Rooney: I'll Learn From Defeat

KEITH ROONEY pledged to learn from experience after losing out to Dennis Priestley in a final-leg decider at the Sky Bet World Grand Prix.

Rooney lost the opening set against his childhood idol but took the two-time World Champion all the way in their second round contest.

It was only his second appearance on the big stage, but Rooney admitted that he was disappointed not to complete the victory after leading 2-1 during the final set.

"It was great playing my hero, but I didn't take my chances and he's walked away here with the victory," said the 24-year-old from County Meath.

"At the moment I am kicking myself, but I'll look back at the last few legs and realise I was in with a good chance and I probably saw the end before it was actually there.

"I'll learn from that."

Rooney will now set his sights on winning a place at the World Darts Championship in December.

He lost in the final game of last year's qualifiers in Hull, but is determined to take one of the 16 places on offer for PDPA members this time around.

"That was hard because I played as close to my ability as I ever have, but Jason Clark beat me and it was tough," he added.

"I'll be practising hard and hopefully I can qualify.

"To make the second round here is a great building block and I can improve from this."

Rooney works as a carpenter in Duleek by trade, but received backing from Priestley after the game to take up the PDC circuit full-time.

"If Keith had have my experience he may have got the big trebles later on and I may have been out," said Priestley.

"He's a lovely lad, he seems as if he wants to learn and he's got everything in front of him.

"He's tall as well, which I think is an advantage for playing darts and it's just a matter of knuckling down - he has got the ability."

Click here to read the Match Report - Dennis Priestley 3-2 Keith Rooney