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Hell At The Ballroom

DARYL GURNEY admits “30 minutes of hell” cost him the Betfred World Matchplay title.

The Northern Irishman appeared to be cruising to his debut final at the Winter Gardens when he led Rob Cross 14-7 in Blackpool.

But somehow Superchin let it slip with a late match slump and admits that is still hurts that he let it slip so badly.

He said: “It was definitely 30 minutes of hell that cost me the Matchplay title in my mind. I was in a great position and it’s not a nice feeling trust me.

“Then to see how Michael Smith played in the early stages of the final, it does make you think of what could have been.

“But I really do have to take this on the chin. You have to keep learning from mistakes. You learn more from defeat than victory.

“If anything I’m more annoyed with myself. I had worked so hard to get myself into a great position and then in a blink of an eye I threw all that hard work away.

“Fair play to Rob. He took his chance. There’s no charity at the top of darts and nor should there be any. Much of this game now is timing and being an opportunist and he certainly grabbed the chance I gave him with both hands.

“We have to move on now and deal with it. That’s history and I have to channel my frustration into working even harder.”

Gurney moved up to World No.3 after his excellent run in Blackpool after taking out form-man Peter Wright in the quarters and previously Keegan Brown and Ricky Evans.

He added: “There’s lots of positives really and I need to focus on them. Now I need to look ahead to the World Grand Prix in Dublin in a couple of months.

“That’s a very special tournament for me because it was my first major win a couple of years ago. I feel I’ve been very consistent this year and I’m going in the right direction.”

By Phil Lanning