Northern Irish Double Down Again

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Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan continue to fly the flag for Northern Ireland at the 2024 World Darts Championship, with both players securing places in the Last 16 on Day 11 at the Alexandra Palace.

Brendan stunned former World Champion Gerwyn Price to set up a Last 16 clash with either Gary Anderson or Boris Krcmar, winning 4-2 including 3 ton plus checkouts.

“To beat someone like Gezzy is unreal. I have the utmost respect for Gezzy. He is pure class. He didn’t play as well as he could have, and I took out some crucial finishes, which gave me the belief that it could be my night.”

Daryl Gurney having defeated veteran Steve Beaton before the Christmas break, came through a 4-2 winner over Ricky Evans in the final match of the evening session, coming from 2-1 down in sets and winning the remaining 3 to set up a Fourth-Round tie with Dave Chisnall after a 4-2 victory.

Dolan was afforded little margin for error in the opening set and lived up to the challenge, including finishes of 130 and 144 in taking a 1-0 lead against the 2021 World Champion. The Iceman came back fighting after the first break and levelled the match courtesy of a set average of 106.29, including 1 180 and only missing 2 darts at double.

The 3rd set like the 1st set went to a last leg decider, and it was the Northern Irishman once again who clinched it. Brendan like in his first matchup with Mickey Mansell, included a 100% finishing rate in taking a set and found the bullseye in the decider to complete a 90 checkout.

Price fought back emphatically once more to rescue himself, only affording his opponent one dart at double in levelling the match at 2-2 without reply.

The History Maker has already in 2023 knocked out defending champion Michael van Gerwen in the World Matchplay and continues to give the big players problems in major PDC events.

The Northern Irishman found a third ton plus checkout of 120 in the 5th set, before once again showing his ability under pressure to come through and hold throw in a deciding 5th leg. Dolan averaged 95.73 whilst opponent Price averaged 95.76 in a very close contest in relation to the scores.

However, a 50% finishing rate from the Winmau player was the difference in this one, with Dolan wrapping up a 4-2 victory after breaking throw in the deciding 5th leg of the 6th set.

“It’s a big result for me, but I’m here to win. I know it’s going to be a battle to get there, but I’m ready to fight.”

Daryl Gurney later in the night made it 2 for 2 for Northern Ireland, fighting of a spirited Ricky Evans who entered a 2-1 lead at one stage in the contest.

Superchin found consecutive ton plus finishes in taking the final two legs of his matchup with Steve Beaton but found his highest of the tournament so far to win set 5.

Daryl pinned the bullseye to complete a 164 finish to lead against Rapid, who came into the match having whitewashed World Matchplay Champion Nathan Aspinall in the 2nd Round.

Gurney like his compatriot also found 3 100+ finishes in the final match of the night, including a 130 finish on double 5 to break throw in the second leg of the 6th set. The 2 Time Quarter Finalist secured his spot against Dave Chisnall after finding double 18 last dart, completing an 84 finish and a 4-2 victory over Ricky Evans.

Pre-tournament favourite Luke Humphries showed real character to fight from 3-1 behind, beating German Darts Championship winner Ricardo Pietreczko 4-3 in the 2nd 3rd Round match of the evening session.

“That was one of the toughest games I’ve ever been involved in. It was a poor performance; playing with a different set of darts didn’t work for me, and having the majority of the crowd against me was really tough as well, but I dealt with it in the end.”

“I felt dead and buried. I wasn’t even showing signs of a comeback, but I am where I am for a reason, so you to have show some sort of resilience, and I’m so happy to be through to the next round.”

Cool Hand Luke showcased toward the end of the match why he is a three-time PDC Major winner and moves through to face Joe Cullen, who defeated Ryan Searle 4-2 in the afternoon session.

The Rockstar included a 121 checkout on the bull in taking the very first leg, before Heavy Metal forced his way back into the contest with a 124 finish of his own on the bull in winning set 4, levelling the match at 2-2.

Joe dug deep on the world stage to bring himself back into a promising position, instantly breaking throw at the start of the 5th set before finding an 84 finish to win the 5th set against the darts.

The Bradford born player held his throw in a deciding 5th leg in the 6th set, with both players breaking each other in the 2nd and 3rd legs.

Cullen hit 7 180s and found a 40% finishing rate in wrapping up victory over 19th Seed Searle, averaging 96.51 in North London.

Elsewhere, Masters Champion Chris Dobey defeated Ross Smith 4-2 in a match which included 27 180s at the Alexandra Palace, with both players also averaging over 102.

Day 12 sees the Last 32 end with Jonny Clayton facing Krzysztof Ratajski in one of the matches in the afternoon session.

The evening sees the Last 16 commence with Michael van Gerwen returning to the Alexandra Palace to face Stephen Bunting with both players yet to drop a set in the competition.

2024 Paddy Power World Darts Championship:

Day 11 Results

Stephen Bunting (18) 4-0 Florian Hempel
Joe Cullen (14) 4-2 Ryan Searle (19)
Chris Dobey (17) 4-2 Ross Smith (16)
Brendan Dolan (28) 4-2 Gerwyn Price (5)
Luke Humphries (3) 4-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Daryl Gurney (27) 4-2 Ricky Evans

2024 Paddy Power World Darts Championship:

Day 12 Order of Play

Afternoon Session:

Damon Heta (10) v Berry van Peer
Jonny Clayton (9) v Kryszstof Ratajski (24)
Jim Williams v Raymond van Barneveld (29)

Evening Session:

Last 32:

Boris Krcmar v Gary Anderson (21)

Last 16:

Michael van Gerwen (2) v Stephen Bunting (18)
Michael Smith (1) v Chris Dobey (17)


Images: Simon O’Connor / PDC

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