Williams wins place on PDC circuit

Ricky Williams   Picture: Mick Young
Ricky Williams Picture: Mick Young
From left: Pairs winners Lee Smith and Les Rance, with runners-up Darren Barnes and Darrell Manchip

Portsmouth individuals final is a Barnes-stormer

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RICKY WILLIAMS has earned a place on the PDC ProTour after securing tour card status for the first time in his career at the 2016 PDC Qualifying School .

The 26-year-old Portsmouth decorator beat former World Championship finalist Mark Dudbridge on his way to clinching a full-time spot on the circuit, as a field of 371 players battled it out in Wigan on Wednesday.

Lee Evans, Jeffrey Bekema, Peter Martin, Rhys Griffin, Dudbridge, Marvin Wehder and Rhys Hayden were all defeated as Williams claimed his prized card in thrilling fashion with a 5-4 win over Essex youngster Hayden.

‘I’m very, very proud,’ said Williams.

‘It’s an excellent opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to the next two years.

‘I was playing really well in the middle of last year but I came to Q School with no expectations and won my Tour Card.

‘I’ve got a good sponsor and good family and friends supporting me and I think I’m definitely a better player now than I was when I’ve played before.

‘I never give in now, where perhaps I showed some immaturity a couple of years ago when I went a few legs down.

‘I’ve got more experience and hopefully this is the time where I’ll step up. I know I’m more than capable but I’ve never shown it before.’

He added: ‘Getting through on the first day means even more because I’ve got a friend’s wedding back in Portsmouth on Saturday and I was gutted when I realised that the date clashed with Q School.

‘He’s just come out of hospital and a few weeks ago we didn’t know if he was going to live, but he’s recovered and he urged me to come up to Wigan, win my Tour Card and get back for the wedding – and I’m going to make it to the wedding!’