Cork's John O’Shea says he was on the verge of quitting darts just six weeks before becoming the first Irish player to win the BDO’s World Masters title.
The 44-year-old beat two-time Lakeside champion Scott Waites 6-4 in the final at the Circus Tavern on Sunday.
Unseeded O’Shea was ranked 219 in the British Darts Organisation before the tournament but has now shot up to 59 and also qualified for the World Championship at the 02 in London in the New Year.
"[It’s] unreal," O’Shea told The Weekly Dartscast after winning the One80 L-Style World Masters, the second biggest major on the BDO circuit.
🏆CHAMPION🏆— BDO Darts (@BDOdarts) October 27, 2019
John O'Shea is crowned the 2019 BDO @One80Dart @Lstyle_Japan World Masters men's champion as he defeats Scott Waites 6-4 in the final!#WorldMasters 📷 Tip Top Pics pic.twitter.com/safdLFxqYq
"I always knew there was something big in me, I just didn’t know when it was going to come out.
"I never stopped believing, I threw through pain and leg injuries for a year. I struggled. The kids bought me a new dart board in July for my birthday and I didn’t even hang it up.
"Six weeks ago I cried in my kitchen, I thought I was done, that was it, pack it in.
"Hand on heart, I genuinely thought I couldn’t practice any more, to keep up with the young lads coming through."
Earlier today Katie Sheldon and Keane Barry were named the BDO one80 L-style girls and boys World Masters. The Irish are certainly looking strong this weekend in Essex!#WorldMasters pic.twitter.com/UZb9x2aKPO— BDO Darts (@BDOdarts) October 25, 2019
O’Shea’s victory on Sunday followed the success of two Irish youngsters, who won Youths World Masters titles on Friday.
17-year-old Meath star Keane Barry, who will play in the first round of the PDC World Championship in Alexandra Palace in December, beat England’s Charlie Manby in the final of the Boys Youths Singles
Dubliner Katie Sheldon, 15, beat Scotland’s Sophie McKinlay in a final that went down to the wire to win the Girls Youths Singles crown.
Alongside eventual winner O’Shea, two Irish players, Neil Duff and Ciaran Teehan, also made the last eight of the senior men's event.
Commentator Paul Nicholson, the former PDC Players Championship winner, said: "The Irish contingency has stepped up this week. I think it’s fabulous.
"We’ve seen Irish darts players dominate the youth ranks in this tournament. Keane Barry is going to be a superstar, we know that.
"I’m just happy a country that is noted for playing this game, that has probably been a sleeping giant for a very long time, has finally come out and said, you know what, 'we are going to win’."
On the PDC circuit both Republic of Ireland World Cup finalists Steve Lennon and Willie O’Connor have qualified for Grand Slam of Darts following results from the European Championship, where they will join Daryl Gurney in the 9-17 November tournament in Wolverhampton.