William O'Connor is determined to learn from his Unibet Premier League experience after appearing as a Challenger in Dublin on Thursday.

Limerick's O'Connor took to the stage in front of 9,000 fans at the 3Arena, enjoying a rousing walk-on to The Cranberries' "Zombie" hit before taking on world number one Michael van Gerwen.

Although he lost 7-4, O'Connor shared the opening six legs with Van Gerwen and hopes that the experience can be a catalyst as he prepares for next weekend's Ladbrokes UK Open.

"That was unreal," reflected O'Connor. "I had a fantastic night - it's a pity the result went the way it did but I played the world number one in my home country.

"Regardless of the result, this is the best night of my life. It was everything that I could have wished for and more.

"It too me a bit to get going at the start - I couldn't have tried harder but maybe the moment got to me more than I was expecting. 

"I've been playing better than that and it's an annoyance to me, but I have to learn from tonight and it will definitely hold me in good stead in the future.

"I'm going in the right direction and I can't wait for the rest of the year."