Ricky Evans just missed out on his first PDC European Tour title after an incredible weekend culminated in an 8-5 defeat to Ian White in the final of the Dutch Darts Championship in Maastricht.
The Kettering darts star proved to be a real hit on the continent both on and off the board.
Evans became an internet sensation and a Dutch crowd favourites thanks to his ‘Baby Shark’ walk-on music.
But he backed it up on the oche as he reached his first PDC ranking final in almost five years thanks to impressive victories over Jan Dekker, Steve West, William O'Connor, Joe Cullen and Ritchie Edhouse.
But White had just a bit too much for him in the final last night (Sunday).
Both players made a strong start to the final with White getting off the mark with a 14-dart hold of throw, only for Evans to hit back with a 13-darter.
The first break of the match went to Evans as the Northamptonshire man went 2-1 up, but White hit straight back with an 11-darter to level at 2-2.
The players exchanged holds of throw to make it 3-3 before White took out 96 to hold and followed it up with another 14-dart leg to open up a two-leg advantage for the first time.
Evans found double 16 with his last dart to break throw and stay in the tie, only for White to respond in kind and then hold to go within a leg of victory after both players ended up on double one.
There was no double trouble in the next leg for Evans who hit double top at the first attempt to make it 5-7 and then applied pressure in the following leg but White held his nerve, pinning tops for the title.
Despite the loss, there was nothing but positivity for Evans who is now hoping this run can be the springboard for more success on the big stage.
The Kettering man said: “I’m not normally a person who thinks about nerves but I was very nervous there.
“I’m chuffed to bits to get to the final and it makes me feel very happy to get this reception from the crowd, they’ve been very helpful.
“Hopefully this could be the start of me winning more games on the big stage.”