Steve Lennon progressed to the second round of the World Darts Championship after victory over Madars Razma on Thursday afternoon.
After a nervy finish, the Carlow man defeated his Latvian opponent 3-1.
"It was getting very stressful towards the end," Lennon told Sky Sports.
"The heat on stage was unbelievable. Darts were starting to slip out of my hand. When I went for the single 17 [in the last leg], it literally slipped out of my hand.
"That was going through my mind, all I wanted to do was hit the winning double and be off the stage as quick as I could."
𝗟𝗘𝗡𝗡𝗢𝗡 𝗪𝗜𝗡𝗦! 🤝
That was edgy! 😳
Nervy conclusion to the contest, but Steve Lennon seals the deal to set up a clash against Krzysztof Ratajski...
— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) December 16, 2021
Lennon landed seven 180s in the match, though he only averaged 93.22 per visit. His doubles success was also low, hitting just 10 of 28. In the last leg, both players saw darts completely miss the board.
"That was bad, yeah," said Lennon.
"It put more pressure on me going for the next throw because I was like, 'Please don't let it happen again'. Instead of worrying about going for the double and winning the match, all that was going on in my head was, 'Don't let the dart slip out of my hand'."
The 28-year-old, ranked 52 in the world, faces number 12 seed Krzysztof Ratajski of Poland in the second round on Friday afternoon.
"I was playing really well up to May of this year," said Lennon.
"Then, there was a bit of a break, which did not help me at all. I had a different mindset after May. Instead of being really confident - because in Germany, I played quite well - my mindset went back to just, 'Win a game'.
"That ruined my year a bit. I had a lot of first round exits. All that was going through my head was, 'Make sure of the World Championship'. Once you are here, anything can happen."
Steve Lennon interview after beating Madars Razma at World Darts Championship
🗣 "𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿, 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻"
Hear from Steve Lennon after his hard-fought 3-1 success over Latvia's Madars Razma... pic.twitter.com/Orq0BkgC1i
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 16, 2021