DARTS player Tony Newell admits feeling an overriding sense of relief after playing himself back into form during the latest rounds of the PDC Players Championship in Wigan.

The 31-year-old beat 24th seed Jamie Lewis 6-4 in Saturday’s first round before losing 6-1 to Josh Payne, while on Sunday he fell foul of Terry Temple after defeating Steve West 6-5.

Claiming a total of £500 in prize money, Newell accepts it was imperative to get a couple of wins under his belt following the barren time he experienced last time out in Crawley.

“It was nice to get back to winning ways,” he said.

“I know I didn’t reach the last 32 like in Barnsley but when you come away from a weekend when you haven’t won at all it can stay in your head.

“You start thinking where the next victory is going to come from. I didn’t play badly at all and felt much more myself – I felt I was back to normal.

“And the two losses weren’t because I played badly, simply my opponent’s played well.

“To take a seeded player like Jamie Lewis out first up was rewarding although I then ran into Josh Payne who never gave me a sniff of a finish.

“I had some great checkouts against Steve West but against Terry Temple we were both hitting big scores until it got to 4-4 when everything for me was on the wire.

“I missed out on the trebles and he punished me by taking the last two legs. But he went on to beat Dave Chisnall so I can’t be too downbeat.”

As well as throwing his hat into the ring for European Tour qualification, Newell returns to Wigan at the beginning of May for the next round of the Players Championship.

Currently ranked 102nd in the PDC Order of Merit, Newell now has his sights firmly set on reaching a significant milestone – seeing his name ranked in the top 100.

“I will definitely be looking to break into the top 100 at the next Players Championship,” he added.

“Ever since I started I’ve never liked setting myself big targets like the top ten or anything. I know I can do it but I like to set myself smaller objectives.

“The first would be breaking the top 100, then maybe 75 and then 64, which is the cut off for keeping your PDC tour card.

“Making the top 100 certainly shows I’m heading in the right direction.

“Even as late as Q School, in my head I was thinking get some experience and some rounds under my belt before looking towards the challenge tour.

“I was worried I might be cannon fodder for the big boys but I’ve stepped up, taken a few scalps and I’m working my way up the rankings.”