DARTS: Daryl Gurney is ready to take on the world

Daryl Gurney makes his World Matchplay debut at Blackpool's Winter Gardens this Sunday.
Daryl Gurney makes his World Matchplay debut at Blackpool's Winter Gardens this Sunday.

Waterside man Daryl Gurney will make his debut this Sunday at this year’s summer spectacular, Bet Victor World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Gurney cemented his place by being one of the 16 qualifiers from the One-Year Pro Tour Order of Merit.

The draw for the Matchplay, which was done live on Sky Sports News, sees Gurney come up against world number 12 Ian White.

The pair have played each other on numerous occasions, in fact only a few weeks ago White secured a 6-3 win over the Waterside man in the last 32 of the PDPA Players Championship Barnsley.

Gurney who is now ranked 28th in the world will begin his journey to Blackpool this week alongside some of his family members who will be accompanying him as a form of support.

One of the fans and the player’s favourite tournaments of the year starts this Saturday and will run for nine days straight with some of the most talented 32 professional dart players of the world taking centre stage.

Confident in his own ability though the 30-year-old is really looking forward to his debut against White and has said it will be a “great game and it is a dream come true” to be gracing the stage of one of the biggest tournaments in the darting calendar.

It is expected to be an epic head to head contest, Gurney is also looking forward to hearing the reaction from the darts fans as his new walk-on song will be played Northern Ireland fans favourite, Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’.

“I can’t wait to hear the crowds’ reaction as it will be the first time my walk on has been played at this venue,” Gurney added.

“I have been asking other players about what the temperature is like on stage as the warmest stage I’ve ever played on is Lakeside for the BDO, and I’ve been told its hotter than that.

“I’m also looking forward to debuting my new shirts.”

All the action gets underway on Saturday on Sky Sports 2 with ‘Superchin’ Gurney debuting last up in the afternoon session on Sunday on Sky Sports 3 from 1pm.

If Gurney does progress he will face either world number five Peter Wright or Joe Cullen in the second round next Tuesday evening.

Another Northern Ireland man scheduled to play in the BetVictor World Matchplay is Brendan Dolan who is set to take on Raymond van Barneveld on Monday July 18th in the evening session.