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Northern Irish duo bidding to build on Gurney's third round spot at World Darts Championship


Fancies chances: Brendan Dolan is confident of making progress

Fancies chances: Brendan Dolan is confident of making progress


Fancies chances: Brendan Dolan is confident of making progress

Brendan Dolan and Mickey Mansell go in search of some Christmas cheer amid the new lockdown restrictions with crunch World Championship matches at Alexandra Palace that could define their seasons - and, particularly for the latter, even his career.

With places in the last-32 of the £2.5m behind-closed-doors showpiece at stake, Belcoo arrow artist Dolan tackles Japan's Edward Foulkes today, while 'Clonoe Cyclone' Mansell goes in against No.32 seed 'Rapid' Ricky Evans tomorrow, with the winner to face the great Michael van Gerwen in the third round, which starts on Sunday.

This has been a breakthrough World Championship for Mansell, with the 47-year-old finally triumphing on the biggest stage at the sixth attempt.

Mansell has shed plenty of blood, sweat and tears over the years and it was an emotional moment when he finally landed a knockout blow with a 3-0 whitewash against New Zealand's Haupai Puha in the first round on Friday.

"It felt great to win because getting to the World Championship is my aim at the start of every season and, obviously when you get there, you want to make your mark," said Mansell.

"Ricky Evans is a very good player - he is in the world's top 32 so that says it all. But I am viewing the match as a great opportunity and I will give it my best shot. I'm not looking beyond that."

Dolan starts his campaign today as his seeding of 30th was good enough to take him straight into the second round, and a victory would mean it is the first time three Ulstermen have won at the same World Championship after triumphs for Northern Ireland No.1 Daryl Gurney - who faces Chris Dobey in round three - and that maiden success for Mansell.

Dolan starts as favourite against Foulkes, who had a surprise 3-0 win over Mike de Decker in the opening round.

"He's a good player, and I won't take him lightly, but if I am on my game, I would hope to win," said Dolan.

Belfast Telegraph