Dolan exits but Gurney targets a Christmas cracker
Brendan Dolan will have to wait another year for a shot at making history after he was out-gunned by Australia’s Kyle Anderson in the World Championship at Alexandra Palace.
The Fermanagh thrower never really found his rhythm and slumped to a 3-0 defeat in the £1.5million showpiece event.
It was during his run to the final of the 2011 World Grand Prix in Dublin — won by Phil Taylor — that Dolan earned his nickname ‘History Maker’ as the first man to achieve a nine-dart finish in that tournament’s unique double-in format.
But the 42-year-old never looked likely to repeat those heroics last night and will have to wait for a crack at creating the piece of history he really wants as the first Irishman to win the world title.
Ulster’s other World title hopeful Daryl Gurney is preparing for the biggest match of his career on Boxing Day — against defending champion Gary Anderson.
The Londonderry arrow ace, known as Dude, beat the world champion 10-4 on his superb run to the Players Championship semi-final a fortnight ago when he was edged out by eventual winner and world number one Michael van Gerwen.
He followed that up by becoming the first player through to the second round of the World Championship when he beat Welshman Jamie Lewis 3-1 on Thursday night.
Gurney, a plumber by trade, will travel back to London on Christmas Eve for his big showdown two days later.
“I can’t travel on Christmas Day so it has to be done,” said the world number 36.
“I’m looking forward to playing Gary. I don’t fear him and I’m sure he doesn’t fear me.
“Gary will do whatever he does and hopefully whatever I do will be good enough to win.If I play like I can then I’m confident it will be good enough to go further,” said the 29-year-old.
There was a shock last night when David Pallett beat Kim Huybrechts 3-2.
“I knew it was going to be tough. I didn’t really expect to win,” he said.
Christian Kist made light work of Justin Pipe with a straight sets victory yesterday.
Dutchman Kist demolished number 20 seed Pipe to move into round two for the first time.
“It’s an amazing win for me,” said former Lakeside Champion Kist.
“I know how good a player Justin is so it is unbelievable to get through. He didn’t play like he can but I’m happy with my performance and I’m really looking forward to the next game.”
Mark Webster also wrapped up a first round triumph in three sets, winning last-leg deciders in every set during his clash with Dubliner Mick McGowan, who had earlier defeated Qiang Sun in a preliminary round match.
“I haven’t felt too well so I’m delighted to be through,” revealed Webster.
“It wasn’t great but it was the first round of the World Championship, which is always horrible. Mick played quite well and pushed me so I’m over the moon really. I’ve got 10 days off now so I’ll go and recover and I’ll definitely play better in the next round.”
His namesake Darren Webster came from a set behind to defeat John Henderson 3-1.
“That was rubbish,” admitted the Norfolk thrower.
“Both myself and John are much better than that.
“I think it was just first round nerves but I can go and enjoy Christmas now and prepare for the next round.”