Nine-dart glory as Richardson steals the show in Coventry

Rushden's James Richardson shows off the perfect finish to his perfect nine-dart leg he achieved in Coventry
Rushden's James Richardson shows off the perfect finish to his perfect nine-dart leg he achieved in Coventry

Rushden’s James Richardson stole the show on a big weekend of darts in Coventry as he hit a nine-dart finish on his way to qualifying for two PDC European Tour events.

Richardson hit the perfect leg to secure a 6-3 success over Justin Pipe in the UK Qualifier for the European Darts Open.

He went on to beat Arron Monk 6-2 to secure his spot in Dusseldorf at the end of July.

‘Ruthless’ had earlier defeated Mickey Mansell (6-1), Jay Foreman (6-5) and Joe Murnan (6-4) to win a place in the Austrian Darts Open in Vienna, which starts on June 10.

The 42-year-old followed those qualifiers up with appearances in the latest Players Championship events on the PDC ProTour.

Pipe gained revenge with a 6-3 first-round win on the Saturday but Richardson hit back 24 hours later as he reached the third stage after wins over Andy Jenkins (6-2) and Yordi Meeuwisse (6-3).

He was beaten 6-3 by Alan Norris in the last 32 but bagged £1,000 in prize money to keep his hopes of qualifying for the William Hill World Championship at the Alexandra Palace on course.

But it was the nine-dart leg that had everyone talking and Richardson said: “It just clicked.

“It was strange because I had seven perfect darts in the leg before I did the nine-darter.

“It’s one of those things that can just happen. I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just taking aim and it was a great feeling to do it.

“It was a great weekend for me. I had a good run on the Sunday and got £1,000 in prize money but it didn’t happen for me on the Saturday and that’s the way the game goes sometimes.

“But I put it right the next day and got a few more quid to my name.

“It looks like you are going to need £17,000 to get to the World Championship and I was on £7,500 going into the weekend.

“So with what I did in Coventry, I am right on course and I should qualify for the European Championship as well.

“My main focus now is to try to break into the top 64 and qualify for the Players Championship finals.”

Kettering’s Ricky Evans was also in action at the Ricoh Arena but missed out on a place in the two European Tour events.

He was edged out 6-5 by Andy Hamilton in the final stage of the European Darts Open qualifier and was beaten 6-3 by Terry Temple as he failed to earn a place in the Austria event.

However, Evans recovered well and earned £1,000 as he reached the third round of the eighth Players Championship event of the year.

He beat Max Hopp 6-5 and Andrew Gilding 6-3 before bowing out 6-2 to Darren Webster.

A further £500 followed on Sunday as he was knocked out by James Wilson (6-4) in the second round having earlier seen off Keegan Brown by a 6-2 scoreline.