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Wilson targets spot in Grand Prix after best weekend yet

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James Wilson has his sights set on a place in the World Grand Prix in October following his most successful weekend of his PDC career to date.

The former BDO number one, who moved over to the PDC at the start of last year, reached the semi-finals of Players Championship 12 and 13 in Barnsley.

The £6,000 accrued from the two last four appearances, as well as qualifying for the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix, has virtually secured the 44-year-old’s PDC World Championship debut at the end of the year.

And with only £2,500 separating him from a place in the top 14 of the provisional Pro Tour Order of Merit for the World Grand Prix, Wilson is determined to keep his recent good form up.

“My ambition was to qualify for the World Championship this year,” the Huddersfield-based thrower said.

“I just missed out on it last year and this year knowing that I’ve qualified it takes a whole lot more pressure off you and you can play better.

“I think I more or less qualified after getting to the first semi-final, but getting into the second semi-final has definitely put me there and I’m over the moon.

“I’m not far off qualifying for the Grand Prix. Another big push and hopefully I can qualify for that one as well.”

Wilson’s previous best run on the PDC circuit was a quarter-final appearance in a Players Championship in Crawley in May of last year, before he went one better.

The man nicknamed ‘The Jammie Dodger’ dropped just three legs on his way to reaching the last 16 of Players Championship 12, but was made to work against his next opponent Simon Whitlock, who he beat in a deciding leg 6-5.

A 6-4 triumph over Simon Stevenson saw Wilson break new ground in the PDC, with his run ended by Terry Jenkins (6-3) in the semi-finals.

Wilson lost by the same scoreline in the same round the following day, this time to Benito van de Pas, and put his change in fortunes down to an alteration in his game.

“I just changed my game a little bit,” he explained. “I just slowed down a little bit.

“I was throwing a bit too quick so I slowed my game down so I could concentrate more than I have been and it seemed to work for me.

“I’m really pleased with my efforts this weekend. It really puts me in a nice position.

“If you take your time to dedicate yourself you just hope things go your way and this weekend they did.”

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