NORTHERN IRELAND beat the Republic of Ireland on Saturday as they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup of Darts in Germany.
The two nations were drawn against each other after the Republic, who were represented by Dubliner Mick McGowan and Limerick man William O’Connor, pipped a fighting Hong Kong side five legs to four in round one.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan and Daryl Gurney, beat a dismal Japan five legs to two, which set up a tasty all-Ireland affair in the second round.
The derby kicked off on Saturday afternoon with both sets of players fancying their chances. However, it was the Ulstermen who proved victorious, with Derry’s Gurney thumping the Republic’s O’Connor in the first singles game, four legs to one.
Fermanagh native Dolan followed up by beating McGowan four legs to two to hand Northern Ireland a 2-0 victory over their close neighbours and a place in the quarter-finals to face Canada.
Then on Sunday afternoon, Northern Ireland began their quarter-final clash poorly, with Dolan losing the first singles game four to three to Canada’s three-time world champion, John Part.
However, Daryl Gurney tied the quarter-final match at one each, thrashing Canadian Ken MacNeill, four legs to nil in the second singles game.
With the contest level, Northern Ireland then comprehensively beat Canada four legs to one in the deciding doubles game to win the match 2-1, setting up a semi-final encounter with England.
However, Northern Ireland's impressive run came to end in the last four as England’s eventually tournament winners Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor walloped Gurney and Dolan effortlessly in the singles to knock the Ulstermen out.