Hit­ting the tar­get

Cork man Kevin McCarthy in dream match with darts leg­end Phil Tayor.

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - John Bo­hane

TAL­ENTED Cork darts player Kevin McCarthy re­cently ful­filled a life­long dream when he played leg­endary darts player Phil ‘The Power’ Tay­lor in a cham­pi­onship match played in Queens­land, Aus­tralia.

The Leap na­tive was de­feated by Tay­lor, widely re­garded as one of the best darts player ever.

Kevin is still com­ing to terms with his match up against Tay­lor who has won the World Darts Cham­pi­onship a record 16 times.

“It was great to play my first game in the Aus­tralian Pro Tour against a player such as Phil.

“It was the great­est hon­our to play Phil Tay­lor who in my opin­ion is the great­est dart player to ever catch a dart.

“It was def­i­nitely the best mo­ment of my ca­reer so far,” de­clared the darts ace.

Kevin who has al­ways har­boured a firm love of darts, has made great strides in his darts ca­reer since he moved to Mel­bourne.

He has trained hard and his game has de­vel­oped im­mensely in re­cent years.

Kevin has rep­re­sented the Vic­to­rian State darts team in cham­pi­onship ac­tion.

He was re­warded for his progress in the DPA State Cham­pi­onship with a call up to the Aus­tralian Pro Tour event which was held in Queens­land.

Phil Tay­lor was joined by a host of top pro­fes­sional darts play­ers from the UK who par­tic­i­pated in the pres­ti­gious event.

Kevin was thrilled and un­der­stand­ably ner­vous to be drawn to play Phil Tay­lor.

“Ner­vous was an un­der­state­ment. “It was like some­one to­tally dif­fer­ent throw­ing my darts at times.

“It was a sur­real mo­ment to be play­ing against him.

“I prac­ticed very hard prior to the cham­pi­onships.

“I trained on av­er­age two hours ev­ery night in prepa­ra­tion for the big match.

“I was de­lighted to get Phil in the first round.

“To play the great man was an ab­so­lute hon­our, but it would have been nicer to have met him later in the tour­na­ment as I felt that if I had played some­one else in the first round, I would have won.

“I was happy enough with my per­for­mance, but I know I can play bet­ter which is the frus­trat­ing thing.

“To record more 180’s than Phil Tay­lor was a great con­fi­dence boost.”

Class is per­ma­nent and Kevin is full of awe for the per­for­mance ‘The Power’ pro­duced against the young Cork darts star.

Phil pow­ered to a six-nil win fol­low­ing a typ­i­cally classy and pro­fes­sional per­for­mance.

“He was so good, very ac­cu­rate. “He never missed much and he never gave me too many chances.

“He is def­i­nitely the best player I have ever played.

“I will take the ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing the big­gest name in darts in front of a large crowd away from this event. “He was so clin­i­cal and thor­oughly pro­fes­sional. He was so ruth­less.

“In the sec­ond leg, I had a score of 144 left and missed dou­ble 12 to take the leg.

“Un­for­tu­nately for me, I never got an­other shot. If I was play­ing against any­one else be­sides Phil Tay­lor, I think I would have got an­other shot.”

Kevin is full of praise for the leg­endary darts player who has of­ten been crit­i­cised for his at­ti­tude to­wards fel­low pro­fes­sion­als.

Kevin who pre­vi­ously played Phil in Ire­land when he was a teenager in an ex­hi­bi­tion match, found the darts star to be most cour­te­ous and friendly to­wards him.

He learnt a lot from his great ex­pe­ri­ence.

“He was a very nice guy, both on and off the stage.

“He gave me lots of ad­vice about play­ing in front of a big crowd.

“He also taught me very tech­ni­cal stuff, such as to slow down a small bit with the re­lease of my sec­ond dart.”

The Cork darts star thrived in the in­tense and fever­ish at­mos­phere the sell out crowd pro­vided dur­ing his Aus­tralian Pro Tour match against Tay­lor.

It was the big­gest crowd Kevin ever played in front of and he loved the oc­ca­sion.

“There was a mas­sive at­mos­phere at Mackay. There were over 2,000 peo­ple there.

“The crowd were amaz­ing, they were even shout­ing my name which was sur­real.

“It was the big­gest crowd I had ever played in front of. They added to the sense of oc­ca­sion.”

Kevin’s proud fam­ily and friends back home in Cork watched him per- form live via Facebook.

He is in­debted to them for their con­tin­ued sup­port through­out his sporting ca­reer.

“I owe ev­ery­thing to my fam­ily and spon­sors as with­out them, none of this would have been pos­si­ble.

“They have been a great help to me through­out my life and sporting ca­reer.

“My fam­ily back home in Cork watched it live via Facebook as it was not broad­cast live out­side Aus­tralia.

“It was a very proud mo­ment for me play­ing Phil Tay­lor in a com­pet­i­tive darts game, know­ing my fam­ily were cheer­ing me on back home.”

Kevin will con­tinue to work hard and pre­pare in­tently over the com­ing weeks and months as he strives to ap­pear more fre­quently on the Aus­tralian Pro Tour cir­cuit.

“I have lots of small lo­cal tour­na­ments com­ing up over the next cou­ple of months.

“My game is def­i­nitely im­prov­ing, from where I was two years ago to now.

“I am so happy but it has taken a lot of hard work and prac­tice.

“It would be an hon­our to play more big names in the fu­ture, but it will take a lot more prac­tic­ing to get my game to that level.”

“To record more 180’s than Phil Tay­lor was a great con­fi­dence boost

Cork na­tive Kevin McCarthy who re­cently played darts leg­end Phil Tay­lor in an Aus­tralian Pro Tour event in Queens­land. Phil emerged vic­to­ri­ous fol­low­ing their first round en­counter on a 6-0 score­line.

Kevin McCarthy with darts leg­end Phil ‘The Power’ Tay­lor in an Aus­tralian Pro Tour event in Queens­land. Kevin achieved more 180’s than Phil dur­ing their game.

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