Steve Lennon and Willie O’Connor begin World Cup of Darts challenge

Carlow’s Steve Lennon will cap a meteoric rise when he lines out for the Republic of Ireland tomorrow in his first PDC World Cup of Darts.

The eighth running of the event gets underway in Frankfurt today, with top seeds Scotland, represented by Peter Wright and Gary Anderson, facing US duo Larry Butler and Darin Young.

Lennon and experienced partner Willie O’Connor face former finalists Belgium.

World No.56 O’Connor, from Cappamore in Limerick, has played at every World Cup while Lennon only earned a tour card last year, bursting onto the scene with a last-16 place in the Grand Slam before impressing at the World Championships, where Michael Smith defeated him in a last-set thriller.

 A fortnight ago, he defeated Mensur Suljovic and Kim Huybrechts on his way to a first senior PDC final in the Dutch Darts Masters in Zwolle. Michael van Gerwen beat him in the decider but it was a significant breakthrough for the 24-year-old, who has climbed into the world’s top 50.

“It has shown me that I am capable of competing at a high level and going far into tournaments,” said Lennon.

Impressive Northern Ireland pair Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan are in action tomorrow against Poland.

Dolan is riding a wave of momentum, qualifying last weekend for June’s European Tour events in Gibraltar and Denmark. Gurney comes in on the back of the best year of his career, climbing to fifth on the PDC Order of Merit.

Twitter @irishdartsfan


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