"Don't get me annoyed because I'll play better. Simple as that" - Fired-up Josh Rock ends hopes of home crowd favourite at Dutch Darts Championship

Josh Rock secured himself a spot in the third round of the 2024 Dutch Darts Championship on Saturday night. The Northern Irishman proved too good for Dirk van Dujvenbode, taking a 6-3 win over the Dutchman.

Averaging nearly 105 and firing five maximums with a six out of nine success rate on the doubles, Rock was somewhere close to his scintillating best. "It was hard obviously because as soon as I started my walk-on, I knew what I was up against," Rock reflected post-stage referencing the Dutch crowd being heavily behind their compatriot. "Whenever you're playing someone in their home nation it's always a little bit more difficult. But, I got the win and that was the main thing."

Despite Rock being the better player for most of the match, when van Duijvenbode threatened a comeback, the crowd were reaching fever pitch, making for a real bear pit atmosphere for the Northern Irishman to have to contend with. "When he hit a double and gave it large, there was a switch in my head that went 'this is it now' and I went back to back 180s," Rock recalls. "Whenever players do that against me, that switch goes off so don't get me annoyed because I'll play better. Simple as that."

"I'm not here for any other reason than to win the tournament," the 23-year-old continues. "That's the main thing. Obviously we're all here to win, but I'm here to win that trophy as much as I can and I'm going to do that."

As mentioned, Rock is the current Northern Irish number one. With the World Cup of Darts fast approaching, it wasn't clear who Rock would be partnered with on his World Cup debut but after Daryl Gurney suffered a first round exit at the Dutch Darts Championship, the vastly experienced Brendan Dolan has now been confirmed as Rock's World Cup partner. "I was happy enough either way with Daryl or Brendan. I'm representing my country and that was the main thing. I'm happy either way," he concludes.

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