Belfast Telegraph

Gurney is leading local challenge for World crown

 

By Adam McKendry

Daryl Gurney will lead the charge for Northern Ireland at the PDC World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace in London.

In total, there are four local players in contention for darts' most prestigious prize, with World No.5 Gurney the likeliest to mount a serious challenge for the title.

The Derry man recently won the Players Championship and comes into the event as fifth seed after his recent exploits, hoping to improve on his best ever finish at the tournament when he made the quarter-finals in 2016.

As a top-ranked seed, Gurney will enter at the second round stage, facing the winner of the first round tie between Singapore's Paul Lim and England's Ross Smith.

Championship debutant Kevin Burness will make his Alexandra Palace bow today when he takes on former Players champion Paul Nicholson.

Burness, 53, from Co Down, qualified for the showpiece tournament by winning the Irish Memorial Matchplay title earlier this year.

Elsewhere, Tyrone's Mickey Mansell, 45, will begin his third appearance at the tournament against Canada's Jim Long tomorrow.

And Fermanagh's Brendan Dolan will also have his sights on mounting something of a title challenge when he takes on China's Yuanjun Liu on Sunday in the first round.

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