Darts: Cunningham’s Lakeside dream
AIRDRIE darts legend Derek Cunningham admits he faces a tough task to qualify for the Lakeside world championships.
The Fourways arrower will travel to Bridlington in the north-east of England for tomorrow’s competition which is expected to attract more than 250 players.
Derek has attempted to qualify for the world-famous Surrey tournament on several occasions, falling at the final hurdle last year.
Now he is aiming to go one better alongside Fourways team-mate Jim McGeary who hails from Newarthill.
The nine-time Airdrie & District Darts League Singles’ title winner told the Advertiser: "We are really looking forward to it.
"It is a very fierce competition and there are a number of well-known players who have won the Lakeside, like John Boy Walton, who now have to qualify.
"I enjoyed last year’s event but it can be a long day and if you want to qualify you are looking at trying to win a maximum of seven matches.
"I defeated guys from Austria, Holland, Belgium and England last year before losing out to Stuart Rattray."
The Monklands duo are permitted to enter thanks to the Airdrie District League’s affiliation to the Lanarkshire Darts Association.
"This allows players from this area to play in a number of different tournaments, not just the Lakeside qualifiers," added Derek.
"Without this, we would not be able to take part.
"This is Jim’s first crack at it and he is very excited but we know the standard of play is going to be very high.
"Only four players will win through the qualifying rounds out of around 250 entrants so that tells you how difficult it will be.
"I have kept my hand in by playing for a Summer League team and it will just be a case of trying to perform well on the day."
Derek will also be competing in the Winmau Masters at the end of this week and has been drawn against Hungary’s Sandor Farkas in the first round.
lGREENOCK’S Mike Malone has been crowned Ladbrokes Grand darts champion.
The Scottish under-25 champion beat strong favourite Andy Boulton 4-1 in the final to claim the £1000 first prize.
Promoter Gordon Hunter thanked Ladbrokes, who used the event to raise cash for St Andrew’s Hospice, for their sponsorship.
Story By: Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser