Tough test for Eccles
DARTS ace Tony Eccles will face a huge test in his next big tournament.
The Hartlepool star has been drawn against PDC World Championship semi-final Kevin Painter at the Blue Square UK Open at Bolton, which gets underway on Thursday.
Eccles^ cause has not been helped either by the fact that he had his darts stolen while in America.
The 37-year-old had reached the fourth round of the tournament in Connecticut, though his satisfaction turned to dismay when his darts were pinched.
"I walked off with £1,500 and the ranking points which that equates to," said Eccles.
"It was a good experience for me, but having my darts taken was a huge blow.
"I need to get my new darts broken in before Bolton because I have Kevin Painter first up.
"Kevin^s good and I think this is our third meeting – I^ve beaten him and he^s beaten me and it should be a good match.
"The tournament is being show in Sky and hopefully I can go there and do well.
"I^m not normally a heavy practiser, but on this occasion, I^ll have to so I can get the darts bedded in."
The trip to the Reebok Stadium continues a busy summer on the oche for the Stranton Social Club player.
"I^ve qualified for the World Matchplay in Blackpool in July and the Las Vegas Desert Classic, which I^m over the moon about," he said.
"But I^ve got to concentrate on Bolton first."
Story by: Peterlee Mail