Dolan set for Citywest return

History maker Brendan Dolan is eagerly awaiting his return to the World Grand Prix next week, a year after hitting his nine-dart finish on the way to the final at the Citywest Hotel.

The Northern Irish star became the first player in the double-start format to land a nine-darter during his epic semi-final win over James Wade in Dublin last October.

Dolan went on to reach his first major final, and although he lost out to Phil Taylor the success in the tournament has helped to kick-start the 39-year-old’s career since.

He has now risen to 22nd in the world rankings, and after making his World Matchplay debut this summer he also reached the semi-finals of last month’s European Championship – defeating Taylor along the way.

Dolan takes on world number four Gary Anderson on Monday night in the first round of this year’s World Grand Prix, and is looking forward to his return to the Citywest Hotel.

“I just want to get past the first round this year and not be a complete flop after such a great time last year,” said Dolan.

“There’s a wee bit more pressure, but obviously what I’ve done this year in terms of making every TV tournament that I could have means I’ve got more confidence.

“Now I can go in with the belief that I’m mixing with the best in the world all the time, not just on a one-off basis.”

Dolan’s nine-dart finish last October saw him score 160, 180 and finish 161 on the bullseye to complete one of the sport’s most memorable moments.

“To do something that even Phil Taylor has never done, hit a double-start nine-dart finish, is amazing,” Dolan admits.

“I think anything in darts is achievable, and that’s all because Phil Taylor has opened everyone’s eyes and said that everything’s possible – but I probably wasn’t expecting it from me!

“Because of how I was playing going into the tournament and low on confidence, I had no extra pressure.

“My first round win over Wayne Jones filled me with confidence because I’d done better than I thought I would and it didn’t matter to me what happened after that, but I went and beat John Part, John Henderson and James Wade.

“To then go on and beat James means the nine-darter meant a lot more – to win meant I had a mentality to control my emotions and deal with it professionally.

“It proved a big point to me – it was the greatest week of my career.”

The World Grand Prix will take place at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin from October 8-14 2012, starting at 7pm on each night.

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