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Ireland's Connie Finnan stuns Terry Jenkins at Citywest

Updated: Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 10:25 | Comments

Connie Finnan is through to the second round of the World Grand Prix
Connie Finnan is through to the second round of the World Grand Prix

Irish debutant Connie Finnan stunned two-time finalist Terry Jenkins with a thrilling 2-0 partypoker.com World Grand Prix victory on Monday night, as former champions Phil Taylor and James Wade joined the Limerick ace in round two of the double-start event.

World number 74 Finnan, from Garryowen, produced the performance of his life to thrill his home crowd at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

The 51-year-old came from a leg down to win the opening set 3-1, and though Jenkins kicked off the second set with a 152 finish, Finnan took the next two to move to the brink of victory.

Jenkins hit back to take the set into a deciding leg with a 14-darter, but Finnan was first to a finish as he landed double eight to complete the biggest triumph of his career.

"I can't believe it - to win in front of the home crowd was absolutely unbelievable and I can do back to Limerick now with my head held high," said Finnan, who was cheered on by his wife, daughter and six sisters!

"The support of the crowd was fantastic and I was over the moon with how I played. To be just in the same practice room as these players is unreal for me and it's a dream come true to beat Terry.

Finnan, who is already guaranteed to be back at the Citywest Hotel on Sunday night when he competes for the leading domestic honour in the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final against Colin McGarry, will now take on two-time World Grand Prix champion in Wednesday's second round.

"I can do back to Limerick now with my head held high" - Connie Finnan

Wade, the 2007 and 2010 World Grand Prix champion, came close to suffering a second successive first round exit before he edged out Steve Beaton in a dramatic deciding leg.

The world number five won the game's opening set in a deciding leg with a brilliant 12-darter, only for Beaton to level by hitting a 120 finish in the fifth leg of the second.

The final set also went to the last leg, with Wade initially missing three match darts only to be given a reprieve when Beaton missed double 12 for a 101 finish, allowing the left-hander to peg double five to progress.

Australian star Simon Whitlock also came through a nerve-wracking decider as he sneaked past Northern Irish left-hander Michael Mansell, who came from a set down to level but missed three match darts in a dramatic sudden-death leg.

Ten-time champion Phil Taylor was another 2-1 winner as he overcame Jamie Caven, although the Stoke legend won both of his sets without reply with some scintillating darts.

Taylor kicked off the game with scores of 160 and 180 to set up a possible nine-darter, and although he missed out on that achievement the 53-year-old won the opening set 3-0 with a 115 average.

Caven hit back to win the second set 3-2, producing some fine darts, but was punished as Taylor found another gear to take the deciding set without reply as he moved through to a second round meeting with Paul Nicholson on Wednesday.

Two-time champion Wade edged past Steve Beaton in a dramatic three-set thriller, with the former World Champion missing one dart to edge victory in a sudden-death leg - at double 12 for a 101 finish - before the world number five hit double five to progress.

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