STUART Kellett says a change to his darts helped him to reach a final at a Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) event for the first time in more than four years.

The Northwich thrower finished as runner-up to Wayne Jones in the Unicorn Challenge Tour’s penultimate tournament of the season following a 5-3 defeat at Wigan.

However he banked £1,000 as a reward for wins against Rachel Brooks (5-1), former World Youth champion James Hubbard (5-3), Edward Lovely (5-1), Nick Fulwell (5-3), Paul Phillips (5-2) and Peter Hudson (5-4) to secure a meeting with the Wolverhampton ace.

“I’ve been tweaking my set-up recently – experimenting with flights and stems – and it’s paid off,” said Kellett afterwards.

“I can’t argue with losing in a final against a top player.”

Indeed Jones secured top spot in the final order of merit – and with it a two-year PDC tour card – with victory over the Cheshire star.

Kellett ranked 24th overall after more than doubling his prize money in the four events held at the weekend.

However the 36-year-old, who lost narrowly to three-times world champion John Part in the UK Masters final at Butlins Resort Minehead in 2013, did not play all of the Challenge Tour dates.

He reached the last 16 in Saturday’s opener at Robin Park Tennis Centre, succumbing to Phillips (3-5) after despatching David Evans (5-4), Eddie Dootson (5-1) and Scott Dale (5-0).

A defeat in the last 32, this time against Michael Barnard after a deciding leg, followed later the same day.

He turns his attention next to the British Inter-County Championship and a Premier Division assignment with Cheshire this weekend.

Kellett is part of the men’s B team for a head-to-head with Lancashire at St Thomas Sports & Social Club.

Results (selected)

PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour

Saturday, September 9

Event 17

Last 128: Stuart Kellett 5-4 David Evans

Last 64: Stuart Kellett 5-1 Eddie Dootson

Last 32: Stuart Kellett 5-0 Scott Dale

Last 16: Paul Phillips 5-3 Stuart Kellett

*Kellett adds £200 to season total

Event 18

Last 128: Stuart Kellett 5-1 Michael Dawson

Last 64: Stuart Kellett 5-3 Peter Hudson

Last 32: Michael Barnard 5-4 Stuart Kellett

*Kellett adds £100 to season total

Sunday, September 10

Event 19

Last 128: Stuart Kellett 5-1 Rachel Brooks

Last 64: Stuart Kellett 5-3 James Hubbard

Last 32: Stuart Kellett 5-1 Edward Lovely

Last 16: Stuart Kellett 5-3 Nick Fulwell

Quarter finals: Stuart Kellett 5-2 Paul Phillips

Semi finals: Stuart Kellett 5-4 Peter Hudson

Final: Wayne Jones 5-3 Stuart Kellett

*Kellett adds £1,000 to season total

Event 20

Last 128: Stuart Kellett 5-0 Richard Onions

Last 64: David Evans 5-1 Stuart Kellett

*Kellett adds £50 to season total