DARTS: Evans defeats Richardson in all-county battle in Barnsley

Kettering's Ricky Evans reached the last 16 of one of the PDC Players Championship events last weekend, beating fellow Northants player James Richardson along the way
Kettering's Ricky Evans reached the last 16 of one of the PDC Players Championship events last weekend, beating fellow Northants player James Richardson along the way

Ricky Evans came out on top in the ‘Battle of Northamptonshire’ as he beat county rival James Richardson during a PDC Pro Tour Players Championship event in Barnsley last weekend.

In Players Championship 2, the last competition of a busy weekend of action, Evans beat Ross Twell 6-1 and Richardson defeated Justin Pipe 6-3 to set up the last 64 meeting between the Northants duo.

And it was Kettering’s Evans who prevailed 6-4 before going on to beat Luke Humphries 6-4, although his good run was ended by a 6-3 loss to Ryan Joyce in the last 16.

That run was the undoubted high point on what proved to be a tough weekend for the two Northants stars.

It started with UK Qualifiers for the first two European Tour events of the season.

Rushden’s Richardson missed out on a place in the European Darts Open at the final hurdle as he was beaten 6-4 by Mark Wilson after beating Cody Harris 6-2 while Evans lost out 6-2 to Jamie Hughes in the first round.

But both players suffered first-round exits in the qualifier for the German Darts Grand Prix, Richardson losing 6-2 to Humphries and Evans going down 6-5 to Andrew Gilding.

And they both went out at the first stage of Players Championship 1 with Evans on the end of a 6-4 loss to Ryan Harrington and Richardson beaten 6-2 by Richie Burnett.

Both county players are now gearing up for the televised stages of the Coral UK Open, which is known as a the ‘FA Cup of Darts’, at Butlins Minehead Resort next week.

Evans takes on Andreas Hajiminia on Board Six in the first round, with the session starting at midday next Friday (March 2).

Should he be victorious, the Kettering man will then take on Carl Wilkinson in the second round.

Richardson will begin his campaign in the second stage and will play either Robert Rickwood or Rene Berndt.

The third round, which will be drawn at the completion of the second, will be played on Friday night with the tournament continuing through until the Sunday evening.

The competition, which has a total prize fund of £350,000, will be screened live on ITV 4.