Carlow's Steve Lennon advances to next stage of World Darts Championship
Carlow darts player Steve Lennon has moved on to the second round of the PDC World Darts Championship following a 3-1 victory against Madars Razma yesterday (Thursday 16) afternoon.
Throughout the two opening sets, both players were neck and neck with Lennon claiming the first before Razma held his throw to level proceedings.
Lennon secured the third set before edging over the line in the deciding leg of the fourth set, following missed opportunities from both players which seemed to be the result of the enormous tension that comes with a tight affair in the biggest event the sport has to offer.
The Carlow native has booked his place in the next round but will need a lot of improvement if he is to have a chance at beating Krzysztof Ratajski from Poland at the World Championships.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Lennon sad:
"It was getting very stressful towards the end.
"The heat on the stage was unvelievable. Darts were starting to slip out of my hand. When I went in for the single 17 (in the last leg), it literally slipped out of my hand.
"That was going through my mind, all I wanted to do was hit the winning double and be off the stage as quick as I could", added Lennon.
Lennon said incidents such as missing the board entirely with some throws during the decisive leg, added to the already immense pressure on him.
"It put more pressure on me going for the next throw because I was like, 'Please don’t let it happen again'.
"Instead of worrying about going for the double and winning the match, all that was going on in my head was, 'Don’t let the dart slip out of my hand'."
Lennon, dubbed 'The Shamrock' stressed that the World Championship is always the most important event of the year, irrespective of what has come before it.
Lennon said "I was playing really well up to May of this year.
"Then, there was a bit of a break, which did not help me at all. I had a different mindset after May. Instead of being really confident, because in Germany, I played quite well, my mindset went back to just, 'Win a game'.
"That ruined my year a bit. I had a lot of first round exits. All that was going through my head was, 'Make sure of the World Championship'. Once you are here, anything can happen."
Steve Lennon will face the number 12 seed Krzysztof Ratajski in the final game of Friday afternoon’s action in London.
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