Steve Lennon goes down fighting and Irish fans are convinced there are bright days ahead 1 year ago

Steve Lennon goes down fighting and Irish fans are convinced there are bright days ahead

13th seed Michael Smith must have wondered what he had to do to shake off Steve Lennon.

Because the Irish man made him dig deep. He made the favourite trawl deep into his reserves to secure that one.

On his World Championship debut, Carlow man Steve Lennon put up a brave fight against English hope Michael Smith, but eventually was overpowered and lost out 3-2.

Lennon was left to rue a slow start, as he lost the first two sets of the match to 'Bully-boy.' The Englishman was throwing his darts at a phenomenal pace, and with a phenomenal consistency. He really is a hard man to match when he gets in the groove.

And he was in the groove for the opening two sets, with Lennon staring a disappointing defeat in the face going into the third.

The 24-year-old wouldn't go down without a fight, however, and when he tied the match by winning the next two sets, a real shock looked to be on the cards in Alexander Palace.

Even though you wouldn't be able to tell that by his body language. Well renowned for his deadpan style, he wasn't set to break character on the biggest stage of all. He doesn't display much emotion, but he was doing his country proud.

And this was a credit to the Irish man. It wasn't that he had caught Smith on an off-day - he hit ten 180s in the five sets - but instead that his own calmness stood to him in good stead, firing six maximums of his own.

Eventually, the Englishman's experience told as he held out for a narrow 3-2 victory, but Irish supporters far and wide are convinced that we have a future star on our hands.