Belfast Telegraph

Ulsterman Dolan steps up his quest for world glory

By Frank Brownlow

Defending world champion Michael van Gerwen should continue on the glory trail when darts returns tomorrow, with Ulsterman Brendan Dolan back in action on Monday.

Dutch ace Van Gerwen takes on Germany's Sascha Stein for a place in the last 16 of the £1.25m tournament at Alexandra Palace, while Dolan - who didn't even drop a leg against Nolan Arendse in the first round - faces Michael Smith.

Fermanagh thrower Dolan said: "Michael Smith is a talented player and has had a good year. It will be a tough game."

The 41-year-old has been a full-time professional for three years and is now up to number 11 in the world.

"Anyone in the top 16 has had to work hard to get there and anyone at that level has the ability to win the big tournaments," he said.

"No matter who you face at the World Championship, you know it's going to be tough.

"Michael Smith will be tough, they are all difficult games."

Reflecting on his first round win over South African Arendse, the Belcoo man added: "It wasn't as fluent as I wanted it to be but I did enough to get the job done.

"I knew I had to start strongly and bully him so he couldn't bully me.

"That's what I did - I started strongly and hit a few doubles to get ahead and I stayed there. I didn't want him to get going as I know he is a good player."

Belfast Telegraph

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