| 1.7°C Belfast

Brendan Dolan ready to make history with a Northern Ireland treble at World Darts Championship


Brendan Dolan

Brendan Dolan


Daryl Gurney

Daryl Gurney

Getty Images


Brendan Dolan

Brendan Dolan has vowed to get off to a festive flyer when he begins his World Championship campaign at Alexandra Palace tomorrow to complete a unique hat-trick for Northern Ireland players.

Following on from victories for Daryl Gurney and Mickey Mansell, a Dolan triumph would mean it is the first time three local players have won at the same World Championship.

Dolan believes a fast start is the key to success after watching Gurney's opening victory over Limerick's Willie O'Connor.

Fermanagh arrow ace Dolan faces Japan's Edward Foulkes tomorrow for a place in the last 32 and the number 30 seed - who goes straight into the second round thanks to his high ranking - insists he won't be distracted by an unusual atmosphere with no fans permitted in Ally Pally due to Covid restrictions.

"It's certainly going to be a different experience with no crowd because it's such a big venue. You don't know how you are going to feel until you are up there on the stage. The key to it is settling down quickly," he said.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's all about producing your best darts on stage and I'm confident I will do that because I have been playing well lately.

"I watched Edward Foulkes' first round match when he beat Mike De Decker 3-0 - that was the first time I have seen him playing.

"He looks a good player and his finishing was impressive. I certainly won't underestimate him. But I am confident that if I can play my best darts I will win. I just focus on my own performance, I don't think too much about my opponent.

"If I can find my scoring power I am always confident in my finishing - it's been good all year. I'm feeling good about my game."

If the Belcoo man progresses, he will play the winner of today's clash between Gerwyn Price - one of the favourites in the £2.5m tournament - and Jamie Lewis in the third round which starts on Sunday. Dolan will travel home for Christmas after tomorrow's match with a return ticket to London hopefully required.

"I'm not looking beyond Foulkes and no matter who you play at any stage of the World Championship you know it is going to be tough," said Dolan, who was delighted to see his good pal, 'Clonoe Cyclone' Mansell, win his first ever World Championship match at the sixth attempt when he defeated New Zealand's Haupai Puha 3-0 without even dropping a leg. Mansell takes on number 32 seed 'Rapid' Ricky Evans on Wednesday for a place in the last 32.

"I was so happy for Mickey. That's a monkey off his back and he has the potential to go far," said Dolan, who was also impressed by Northern Ireland number one Gurney's display in defeating O'Connor 3-2 to book his place in the last 32 in which he will tackle England's Chris Dobey.

Dolan added: "Daryl is getting back to is best. Willie is a tough opponent and Daryl came flying out of the traps to win the first two sets and then won the decider with a bit to spare after Willie had fought back. Things are looking good for Daryl."

For Dolan, the unique hat-trick beckons.

Belfast Telegraph