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Article: DARTS :O^Shea faces switch decision

DARTS :O^Shea faces switch decision

WORLD Championship finalist Tony O^Shea is facing the biggest decision of his darts career just days after his agonising defeat at the Lakeside.

Stockport player O^Shea, nicknamed Silverback, lost 7-6 to Ted `The Count^ Hankey in a thrilling British Darts Organisation (BDO) final last Sunday.

But now 47-year-old O^Shea must decide whether to stay with the BDO or move to the more lucrative Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) that is televised by Sky and home to arrows legend Phil `The Power^ Taylor.

Although he admits the lure of cash is hard to resist, O^Shea^s ability to represent England while with the BDO, plus the chance to have another crack at Lakeside glory, has left the Silverback scratching his head.

O^Shea, who used to be a greenkeeper at Hazel Grove Golf Club, said: "I^ve had hundreds of e-mails and texts since Sunday asking what I^m going to do. My heart tells me to stay with the BDO but my head says go to the PDC.

"Earlier on in the season I had a disagreement with the BDO over my ranking and that got me thinking about a move.

"There is so much money in the PDC that my head says that is where I should go, but my heart says stay in the BDO because I can play the internationals there.

"If I had to say right now I would probably say I^ll stay in the BDO, but I haven^t made my mind up once and for all."


O^Shea has been in superb form this season, reaching the semi- finals at the three tournaments preceding the Lakeside.

He went one better at Frimley Green, Surrey, to reach the showpiece match after beating fellow Stockport thrower Darryl Fitton in the semis. And although he didn^t win, O^Shea has not been discouraged by his defeat to Hankey.

O^Shea added: "The fact I came so close to winning at the Lakeside has given me the hunger to put that right and carry on.

"I have never felt like I did in that final. When it got to six-all and the fans were chanting my name it was amazing - it still gives me goose bumps now just to think about it."

O^Shea will be following a well trodden path if he does decide to switch to the PDC. Raymond van Barneveld, Jelle Klaasen and Mervyn King are all high-profile players who have made the switch in recent years.

Even though O^Shea has sampled the sport^s bright lights, he is looking forward to representing The Pineapple Inn in Marple in the local leagues over the coming weeks.

In nine years competing on the local circuit he has lost just once, a record even the world finalist is proud of.

"I lost to a lad called Robbie Sherlock. We only play over three legs and he^s a decent player. But even so, to lose just once is not bad going because there are some decent players around in Stockport."

Story By: Manchester Evening News

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