Daryl Gurney is pumped up.
The Derry native who represents Northern Ireland came face to face with Welshman Mark Webster in the last 16 of the World Darts Championship and the pair’s nerves had Alexandra Palace bouncing.
After a stunning 4-3 victory in the last 16 – an eventual victory that seemed like it would never come – Gurney advanced to the quarter-final of the World Darts Championship for the first time ever and now he faces a potential showdown with world number one, Michael van Gerwen.
After going a set down initially though, Gurney was looking at the very real prospect of that deficit being doubled but Webster couldn’t close – nor could SuperChin in fairness.
It brought the place to its feet as nerves looked to be getting the better of both players but, with the crowd ramping up the tension, Gurney stepped away from the board to take a drink and allow the suspenseful roars to silence.
That only angered the spectators who began to boo until the player went back to throw under seriously pressured circumstances but, when double 1 was hit to end the leg and the set and all the dramatic madness, the place erupted, as did Gurney.
Clenched fists, gridded teeth, and some signals to the crowd showed his relief before he turned to Webster and let him have some of it as well.
It was some throw though in a tough, tough atmosphere.
Gurney missed three chances at double top to close out the match at 3-2.
He then missed five doubles in succession in another leg to win the match but, after seeing his chance go by, he reacted to the pressure the crowd were putting them under.
That didn’t help him.
The crowd got more hostile, they ramped it all up for every double he wanted to hit, and it just wouldn’t happen.
Gurney did get six throws to hit double 8 – his first double in what felt like forever – and he let it all out at the board.
Daryl Gurney feeling the pressure in one of the most nerve-racking games of darts ever! pic.twitter.com/h6cClWwAVe
— SportsJOE.ie (@SportsJOEdotie) December 29, 2016
It was an emotional match and a game, as it happened, that was worth an extra £13,000.
Losing quarter-finalists earn £38,000 in prize money.
If he can make it to the semis, he’d be guaranteed £80,000.