Brilliant Evans eases into the second round

Kettering's Ricky Evans celebrates his win over Ronnie Baxter in the first round of the Ladbrokes World Championship. Picture by Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Kettering's Ricky Evans celebrates his win over Ronnie Baxter in the first round of the Ladbrokes World Championship. Picture by Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Kettering’s Ricky Evans caused one of the biggest upsets so far in the PDC’s Ladbrokes World Championship as he brushed aside veteran Ronnie Baxter at the Alexandra Palace.

The 23-year-old, nicknamed ‘Rapid’ because of how quickly he throws his darts, wasted no time in setting his stall out against Baxter as he took just five minutes to wrap up the first set.

Evans, who as promised wore a red and black shirt - the colours of Kettering Town, went on to drop only three legs as he marked his World Championship debut with a stunning success.

“I’m speechless,” he said.

“It’s not bad for a debut and I’m chuffed to bits – I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.

“My dream was to be at Ally Pally in the World Championship, and I’ve done that and I’m in the second round, so who knows what can happen now?

The only time I had nerves was on the walk-on, and the first set really settled me down.

“I played really well. The 180s and the doubles were going in, and everything clicked.

“Since Qualifying School, my game has gone up and up. I always knew I could play darts, but if you’d said to me two years ago that I’d be beating these kind of players I’d have laughed at you, so I’m really happy.”

Evans will face another experience player Mervyn King in the second round after he beat American number one Darin Young 3-0.

King beat Evans in the group stages of the Grand Slam of Darts last month and the pair will meet again next Monday night.

Don’t miss the latest news from our local dart players in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph