Northants darts players Ricky Evans and James Richardson head to Holland this weekend for the first PDC European Tour event of the year.
Rushden’s Richardson will take on Zoran Lerchbacher in the opening match of the Dutch Darts Masters in Venray from 1pm tomorrow (Friday).
Kettering’s Evans will be up against Devon Petersen in the last match of the evening session tomorrow as both county players start in the first round having come through the UK Qualifiers for the competition last month.
Should he get through, Evans will take on Kim Huybrechts in the second round on Saturday night while Richardson will be up against Terry Jenkins on Saturday afternoon should he get through the opening stage.
Both players, along with Richardson’s son Joshua, were in action during the first three Coral UK Open Qualifiers in Wigan last weekend.
And Evans saved the best until last as he reached the last 16 of the final event on Sunday before being beaten by world number one Michael van Gerwen.
Evans enjoyed wins over Rhys Jackson (6-0), Sam Head (6-4), Jamie Lewis (6-1) and David Pallett (6-3) to move into the last 16 but there he met the Dutch ace who secured a 6-2 win before going on to reach the final where he was beaten by Phil Taylor.
However, that run from Evans and the £1,500 in prize money should already have done enough to ensure he is part of the field for the UK Open, which is taking place at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort over the weekend of March 4.
In Friday’s and Saturday’s competitions, Evans suffered two second-round exits as he was beaten 6-3 by Ian White and 6-5 by Magnus Caris respectively.
In the opening event, James Richardson picked up wins over Tony Richardson (6-1) and Jyhan Artut (6-3) before losing 6-4 to Andy Hamilton in the last 64, a run that earned him £250 in prize money.
On Saturday, he suffered a 6-4 first-round defeat to Mike Zuydwijk before rounding off the weekend with a 6-5 loss to Sven Groen in the second stage, having beaten Andy Smith 6-3 in his first match.
For Richardson jnr, it proved to be another valuable weekend in his education, as he performed well despite suffering three first-round exits.
The BDO World Youth champion did beat John Court 6-1 in the preliminary round of the first event before going down 6-3 to Caris and then suffered losses to John Michael (6-2) and James Wilson (6-2) in the next two events.