Sunday, 9 October 2011

9 Darter Magic ! ! ! !

BRENDAN DOLAN created history with a nine-dart finish as he won through to the World Grand Prix final on Saturday night, knocking out reigning champion James Wade to set up a decider against Phil Taylor at the New Citywest Convention Centre.

The 38-year-old from Northern Ireland produced the performance of his life in a 5-2 defeat of world number three Wade, which was crowned when he hit a perfect leg in taking the game's second set.

Dolan opened the leg with a 160 score before adding a 180 and a 161 finish for the first-ever nine-darter in the double-start tournament - earning him a £5,000 bonus.

He is also now guaranteed a minimum pay-day of £40,000 for reaching the final and could take home the winner's cheque if he can overcome nine-time champion Phil Taylor on Sunday night.

"It's absolutely brilliant," said Dolan. "I've only done three or four normal nine-darters in practice, so to do one on TV with a double-start is amazing.

"After I hit the and 160 and 180, I was concentrating so hard on getting the seventh dart in the treble 20. When I hit the treble 17 I just knew the bullseye was going to go in, I felt that comfortable up there.

"It's the greatest moment of my career - to hit a nine-darter and get to the final of a major tournament is brilliant and the only thing that can out-rank it is to win the final now."

Taylor, meanwhile, continued his progression in the event by defeating resurgent Welshman Burnett 5-2, hitting four ton-plus finishes and a 103 average - his highest in the double-start event since the tournament began in 1998.

Burnett, who had knocked out Gary Anderson, Denis Ovens and Mark Hylton to reach his first major semi-final for a decade, shared the opening two sets but was overpowered by Taylor, who opened the game with a 152 checkout and added a 164 to win the fifth set.

"I'm delighted to have won through because Richie's had a fantastic week and he played really well there," said Taylor. "A couple of my big finishes were crucial and they had to be to keep Richie away.

"It will be a great atmosphere on Sunday and I'll play well against Brendan. It's going to be a cracking final because he'll go up there relaxed and enjoy it.

"Brendan getting to the final is fantastic and to do it with a nine-darter as well will go down in history. It's the best darts I've ever seen from Brendan and I'm pleased for him."

Tickets for Sunday's World Grand Prix final are still available and can be purchased from the Citywest Hotel Box Office in person or by calling 00353 1 401 0505.

The final will commence at 7pm, with the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final to be played at 6pm featuring Shane O'Connor and Connie Finnan battling for a place in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.

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