David Pallett is the newest member of Northamptonshire’s elite darts stars and he made a big impact at the Coral UK Open last weekend.
Pallett, who is originally from Shropshire, moved to Kettering just before Christmas.
He currently plays on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour having lost his PDC Tour Card at the end of last year.
But, having earned his place in the ‘FA Cup of Darts’, he certainly made the most of it with a fine run to the semi-finals Butlin’s Minehead Resort before losing out to eventual winner Gary Anderson.
With the wintry weather forcing the tournament to be played behind closed doors, Pallett claimed impressive wins over Robert Thornton (10-8), James Wade (10-6), Kim Huybrechts (10-7) before beating Steve West 10-5 in the last eight.
He said: “It was a strange tournament and we weren’t even sure whether it would go ahead until it actually started.
“Thankfully we managed to get down there before all the weather warnings came into place.
“But it was obviously a decent weekend for me personally.
“I think this was the sixth year that I had made it to the UK Open and I had always ended up with a really tough draw in the last 32 against a Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor or Raymond van Barneveld.
“But I managed to get past James Wade this time and I was delighted to make it to the semi-finals in the end.
“It’s been a strange start to the year for me after losing my tour card and going back on the Challenge Tour.
“But I feel like I am coming into form and the practise is paying off.”
As far as his move to the county is concerned, Pallett has found it easy to settle in especially with close friend Ricky ‘Rapid’ Evans for company.
“I moved here just before Christmas,” he added.
“My girlfriend works in Luton and we wanted to be a bit closer to that and her own hometown in Bedworth so we decided to get a place in Kettering.
“I know a few people from this area and obviously Ricky is one of them. I have known him since I was 15 so he has helped us settle into the area.”
Evans enjoyed a decent run himself in Minehead before also falling victim to Anderson.
Starting in the first round, Evans recorded wins over Andreas Hajiminia (6-1) and Carl Wilkinson (6-2) before seeing off Luke Humphries 10-6 in the third stage.
But Anderson proved to good for ‘Rapid’ as the Scot secured a 10-6 victory.
It was a disappointing tournament for Rushden’s James Richardson, however, as he was thrashed 6-0 by Robert Rickwood in the second round.