AS Cardigan world darts star Jamie Lewis takes a break from Professional Darts Corporation competitions, local enthusiasts are recalling the time there was euphoria in the area when the 28-year-old stormed into the semi-final of the World Championship at Alexandra Palace in London.

The former Cardigan Secondary School pupil, who says he is stepping back from the sport temporarily to focus on other matters, shocked the darts world in the 2018 championship.

Lewis qualified for the blue-riband event of darts by finishing third in the final PDFA qualifying tournament and eventually became the first qualifier in the 25-year history of the event to be in the penultimate round.

With 72 players competing, Lewis was one of the rank outsiders and not considered to be in the running to reach the latter stages – but obviously the Cardigan thrower had not read the script.

In a preliminary round tie he overcame 23-year-old Kenny Neyens of Belgium 2-1 to set up a clash with friend Jonny Clayton of Pontyberem, the Carmarthenshire darter, now aged 45, currently number 18 in the PDC Order of Merit.

It was a one-sided affair as Lewis romped it 3-0 and booked a place in the last 32 where he came up against number two seed Peter Wright of Scotland.

By this stage his exploits were being followed on TV by people throughout Wales and especially in Cardigan, where even residents who knew very little about the sport tuned in to cheer on the local lad.

Public houses in the area were packed with Lewis supporters cheering their favourite’s every throw – at the Lamb Inn where the darts team was unrivalled in the local league, landlord Jamie Bowen said “Jamie is great for trade.”

Many people could hardly believe their eyes as Lewis turned on the style and dominated against 48-year-old Wright, who is the current world champion.

Scoring heavily from the start, the Welsh ace roared to a 4-1 win and moved into the last 16 to the delight of a growing army of followers.

At the next stage he locked horns with 44-year-old experienced campaigner James Richardson of Rushden, from Northamptonshire, who like Wright suffered a 4-1 defeat.

In the quarter-final Lewis met 50-year-old Darren Webster of Norwich, whose nickname in the darts world was ‘Demolition Man’ and was in the last eight for the second year in succession.

Once again Lewis fired from the first throw as he whitewashed his opponent 5-0 for a semi-final spot and a game against 14-times world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, who was competing in his final tournament before retiring at the age of 58.

After his win, Lewis told Sky Sports: “I still can’t believe it to be honest. It’s not sinking in but I’m so chuffed to win that game.”

Lewis could not reproduce his earlier form in the semi-final where he went down 6-1 against Taylor, many of the view that the occasion got to the underdog who won the first set, had opportunities to potentially take a 4-0 lead, but it was not to be.

In the final Taylor lost 7-2 against 28-year-old debutante and 20th seed Rob Cross, of Hastings, who defeated defending champion Michael van Gerwen in a closely-fought semi-final tie.

It was a truly memorable performance by Lewis, who picked up prize money of £85,000 and etched his name in Welsh darts folklore.