AN ARDROSSAN darts ace has fallen agonisingly short of winning his place back on the world's top tour.

Andy Boulton, who was born in Staffordshire but lives in Ardrossan, competed at the Professional Dart Corporation (PDC) Q-school last week, with the aim of winning a spot back on tour.

Though unfortunately, after four days of competition, Boulton fell just short of a qualifying place.

X Factor last won a spot on what is considered the sport's premier tour back in 2019 - which earned him two years of competing amongst darts' elite.

Though it wasn't to be this year, as he missed out alongside other big names such as former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton, 'Queen of the Palace' Fallon Sherrock and Scottish World Cup winner John Henderson.

Tour cards were won by 13 players across the four days of competition, with each day played as a knockout tournament.

The four tournament winners automatically secured their spot on tour - with the other nine places decided by points won based on their tournament finish each day. Any points ties were then decided by leg difference.

Boulton earned five points in Milton Keynes: reaching the last 16 (of 128 players) on day one, the last 64 on day two and three, and the quarter finals on day four.

This left Andy outside the top nine place he desired - by only one point. With a superior leg difference to all bar one of the players above him on six points, earning only one more point would have saw him rise into eighth place.

Boulton will now become a PDPA Associate Member, allowing him to enter UK Open qualifiers as well as compete in Players Championship events in Q School Order of Merit order should the 128 Tour Card Holders not enter.

PDPA Associate Members also have their own Challenge Tour series of events, with 20 £10,000 tournaments being held across five double-header weekends.

The leading two players from the final Challenge Tour Order of Merit will win a two-year PDC Tour Card.