemu Harju
Adam Smith-Neale 3-0 Shaun Griffiths

Second Round
Patrick Kovacs 3-0 Harald Tauchner
Wouter Vaes 3-0 Tebor Tax
Michael Smith 3-0 Ryan Harrington
James Rodriguez 3-2 Marcel Spreitzer
Paul Barham 3-0 Martino Tagliapietra
John De Kruijf 3-2 Daniel Pree
Fredi Gsellmann 3-2 Stefanie Luck
Josh Jones 3-0 Michael Holzer
Rainer Hofweber 3-0 Sebastian Angerer
Reece Robinson 3-0 Zoltan Daranye
Leon Crump 3-2 Philipp Perstaller
Joe Cullen 3-1 Jonathan Mulley
Steve Haggerty 3-1 Arron Monk
Chris Aubrey 3-1 Jimmy Hendriks
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Curtis Hammond
Adam Smith-Neale 3-1 Co Stompe Jnr

Third Round
Patrick Kovacs 3-0 Wouter Vaes
James Rodriguez 3-2 Michael Smith
Paul Barham 3-1 John De Kruijf
Josh Jones 3-0 Fredi Gsellmann
Reece Robinson 3-0 Rainer Hofweber
Joe Cullen 3-1 Leon Crump
Steve Haggerty 3-2 Chris Aubrey
Adam Smith-Neale 3-2 Michael van Gerwen
Losers €27.50 (£25 to Order of Merit)

Fourth Round
James Rodriguez 3-2 Patrick Kovacs
Paul Barham 3-1 Josh Jones
Joe Cullen 3-2 Reece Robinson
Steve Haggerty 3-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Losers €110 (£100 to Order of Merit)

Semi-Finals
Paul Barham 4-1 James Rodriguez
Joe Cullen 4-3 Steve Haggerty
Losers €220 (£200 to Order of Merit)

Final
Joe Cullen 4-2 Paul Barham
Winner €660 (£600 to Order of Merit)
Runner-Up €440 (£400 to Order of Merit)

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