WORLD RATING FOR DARTS STAR
A NEW DARTS star walked away from last weekend’s Blue Square Open having exceeded all his own expectations, and attained a world ranking in the sport.
Alan Casey, from the Elephant and Castle, came through the qualification process to play in the ^FA Cup of Darts^, where amateurs from all over the country get to take on the best players in the world.
Having not played seriously for fourteen years, he turned up last Thursday and won three high level encounters before succumbing in the third round on Friday evening.
He said: "I had the toughest preliminary round draw as the guy I played got to the quarter finals last year. In the back of my mind I was not sure I would win but in the end I beat him 6-1"
Admitting that he had not ever played in a tournament of that intensity before, or played matches of that length on the spin, Casey went on to surprise himself and others as he reeled off two more victories winning his first round game 6-4, and his second round game 6-2.
With only six qualifiers making it to the third round, four of them being professionals, he was beginning to turn heads on the night.
"Players were coming up to me and asking which county I was playing for and I was telling them I just play for my local team, which they were amazed at. I guess you have to realise that most of them play every weekend and practice four or five times a week."
Despite making it to the second day, the one element of the weekend that let him down was his performance level in the third round: "That let me down really, I think it was down to exhaustion. I was first on the day before and my second round game was last on so I had to be up all evening.
"I think that caught up with me, as the adrenaline was still pumping and I got a few hours sleep. I didn^t know what to do the next day either, how much to practice or to rest but I will know better for next time."
Having reached the third round Casey is now ranked 183 in the world, which opens up qualification to all the major tournaments including the World Championships.
But one thing may hold him back, that being money: "Darts is a worldwide game now and lots of them are off to Las Vegas, I would love to be part of that but financing that could be really hard. I am not sure what I will do but I now have access to all the tournaments so we will have to see."
Story By: John Prendergast, Southwark News