World champion Michael van Gerwen, right, congratulates Limerick's William O'Connor after his win over him at the Dutch Darts Championship
LIMERICK darts player William O’Connor stunned PDC world champion Michael van Gerwen at the Dutch Darts Championship with a 6-1 victory in the second round of the competition in Maastricht.
World number 1 Van Gerwen had run out an 8-2 winner when the pair met in the European Darts Matchplay final in Hamburg earlier this year and was aiming to claim his eighth European Tour win of 2018.
However, clinical Cappamore man O’Connor capitalised on a below-par display from the world number one to finish six doubles from seven attempts in a brilliant performance.
The opening two legs were shared, but O'Connor – nicknamed ‘The Magpie’ – took the third and then broke throw in the fourth with a 13-darter to move 3-1 up.
Thirty two-year-old O’Connor capitalised on two misses at double 16 from Van Gerwen in the fifth, and then landed back-to-back 14-darters to secure a memorable victory.
The defeat was Van Gerwen's first in the last 32 of a European Tour event since October 2015, as O'Connor set up a third round tie with Ricky Evans later on Sunday
"I'm so proud of myself," admitted O'Connor. "I had the 'undo-able' task and I've done it!
"I always feel like I can beat anybody.
"Michael wasn't on his game but my finishing has been absolutely unbelievable so if I can get my scoring together I'm definitely in there with a shout."
WINNER | William O'Connor produces a HUGE shock with 6-1 win over Michael van Gerwen in Dutch Darts Championship - the Irishman hits 6/7 doubles in clinical display.— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) September 8, 2018
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However, that was as good as it got for the Limerick man as Evans quickly wrapped up a 6-2 win in their third round tie.
William O’Connor defeated World Champion Rob Cross and two of darts biggest names in Kim Huybrechts and Mensur Suljovic to reach the European Matchplay final in Hamburg, Germany in July.
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 lost to two-time PDC World Champion Van Gerwen.