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Limerick's Willie O'Connor Whitewashes Dutchman In World Darts Championship

Limerick's Willie O'Connor Whitewashes Dutchman In World Darts Championship

Limerick's outstanding sporting week has continued with Willie O'Connor winning his first round game at the PDC World Darts Championship.

O'Connor overcame Niels Zonneveld in straight sets - dropping just three legs in the process - as he advanced to the second round where he will face Derryman Daryl Gurney.

O'Connor was nervous coming into the game, as he had not faced the Dutch opponent before today.

"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.

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The Limerick man did not feel he played to the level he's been hitting in training, although he admitted feeling a bit off form this morning, ahead of the game.

In comparison to how I've been practicing like, I didn't show a 1/6th of what I've been doing. I practiced very good. My preparation had been pretty good coming into today.

I felt a bit off coming into today in my practice only today. I didn't feel as if I was on top form coming into just this game. I felt a little bit off, not knowing what to expect, because I hadn't played Niels before, but it's a bit difficult to play someone that you haven't played before.

You're kind of concentrating on what they're doing rather than what you're doing. It's behind me now and I can move onto the next round," he said.

Second round opponent Gurney has been out of form in recent times, though O'Connor expects a very tough challenge.

"I know Daryl can play phenomenal darts," said O'Connor.

I don't look at what he did last month. 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.

"Every day is different and every game is different and that's how I'll take it. I'm expecting the best version of Daryl and I hope Daryl's expecting the best version of me, because that's what I'm expecting as well," the Limerick man said.

Meath's Keane Barry was eliminated from the competition last night, losing out to Jeff Smith.

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