By Gary Ellis
Daryl Gurney picked up his first Premier League point with a 6-6 draw against Raymond van Barneveld on his Dublin debut on Thursday night.
However, the Northern Ireland man believes he should have made a winning start to his Premier League campaign.
“To be honest it really feels like a loss,” said Daryl. “I played well, I had so many darts to win that game, but I still got a point.
“I’m the first Irish person in the Premier League to get a point and I’ll be the first to get a win.
“At 6-4 I had three darts at double 10. I thought the first one was in. I’m always learning playing against players like Barney. I was on for a 9 darter but hit a hard bit on the board. For my first Premier League game it was not too bad. Not many take a point off Raymond.”
Daryl’s “Sweet Caroline” walk on theme thundered out in the 3 Arena as he took to the stage and any sign of nerves were soon brushed aside as the Derryman opened with a maximum 180 and took out the first leg on the bull.
He hit another 180 to help claim the first break to secure a 2-0 lead but in a nervous third leg in which both players missed darts to secure the win Barney reduced the deficit to one.
After holding his throw to level at 2-2, Barney broke again to take the lead for the first time.
However, Daryl found his early form again and took out double 12 in the sixth leg to make it 3-3.
A big 180 from Superchin helped him get back in the next leg and a double 4 saw him hold his throw for a 4-3 lead. Daryl hit a perfect six darts and was on for a 9 darter, missed the chance but in the end double ten gave the Foyle man a huge 5-3 lead.
Gurney made sure of a point with an 11 dart leg as he raced ahead 6-3. It was soon 6-4 as Barney dug deep and when Daryl missed three match darts the Dutchman took advantage and it ended all square at 6-6.
Night two next Thursday sees Daryl take on Michael Smith in Cardiff.