Brilliant Evans seals return to the worlds after a stunning day in Coventry

Kettering's Ricky Evans has secured a first-round clash with Simon Whitlock at the PDC's William Hill World Darts Championships later this month
Kettering's Ricky Evans has secured a first-round clash with Simon Whitlock at the PDC's William Hill World Darts Championships later this month
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Kettering’s Ricky Evans will return to the PDC’s William Hill World Championship later this month after he enjoyed a stunning day to win the Professional Dart Players Association’s (PDPA) Qualifier at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

The 25-year-old, who has retained his PDC Pro Tour card for 2016, produced his best form of the year at just the right time to go through seven opponents and set up a first-round clash against world number 10 Simon Whitlock.

Having confirmed his place at the Alexandra Palace by advancing to the final, Evans then came from 4-3 down to beat Andy Boulton to book himself a meeting with Australian Whitlock in what will be one of the standout first-round matches.

A field of over 150 PDPA members entered the knockout competition, which saw the final two places at the competition up for grabs.

Evans started with an emphatic 5-1 win over Darren Weaver and booked himself a spot in third round by seeing off former world finalist Kirk Shepherd 5-2.

The last 32 saw the Kettering man produce a stunning comeback as he found himself 4-0 down to Jonny Clayton, only to battle back to seal a superb 5-4 victory.

That set up a last-16 clash with Ross Smith, which Evans won 5-2 and he repeated that scoreline in the quarter-finals when he beat Wayne Jones.

And the 5-2 scoreline remained kind as Evans confirmed his return to the ‘Ally Pally’ with a victory over Steve West, during which he hit a checkout of 150.

Evans’ first appearance at the worlds came two years ago when he beat Ronnie Baxter 3-0 in the first round before bowing out at the next stage when he lost 4-2 to Mervyn King.

Rushden’s James Richardson’s hopes of a return to the competition were ended in the first round in Coventry when he was beaten 5-0 by Jamie Bain.