Limerick's William O'Connor beats world champ to reach European matchplay final

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick's William O'Connor beats world champ to reach European matchplay final

Limerick's William O'Connor, who reached the European Matchplay final in Germany

LIMERICK’S William O’Connor defeated World Champion Rob Cross and two of darts biggest names in Kim Huybrechts and Mensur Suljovic to reach Sunday’s European Matchplay final in Hamburg, Germany.

Cappamore man O’Connor also recorded impressive victories over Martin Atkins and Andy Boulton in the semi-final to advance to his first ever PDC ranking final where he faced two-time PDC World Champion Michael van Gerwen.

Thirty one-year-old O’Connor, nicknamed The Magpie, suffered an 8-2 defeat to Van Gerwen in the final, but the Republic of Ireland World Cup of Darts star can be well pleased with his weekend’s work in Germany.

O'Connor broke the Dutchman's throw in the opening leg of the contest, before Van Gerwen reeled off the next six legs in stunning style.

The Limerick man pulled one back to make it 6-2, only for Van Gerwen to take the final two legs of the match and return to the winners' enclosure on the European Tour.

Afterwards van Gerwen, who has now won 109 career singles titles, described O’Connor’s performance over the weekend as ‘phenomenal’

Van Gerwen, who has won 15 titles in 2018, said: “William played really well all weekend, it was a phenomenal performance from him but there can only be one winner and luckily it was me.”

O'Connor had stunned World Champion Rob Cross in Saturday’s second round, recording a thrilling 6-4 victory. 

Cross looked comfortable, averaging just short of 100 as he raced into a 4-2 lead, but the resilient Irishman then rattled off four legs in succession to secure the win. 

O’Connor made his debut in the biggest darts event in the world last December when he competed at the 25th PDC World Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London which is televised live on Sky Sports.

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