Belfast Telegraph

Dolan is keeping a cool head after making quarters

 

Marching on: Brendan Dolan celebrates his win over Benito van de Pas at Ally Pally
Marching on: Brendan Dolan celebrates his win over Benito van de Pas at Ally Pally

By Graham Luney

Fermanagh man Brendan Dolan swept past Benito van de Pas 4-1 to book a place in the PDC World Darts Championship quarter-finals.

The 'History Maker' has been in the form of his life at Alexandra Palace, and he showed no signs of nerves as he burst into a 3-0 advantage.

Dolan's heroics came in a dramatic day which saw World champion Rob Cross crash out.

Dutchman Van de Pas landed a two-dart 88 checkout to win his first set and make it 3-1 but Dolan didn't falter, hitting double four to swing the fifth set and set up a last-eight meeting with England's Nathan Aspinall today.

It's been a brilliant tournament for Dolan, who's reaping the rewards of a much more intense practicing regime.

"It was about getting over the line," said the 45-year-old who is now guaranteed at least £50,000 prize money.

"I went home for Christmas, hadn't thrown in a couple of days, came back and practiced a lot yesterday to try and catch up but you never really can do that.

"Today, I didn't feel as comfortable as I have on the other days but it was about getting to the quarter-finals. I was prepared to scrap it out. I didn't think it was going to be a lot to look at.

"I've got further than I've ever got before.

"I have to take it on the chin and say that this is a brilliant experience. But I've got a great opportunity. I need to keep focused on the dartboard. Forget about who I'm playing, just keep it on the dartboard."

Surprise wins over Joe Cullen and Mervyn King helped the 45th-ranked Dolan to the last 16 stage. An out-of-form Van de Pas struggled to keep pace with Dolan as the Ulsterman won the opening two sets 3-1 and then 3-0 in the third.

However, Van de Pas clinched a 3-2 win in the fourth set and the 25-year-old, who is ranked 30th, moved 2-1 up in the next set. The comeback was on but Dolan hit back to take the next two legs and wrap up a victory which included four 180s and a 148 checkout.

World Championship debutant Aspinall fought back from two sets down to beat Devon Petersen 4-3.

James Wade, meanwhile, lost 4-3 to Ryan Joyce.

The ninth seed had led 3-2 but, despite missing a total of 10 darts to take the match, it was the World No.78 who eventually hit the double four to set up a quarter-final meeting with Michael van Gerwen.

Wade, who had apologised for his behaviour during and after his victory over Seigo Asada in an earlier round, suffered as his finishing deserted him.

Michael Smith booked his place in the quarter-finals by defeating fellow Englishman Ryan Searle 4-1.

And Dave Chisnall set up a last-eight clash with Gary Anderson, seeing off Welshman Jamie Lewis 4-0.

In a big surprise, meanwhile, World champion Cross was beaten 4-2 by Luke Humphries.

Humphries fought back after being 2-0 down to set up a quarter-final clash with Smith.

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