Usher, who’d made the trip down to Milton Keynes for the PDC’s Q-School, which gives darts players a chance to earn a card on the PDC Tour, impressed in stage one despite being drawn on a difficult board, writes Charlie Hopper.
He said: “I looked at the board and it was a really tough board to be on.
“I said to my son Joe that I’d be happy picking up three points or maybe four if I’m lucky but when I was 4-1 down against Matthew Dennant, to come back and win 5-4 it put me straight through to stage two.”
Stage two saw players who’d just lost a tour card return in a bid to win one back and Usher got off to the perfect start.
“On Wednesday, I started of brilliantly against Mark McGeeney with a 103 average and the game was there but Q-school is a long, hard slog.
“I was happy with two points and I thought that if I could pick up two every day, then it’ll get me a card.
“It’s just about that little bit of luck and I should have beat Lee (Budgen) but I missed darts and gave away a 5-1 lead.”
Usher wasn’t the only noticeable name to miss out on a card, the Queen of the Palace Fallon Sherrock, Robert Thornton, Josh Payne and Jelle Klaasen all missed out.
He added: “The people who didn’t even get through stage one was surprising but there are no easy games.
“You look back and when I first went, two or three years ago, it wasn’t too bad.
“Now it’s just relentless and every round you are playing really good players.”
Now back on the Yorkshire Coast, having reflected on his performance at Q-School, Usher admits that the fire is still there to go out and one day become a part of the tour.
He added: “I’m back this weekend for the Challenge Tour and hopefully I’ll be able to finish high enough so that I might get an invite into the pro tours.
“My biggest aim for 2022 is to play as much as I can and get as high as I can on the Challenge Tour.
“I’ve also been invited back to the Modus Online Darts, an amateur event which was great practice for me last year.
“I’m hoping to get a couple of sponsors on board as well to help a little bit and take the pressure off from me.
“When you’ve got the sponsorship there, it takes 10-20% pressure off me and I’d feel a lot more at ease.
“But yeah, I’m just wanting to play as much as I can and get back on the pro tour because I had a taste for it in 2020 and now I definitely want to be back.”