Gurney Defeats O’Connor In Irish Derby At PDC 

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Daryl Gurney of Northern Ireland throws during his third round match against Glen Durrant of England on Day 12 of the 2020 William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 27, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

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Gurney Defeats O’Connor In Irish Derby At PDC: Gurney defeats O’Connor in PDC second round three sets to two, despite O’Connor comeback.

William O Connor entered his second-round match against Daryl Gurney in the PDC World Darts Championship. O’Connor was in good form, having eased to a comfortable victory in round one.

The man from Limerick cruised to a three-set win over newcomer Zonneveld from the Netherlands. O’Connor only lost just three legs to the Dutchman in an overall composed display of darts.

However, O’Connor then revealed he was cagey, heading in to face the Dutchman having never met him before. In an interview with sky sports, he said: 

“I didn’t know what to expect coming into this, as I hadn’t played Niels before,” he told Sky Sports.

“I have to say that I did a lot of research on him. Before I came in here, I was a bit nervous. I went on YouTube a lot, watched a lot of his games. I have to say I was on edge coming in here.

This victory set up an Irish derby for round two between the North and South of Ireland. With Gurney hailing from the North and O’Connor from the South. The Limerick man, when asked about his second round with Gurney, said:

“Daryl can play phenomenal darts,” 

I don’t look at what he did last month and I don’t look at what I did last month. I know that at any given moment, at any given time, I can be the best player in the world and that’s how I expect Daryl to come into this game and that’s how I expect myself to come into the next game.”



Second Round Derby Clash 

The second round was set for an epic Derby Clash between the two Irishmen, with Gurney undoubtedly the favorite. The Derry native can beat anyone on his day, as he proved in 2017, reaching the quarter-finals.

However, Gurney has not played his best darts in the last year, often underperforming and making silly errors. Perhaps this could be O’Connor’s moment to shine.

The match to start was a dominant one from Gurney. Early on, he took a two-set lead with O’Connor only mustering one leg. The shake of the head from the magpie told you all you needed to know.

However, the tables soon turned as O’Connor mounted a comeback. The match was poised at two legs all with Gurney throwing for the match. He missed five doubles to let O’Connor clean up to make it two legs to one.

The magpie then capitalised on Gurney, who seemed rattled, having had five darts to win. The game was there for O’Connor as he made it two sets, all as a comeback looked on.

The Derry man was struggling to concentrate as he seemed to miscalculate going bust on a few occasions. However, he once again found himself winning two legs up and throwing for the match.

He had one dart at double sixteen to finish O Connor off only to miss and hit double eight instead. O’Connor needed double twenty to stay in the match.

Unfortunately, he missed double tops with three darts as Gurney capitalised on his mistake. The two-fist bumped out of respect as the match finished three sets to two, with Gurney advancing to round three. 



Frustration For Gurney 

Whilst defeat was a tough one to take for O’Connor, Gurney was the more disappointed of the two. The number eleven seed had two major points of frustration after the match.

He claimed that the backroom crew in charge of audio threw him off throughout the game. The match was played with no crowds and had audience noise played aloud throughout.

He claimed to Sky Sports that the sound of crowd “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” intended for misses were played incorrectly. The sounds were reportedly played numerous times when Gurney still had one dart left, which disrupted his concentration. He then told Sky Sports interviewers afterward:

“The audio boy, I hope I don’t meet him out there out the back because he’s doing my head in! I hope he’s listening. Wait until I hit the double. Don’t give the whole “AWW”, whenever I miss the second dart for the game!

“The first time I went for the game, obviously, I think I’ve left 24, and I’ve got two darts at it. If I went outside, I could have possibly hit it, but then I went inside, and the audio man went “AWW.”

Another point of frustration for the Derry man was his overall game. Silly errors and miscalculation let William O’Connor back into the game time and time again. Despite having an impressive one hundred plus average in the first two sets, he admits to not playing his best. 

“This has been going on all year now, no joking. I’ve been practicing the best I’ve ever practiced this year.”

“It’s just I’ve gone up onto that tv stage, and in my opinion, I’ve been terrible, crap, but I still believe.”



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