Irish darts player William O’Connor came within touching distance of knocking out one of the favourites for this year’s PDC World Darts Championship, Gerwyn Price, at the Alexandra Palace in London on Thursday night.
The Limerick native saw a miscount in the second last leg, with the game tied at two sets a piece, ultimately cost him as he threw for double one when double two was required, eventually falling to Price 3-2 in sets.
O’Connor was a stern match for Price from the off despite the Welshman going into the tournament as the second favourite to take home the top prize and took a surprising but deserved 2-1 set lead.
O’CONNOR’S MOMENT OF MADNESS!
A crucial miscount from the Irishman as he allows Price in before losing in the tie-break pic.twitter.com/WaUgIOdInK
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 20, 2019
Price hit back to level the game at 2-2, and with the legs at the same score in the deciding set, O’Connor lost his concentration at the crucial time when it looked as though he would take himself within a leg of a massive upset, aiming for the wrong double before the talented Welshman punished his error.
“After he threw his first dart [at double one], I was like ‘happy days’. I knew he was going for the wrong shot,” Price told Sky Sports after his victory.
“You need a little bit of luck like that, and I wasn’t going to tap him on the shoulder and say, ‘you’re going for the wrong shot’. But I had a little bit of luck there and you need that sometimes.”
Another Irishman will be in action this afternoon as Cork’s Ciaran Teehan takes on former World Championship semi-finalist Mervyn King in the second round.
Teehan impressed in the first round knocking out England’s Ross Smith 3-0.