Kettering star Evans hits the world darts stage

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Kettering’s Ricky Evans is gearing up for the biggest night of his darts career to date after booking a place in the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final in May.

The 22-year-old won five matches in one night at the Barnsley Metrodome on Friday night to earn his place in the showpiece match, which will be played out in front of a staggering 10,000 people and a live television audience during the McCoy’s Premier League Darts Play-Offs at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday, May 16.

Evans only turned professional in January after winning a PDC Tour Card thanks to a successful time at the organisation’s Qualifying School.

But just reaching the final, which will be against St Helens’ Michael Smith means Evans has now catapulted himself onto the world stage.

He is now guaranteed at least £5,000 from this tournament with the winner earning £10,000 and both players have also qualified for November’s Grand Slam of Darts, which is one of the PDC’s televised major tournaments. Both players are also guaranteed a Tour Card for next year and 2015.

It has been a swift rise for Evans, who is realising the potential he has shown on the local and County circuits for a number of years. And he earned his place in the final with a 6-3 victory over 2011 World Youth champion Arron Monk in the semi-finals.

Evans said: “Ever since Q School I’ve been on a high and this is something I’ve really wanted.

“I’m enjoying my darts so much at the moment. It’s a big step up for me and it will be the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of by miles, but it’s going to be an exciting two months waiting for the day to arrive!”

Evans also claimed victories over Canada’s Shaun Narain in the first round and then saw off Australian youngster Harley Kemp before overcoming Chris Aubrey and Sam Hamilton before seeing of Monk in the last four.

Smith, meanwhile, hit a nine-dart finish during his route to the O2 and dropped just one leg on his way to the semi-finals in Barnsley, where he beat Adam Hunt 6-3 to seal his place.