Chris Dobey said he felt like Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer playing in front of a sold-out Utilita Arena on Tyneside last Thursday night, writes Andrew McDonnell.
The Bedlington darts ace, who was the first ‘Contender’ to take to the Premier League stage in place of the injured Gary Anderson, raced into a 5-1 lead in front of his home crowd and the Sky TV cameras.
Mensur Suljovic won five-straight legs to come back and lead 6-5, but the hometown hero wasn’t to be outdone as he won the decisive 12th leg to secure a draw on his Premier League debut.
“It was a dream come true to play in front of that crowd tonight, I felt like Alan Shearer at one point.” said Dobey.
“If it wasn’t for the fans spurring me on I could’ve easily thrown that one away and it was a great feeling to get the draw in the end.
“This was an amazing opportunity and now I want more of this, which means putting the hard work in on the ProTour and hopefully more chances will come for me in the future.”
Dobey’s fine week wasn’t complete there though. The Northumberland thrower managed to hit his first PDC nine-dart-leg on Sunday.
His opponent, Dave Prins, lead 5-3, but after pulling it back level at 5-5, Hollywood landed two 180s and then checked out 141 - one of a record-breaking four nine-darters hit that day.
The 28-year-old’s run in PC2 came to an end after a defeat to Jonny Clayton in the last 16 stage, but Dobey can take confidence from this week into the forthcoming ProTour events and beyond.