DARTS: Daryl Gurney looking forward to SSE Arena showdown

Daryl Gurney
Daryl Gurney

A week tonight Daryl Gurney will be strutting his stuff on the SSE Arena stage as the Premier League rolls into Belfast.

Gurney is the first ever Irish player north or south to qualify for the tournament and with Sweet Caroline becoming the best walk on song in darts the World Grand Prix champion is in for a great reception on his home coming.

Gurney turns 32 today and the best present will be beating World Champion Rob Cross in in front of the local fans.

“Belfast is the week after my birthday and whenever there is 10,000 there singing Neil Diamond I think it will be a great atmosphere.

“But I don’t know how I’ll be able to play darts? Even thinking about it now the hairs on my arms are standing up, it is going to be a hard night to concentrate and I’m playing the world champion,” said Gurney.

However before ‘Superchin’ arrives in Belfast he has a crucial game in Glasgow tonight against Mensur Suljovic and is first on stage.

A D8 with last dart in hand earned Gurney a valuable point against Simon Whitlock last week which was enough moved him out of the elimination zone.

Gurney is eighth two points ahead of bottom of the table Gerwyn Price and in front of Peter Wright on leg difference.

Despite surviving match darts against Whitlock in Nottingham Gurney wasn’t happy with a fourth draw in six outings and is still craving his first Premier League win.

“For me to try and get to where I wanted to be I had to win, the pressure is still on but with all these draws if you give me a packet of crayons I must be some drawer,” joked Gurney

“It’s just one of those things, Simon played a great game. I just kept on top of him and every time I was on a double he went out with the last dart.”

“I think it was a good proper game.

“Simon kept going out on his last dart and even if he’d been on 181 he’d have gone out on the last dart.”

Suljovic is also making his debut in this season’s Premier League and is seventh a place ahead on Gurney on leg difference.

The Austrian has two wins and four defeats from his six matches and has a better leg difference of four over Gurney.

Gurney leads the head to head with Suljovic 6-4 and has won on both occasions when they have met in major ranking tournaments.

Superchin has won the last two meeting including a 16-13 victory in the quarter finals of the World Matchplay last summer in Blackpool.