Ricky Evans further enhanced his chances of once again qualifying for the William Hill World Championship after a superb run to the semi-finals in the last of three PDC ProTour Players Championship events in Barnsley this week.
There had been little sign of what was to come from the Kettering darts star after he had suffered first-round exits to Paul Nicholson (6-4) and David Pallett (6-4) respectively on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But Evans hit form at the Barnsley Metrodome in emphatic style yesterday (Thursday).
He picked up impressive victories over Mike De Decker (6-3), Benito van de Pas (6-5) and Mark Webster (6-1) before seeing off world number 15 Stephen Bunting 6-2 to move into the quarter-finals.
There, he defeated Chris Dobey 6-4 and was out of luck as he missed double 12 to land a nine-dart finish.
And Evans’ run was finally ended in the last four when he went down 6-4 to Steve West who went on to lose to world number one Michael van Gerwen in the final as the Dutch ace completed a hat-trick of victories for the week.
Rushden’s James Richardson was also in action he fell victim to the unstoppable van Gerwen in the first event of the week when losing 6-2 in the second round after he had seen off Matthew Dennant by the same scoreline.
Richardson reached the second round on Wednesday and yesterday but was unable to go any further.
On Wednesday, he defeated Mick Todd 6-5 but then lost out 6-3 to James Wilson and yesterday, he edged out Terry Temple 6-5 before going down 6-3 to Dobey.
Evans and Richardson will both be in action in the 17th and 18th Players Championship events of the season which are being held late next week in the build-up to the Unibet World Grand Prix.