"I thought I saw two on the board" - O'Connor unaware of miscount before interview
With a watching world jaws agape, it appears that William O'Connor was unaware of his miscount.
Instead, it looks like he was frustrated by missed darts.
Limerick darter William O'Connor had the game of his life in his round two World Championship clash vs pre-tournament favourite Gerwyn Price on Thursday night, before effectively beating himself with what looked like a miscount, at a crucial time.
With the legs tied at 2-2 in the final set, 'the Magpie' looked poised to streak into a 3-2 lead, that would have left him throwing for the match in the Alexandra Palace. But with a score of just 4 required, aka. double two to move ahead, O'Connor bust his crucial throw.
He targeted double one instead of double two. From quaking in fear to standing in disbelief, the darting world weren't quite sure what they had seen. Miscounts happen, but rarely at such important times.
And yet, with an inquisition going on in the studios and online, it appears that O'Connor was still unaware of his miscount, almost an hour after the game had finished.
The error that may have cost William O'Connor the match last night
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 20, 2019
The 33-year-old gave an honest, unflinching interview on the Dan Dawson podcast post-match, when he says he saw two on the board at that defining moment.
"I’m gutted to be honest. But it is what it is, I’m obviously not learning from my past mistakes because it was there for the taking," he told Dan Dawson’s podcast after the match.
"All I had to do was put up my hands and take it. But it just didn't happen on the night I suppose.
"I don't know why, maybe I thought I saw two on the board, to be honest, I thought I wanted double two...I’m not sure. I thought I saw two on the board. To move forward you have to take opportunities and I had enough opportunities to move forward and I didn’t take them..."
"I thought I saw 2 written on the board; I wasn't listening to what was said to me"
Willie O'Connor's counting error in the tiebreak with Price may have cost him the biggest win of his career - but he wasn't aware of it... until this interview. #WHDartshttps://t.co/xsYVn872uJ
— Dan Dawson (@DanDartsDawson) December 19, 2019
O'Connor shoots from the hip. He knows the gravity of the chance that has escaped him. He will have nightmares over this he says, in the future.
"Today was a huge opportunity to do that, but I'm not sure. I have a lot of positives to take from this year, but a lot of negatives to take from tonight. It was a simple game to win and when I look back on it, I'll absolutely kill myself over it..."
But this man will be back.
"In my mind, I want to be one of the seeded players. Look it, I'm not trying to be an idiot, I'm not going to look too far ahead either..."