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Dublin: 22 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Irish duo's unlikely World Cup of Darts bid ends with final heartbreak

Steve Lennon and Willie O’Connor eliminated the pre-tournament favourites en route to the decider.

Ireland duo Steve Lennon and William O'Connor were superb at the World Cup of Darts in Hamburg.
Ireland duo Steve Lennon and William O'Connor were superb at the World Cup of Darts in Hamburg.
Image: Imago/PA Images

Updated Jun 9th 2019, 9:18 PM

AN HEROIC EFFORT by Steve Lennon and Willie O’Connor was almost enough to see the Republic of Ireland crowned champions at the World Cup of Darts.

After eliminating Greece, England, Austria and Netherlands, the Irish duo advanced to this evening’s final at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

However, Lennon and O’Connor — who hail from Carlow and Limerick respectively — were finally beaten by Scotland’s Gary Anderson and Peter Wright.

Ireland caused a major shock yesterday by defeating top seeds England to set up a quarter-final against Austria, which they won earlier today.

Lennon and O’Connor upset the odds again in the semi-finals when they got the better of Netherlands — last year’s winners — who were represented by Jermaine Wattimena and three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen.

The final began promisingly for the Irish pair as Lennon drew first blood in his singles match against Anderson. But Scotland then took a 2-1 lead after Wright defeated O’Connor, which was followed by a 4-0 trouncing for the Scots in the doubles.

With three points required to take the title, the margin for error was slim for Lennon as he squared off against Wright. Unfortunately he fell short by going down 4-1, but the Irish duo can emerge with their heads held high nevertheless.

Despite being one of the unseeded teams in the tournament, they took out three of the eight seeds — England (1st), Netherlands (4th) and Austria (8th) — en route to the final.

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