O'Connor & Cullen's Irish Showdown

William O'Connor (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

WILLIAM O'CONNOR and Jason Cullen will contest the final of the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay on Saturday October 7 in Dublin as they compete for a place in the William Hill World Darts Championship.

The duo came through the early rounds of Ireland's premier domestic tournament in Tramore on September 9 to secure a place in the final, which will take place on stage at the Citywest Hotel.

Cappamore's O'Connor has vast experience on the PDC circuit and is a former World Grand Prix, UK Open and World Cup of Darts competitor, but has yet to compete in the World Championship.

The 31-year-old defeated whitewashed both Dean Forde and Martin Byrne on his way to the semi-finals, where he was a 6-2 winner against Belfast's Roy Bailie to progress to next month's final.

Wexford-based Cullen, meanwhile, is bidding to secure his first spot in a PDC televised event, although he is a former Lakeside Championship and World Masters qualifier.

The 29-year-old, a semi-finalist in the Irish Matchplay event nine years ago, defeated Sheamus Hagan in a deciding leg in the last 16 before whitewashing Anthony Whoriskey in the quarter-finals, while a 6-1 semi-final defeat of Keith Rooney secured his spot in the decider.

The Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay championship is named in memory of the late former PDC professional from Ireland, with the final traditionally held on stage ahead of the Unibet World Grand Prix final in Dublin.

The Tramore Darts Festival also featured the Irish qualifier for the 2017 PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship, with Nathan Rafferty defeating Dean Finn in the final to secure his place in November's tournament.

Rafferty was a 4-0 quarter-final winner against Luke Pearse and dropped just one leg against Ronan McCarthy in the semi-finals before enjoying a 5-3 win over Finn in the decider, earning him the Irish Youth Matchplay title alongside the World Youth Championship spot.

The Unibet World Grand Prix will be held from October 1-7 at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin and broadcast live on Sky Sports. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.ie, call 00353 (0)1 401 0505 or email darts17@citywesthotel.com.

William O'Connor & Jason Cullen with Ann Kirby

William O'Connor & Jason Cullen

2017 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay
Last 16

Andrew Dempsey 5-4 Andrew Kavanagh
Keith Rooney 5-4 John O'Shea
Anthony Whoriskey 5-0 Jason Waters
Jason Cullen 5-4 Sheamus Hagan
William O'Connor 5-0 Dean Forde
Martin Byrne 5-4 Trevor Vallely
Roy Bailie 5-2 Nathan Rafferty
Tom O'Connor 5-4 Anto McCracken

Keith Rooney 5-3 Andrew Dempsey
Jason Cullen 5-0 Anthony Whoriskey
William O'Connor 5-0 Martin Byrne
Roy Bailie 5-3 Tom O'Connor

Jason Cullen 6-1 Keith Rooney
William O'Connor 6-2 Roy Bailie

Jason Cullen v William O'Connor
Saturday October 7 (7.05pm), Citywest Hotel, Dublin
Best of 11 legs

Nathan Rafferty with Tony Hickey

Nathan Rafferty

2017 Irish Youth Matchplay

Dean Finn 4-2 Ciaran Teehan
Cormac Foley 4-1 Robyn Byrne
Nathan Rafferty 4-0 Luke Pearse
Ronan McCarthy 4-3 Dylan Powell

Dean Finn 5-0 Cormac Foley
Nathan Rafferty 5-1 Ronan McCarthy

Nathan Rafferty 5-3 Dean Finn