"That wouldn't win a game in your local pub" - O'Connor sounds Price warning 1 year ago

"That wouldn't win a game in your local pub" - O'Connor sounds Price warning

Willie O'Connor has high expectations.

He knows how good he is, he knows how good he should be.

Marko Kantele, on the other hand, is nothing special. The Finnish thrower has been knocking around the world darting scene for a number of years now and despite the experience, is yet to make it past the second round of the World Championships.

He's 52 years of age, he's the world number 152 and he's a player that Willie O'Connor should be beating comfortably. But the Magpie made hard work of it in Alexander Palace.

He missed doubles, a whopping total nine of them in the first set alone. His rhythm wasn't right at all, and he regularly missed the triple 20 wires.

And O'Connor, the 33-year-old from Limerick, isn't a competitor who takes mediocrity lightly. An exasperated expression meets every missed dart and he'll beat himself up after every chance that goes askew. That's always been the way, a look back at his games this time last year tell a similar story.

Indeed, if you were focusing on body language alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Cappamore man was staring down the barrel of a whitewash defeat.

Instead, despite never really finding his groove, O'Connor was the one dishing out the whitewash. Kantele's woeful darts allowed O'Connor take the first set but his reaction to that win told a story in itself.

A shake of the head and an unflinching stare. He expects more.


The second came and passed and O'Connor was just as non-plussed to win it, telling his mates in the crowd that he just couldn't find his throw.

And he landed the third in similar fashion. Not throwing well, but doing enough.

A bullseye and a shake of the head. He's a gas man.


And his interview on Sky Sports afterwards was just as entertaining. He nodded that a performance like that would struggle to win in his local pub. They must be fair throwers in Cappamore.

Before he sounded a warning to Gerwyn Price.

"I played absolutely rubbish like. Worst case scenario there, I probably done it.

"It's not going to be hard to top that, that wouldn't win a game in your local pub. That's just reality..."

"I will improve on my scoring on my doubles, I don't care who I have next. I know I've Gerwyn, I'm going to open him. Whatever he throws at me, I'm going to throw it back at him..."