Darts: O'Shea flies through to semi-finals

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The Independent Online

Tony O'Shea produced darts of the highest quality last night to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the Lakeside World Championship here. The 2003 Swiss Open champion, a greenkeeper at the Hazelgrove Golf Club in Cheshire, outplayed Ted Hankey to seal a stunning 5-1 success.

The Stockport thrower, who has been knocked by Colin Monk in the last two years, turned on the style from the outset against the 2000 champion. O'Shea thought he had won the opening set with a shot at double 12, but realised he had made a mistake and should have hit double 16. He composed himself before taking out double four to set the tone for an entertaining clash.

Hankey levelled up in the next set but "The Count" struggled to make an impression. A bull finish clinched O'Shea the third set and he took advantage of a crucial miss by Hankey to open a two-set lead at the break.

The interval did not break O'Shea's concentration and he reeled off the next three legs to move within one set of victory. Hankey took out double 12 to take it to a deciding leg, but O'Shea nailed the bull to finish in style.

"I'm still buzzing," O'Shea said. "I can't believe I'm through to the semi-finals. I've made the final of the World Darts Trophy, but this [tournament] means everything to me.

"I made a joke earlier in the week that I'll probably win it because Colin [Monk] had been knocked out. I can't believe what has happened this week and I'm looking forward to the next match."

* Phil Taylor has decided against retiring after receiving hundreds of messages urging him to continue. "The Power" has dominated the sport for over a decade and won his 11th world title with a thrilling 7-6 victory over Kevin Painter in the final of the PDC World Championship on Sunday.

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