Belfast Telegraph

I've got the quality to take World crown: Gurney


By Laure James

Daryl Gurney has booked his place in the last 16 of the PDC World Darts Championship for the first time in his career.

The Londonderry thrower won six of the last seven legs, coming back from 3-2 down in sets to triumph 4-3 against Robert Thornton.

He will now face former BDO World champion Mark Webster tomorrow - yet says the only obstacle between him and World glory is himself.

"The only person I fear is the person looking back in the mirror," Gurney said. "If I have a good day, everybody else will have a bad day, but it depends on which Daryl turns up.

"I've got the game to win the World Championship, but it's whether or not I take it up on that stage. My scoring needs to improve, and I need to increase my double percentage, but I reckon I could go a couple more rounds in this tournament if that happens."

Gurney racked up the first six legs without allowing Thornton a dart at a double, but the Scot hit back to take a 3-2 lead before the Ulsterman staged his comeback.

"Robert played his own game and really came to the fore, as I was expecting him to from the first dart," he said.

"I was thinking about focusing, playing as well as I did in the first two sets, not to give him a free leg at any point and to make sure he wasn't on a double to finish while I was sitting on 200-odd.

"It feels like I jumped over a complete mountain, from the highs and lows, it's amazing to have got through."

It has been a year of marked progress for the Dutch Darts Masters finalist, who admits he's still learning to handle the pressures of performing in front of sell-out crowds and huge television audiences.

"One thing I struggle with on the big stage is keeping my heart rate down. If your heart's racing, your hand starts shaking and God only knows where the darts will end up, so I try to breathe," he said. "Whatever happens in the next game, I'll come back next year without thinking about making the last 16 for the first time again."

In yesterday's evening session Raymond van Barneveld thrashed Alan Norris 4-0 and Phil Taylor swept aside Kevin Painter by the same scoreline.

"I won 4-0 but it was winning ugly," said Taylor, after setting up a third round clash against either Kim Huybrechts or Max Hopp.

"I'll move on and get ready for the next round and I know I will have to play better."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph