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Dolan primed to bounce back

FERMANAGH'S Brendan Dolan was today reflecting on losing out in the final of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix at the Citywest in Dublin last night, but could take plenty of posites from a remarkable week.

Dolan admitted that the occasion of being in the final of a major televised tournament against 15-time world champion and now 10-time Grand Prix winner Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor |left him “in awe” on stage.

“I'm disappointed with my performance (he lost 6-3) but I can't be disappointed with what I have achieved this week,” the 38-year-old told the Herald. “I was in awe at being in the final of a major tournament and I was in awe of Phil – the man is just a genius.”

The rollercoaster ride that began last Monday, and saw Dolan knock out former world champion John Part, James Wade, John Henderson and Wayne Jones, has secured his future in the game – something that looked bleak before this week.

“I gave up the painting and decorating in March to give myself until the World Championships to get my game right.

“After that I just couldn't do it |anymore financially,” revealed Dolan, who earned more than €52,000 last night for his place in the final and a nine-dart finish.

“To be honest, I just started to analyse my game and tweaked it a little bit and it has worked for me. Phil is the best there is and he's still changing his game, and that just proves how dedicated he is.”

Taylor led the many plaudits for Dolan, who recorded the first televised nine-darter in the ‘double-in’ |format when he defeated James Wade in Saturday night's semi-final, something Taylor is anxious to achieve.

Speaking to the Herald, a relieved Taylor said: “It's brilliant to win the title again. I'm very proud of Brendan, though, and very pleased for him.

“It's not a surprise to me what he has done this week. He's changed his game and I just told him whatever he's doing to keep it up – and I hope he does.

“He will have to as he'll be a target now. He's starting to believe in his own ability.”

Dolan added: “Getting to the final is bigger than the nine-darter as it means I am in the Grand Slam for the next two years and I've moved far enough up the world rankings now to promise me a place in the World Championships.”

Concern

Just like Dolan, Taylor is now looking forward to next month's Grand Slam but The Power admitted his main concern is a 16th World Championship to continue silencing the doubters.

“I'm doing everything right – I'm 51 and fitter than most of them lads! I'll go to my villa for a while and look forward to the Grand Slam next month and use that to build for the World Championships.

“I was struggling a bit last year and thinking I might never win another tournament, and people were writing me off, but I'm getting all these trophies back now!”

Meanwhile, the Professional Darts Organisation has also announced that the Premier League of Darts will be stopping in Ireland next year on March 22 and tickets for that event at the 02 went on sale today via Ticketmaster.