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