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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021
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Dolan out to recreate that Croker feeling as the darts returns to Dublin

PDC stars set to hit Busker’s Bar ahead of World Grand Prix at Citywest.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THAT ‘CROKE PARK’ feeling is what Brendan Dolan is chasing as he gears up for the World Grand Prix in Dublin.

The tournament throws off in Citywest Hotel on Sunday, while Dolan will attend a fans’ forum at Busker’s Bar in Dublin tomorrow night alongside Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld.

The Fermanagh native memorably became the first player to hit a televised nine-dart finish from a double start  in 2011 during his semi-final win over James Wade at Citywest before losing out to Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the final, and he again reached the last four a year later.

Dolan is now keen on recreating that success after suffering a slump in form in recent seasons.

“It was an amazing feeling to have so many people cheering you on so much. I can understand now what it must be like to go out in Croke Park and hear the crowd! I only played Gaelic football at club level, but I understand the big crowds,” said Dolan, who played for the Belcoo O’Rahilly’s GAA club.

“There was an electric atmosphere [for the nine-darter] and it made me proud that so many people were willing me on to win. It’s something I want to recreate. Obviously you have to give the crowd something to cheer on and that’s probably the pressure you have, you want to perform for the crowd so they give you something back.”

Dolan is looking forward to tomorrow’s meet and greet in Dublin ahead of his World Grand Prix opener against  former BDO world champion Jelle Klassen at Citywest on Sunday.

“When you’re away from practice, I think it’s good for your profile to relax and chill out with the fans,” said Dolan. “At the end of the day, if they don’t come to the darts tournaments there’s not going to be a lot of money involved and I’m not going to get paid! Come Sunday, that’s when I’ll be trying to do my normal thing.”

The partypoker.com World Grand Prix will be preceded on Thursday October 1 (7pm) by a PDC Fans’ Forum at Busker’s Bar in Dublin, featuring Adrian Lewis, Brendan Dolan and Raymond van Barneveld. Entry is free, with registration via www.owal.co/register.

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Ciarán Gallagher

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