Sunday 18 February 2018

Walsh focus on Baku positives


IRELAND finished 13th in the rankings table at the 113-nation World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan.

John Joe Nevin, who claimed his second World Championships bronze, Darren O'Neill and Michael Conlan all qualified for London 2012.

Mullingar-born Nevin was beaten by England's Luke Campbell on a countback in the semi-finals. Campbell lost 14-10 to Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez-Estrada in Saturday's 56kg final.

Having qualified three men so far, Ireland will be hoping to add to that in the final Olympic qualifier in Istanbul in April.

"We can take a lot of positives. We will face tough challenges ahead because nothing comes easy," said Irish head coach Billy Walsh.

Tyrone native Michael Gallagher was voted best referee and judge in Baku.

Dolan unable to halt Power surge at Citywest


IRELAND'S Brendan Dolan came up short at Citywest as Phil Taylor powered to the World Grand Prix title last night.

The Fermanagh man clinched his first ever final place with a historic nine-darter -- the first ever in a 'double in' competition -- to beat reigning champion James Wade, but Taylor's class proved too much as he silenced the home crowd with a 6-3 win.

The 10-time champion admitted the hostile atmosphere affected his game.

"Every emotion went through my body there," said Taylor.

"The crowd got to me, I'll be honest with you. The booing every time you're throwing for a double does get to you -- it's very, very off-putting but I just had to keep focusing."

Irish Independent

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