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

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.