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Torment goes on for former world youth darts champion James Hubbard

14:44 20 January 2016

Professional darts player, James Hubbard of Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Professional darts player, James Hubbard of Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

James Hubbard’s stunning fall from grace continued in Wigan as he failed to win his prized tour card back.

The 2012 world youth champion, from Wymondham, is facing up to a second year outside of the game’s elite after missing out on the chance to win his place back on the main Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit. The 23-year-old dropped off the radar in 2015 and flopped at this year’s qualification event – where 30 players from a field of 400 secured a coveted spot on the sport’s biggest platform alongside 98 of the world’s finest operators.

Hubbard lost the first match he played on each of the four days (Wednesday to Saturday) before crashing out of two European (Dutch and German events) qualifiers at the first hurdle on Sunday. The Hotshot, as he is known, is now only eligible to compete on the Challenge Tour, which will feature 16 tournaments each worth £10,000 in prize money and are held across four double-header weekends.

The Norfolk thrower can also attend European Tour and UK Open qualifiers and take to the oche on the Development Tour for players aged between 16 and 25.

Elsewhere, at the shoot-out to make the first Euro events of the year, Bradwell’s Mervyn King booked his place at the Dutch Masters while Nathan Derry (Gorleston) and Andrew Gilding (Bungay) suffered final-round heartbreak. Darren Webster (Norwich), Jason Lovett (Norwich), Steve Beaton (North Walsham) were knocked out earlier in the day. Gilding and Beaton progressed to the German Masters but Derry, Webster, King and Lovett missed out.

Peter Wright (Mendham, near Harleston) will be at both events as one of the top-16 ranked players.

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