Jamie Gullan is aiming to hit the bullseye with Hibs
Young striker targets first team after taking inspiration from Peter 'snakebite' Wright
Hibs kid Jamie Gullan had already hit his own double top before heading for the world darts’ championship at Alexandra Palace.
Having scored twice as Raith Rovers defeated East Fife to go top of League One, the striker joined Easter Road team-mates Fraser Murray, Ben Stirling and Innes Murray for an away day.
It’s fair to say the quartet could probably have walked the streets of London pretty much un-noticed had it not been for the penguin costumes they were each wearing.
But, despite the looks they attracted, the four weren’t a bit out of place once inside the “Ally Pally”, joining thousands of fellow darts fans attired in all sorts of fancy dress as they watched Scotland’s own Peter “Snakebite” Wright battle his way to becoming world champion for the first time.
“I’ve always been into darts,” revealed the 20-year-old. “Ever since I was a young boy I’ve had a darts board at home. I’ve played a lot and I enjoy watching the darts on television so it was great to get down there and see it all live.
“Fraser managed to get tickets through someone he knows so we went down on Monday morning for the semi-finals. We didn’t know what to go as, we had a few ideas but ended up as penguins.
“It wasn’t easy walking about London in the outfits, that wasn’t great. But once you get there everyone is dressed up and you don’t feel such an idiot. It was a fantastic experience, the Ally Pally is much bigger than it looks on TV and the atmosphere was brilliant.”
Gullan and co watched as Wright defeated Welshman Gerwyn Price to book his place in the final against Dutch ace Michael Van Gerwen whom he defeated on New Year’s Day to take the title and the £500,000 prize money.
The Hibs youngsters weren’t there to witness it first hand having returned to Edinburgh and, for Gullan, to prepare for today’s league match against Peterhead at Stark’s Park, a game which sees his loan spell with Raith come to an end although Kirkcaldy boss John McGlynn is keen to keep him to help Rovers’ promotion charge.
Gullan, who spent a few months on loan with Raith last season, said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time with the club. I feel I have definitely improved a lot in the last few months.
“John McGlynn has been brilliant with me. He’d gone to see a Hibs development match against Dundee. I was on the bench but came on and scored a couple of goals and when John phoned me he said he’d liked what he had seen.
“He kept playing me last season even when the goals weren’t coming so thankfully I’ve repaid him with a few this time round. I can’t thank him and Paul Smith, his assistant, enough for what they have done for me.”
Gullan’s brace against East Fife took his tally for the season to eight and made him Raith’s top scorer but, he insisted, taking the three points was the over-riding concern in a title race which has the two Fife clubs neck-and-neck with Airdrie and Falkirk at the top of the table.
“It’s really tight,” said Gullan. “Every game is massive with all four trying to get promotion. We’d lost against Dumbarton the previous week so the derby with East Fife was massive for us.
“But I thought it was the best we’d played for a month or two, it was a huge result and scoring five goals was good going.”
Gullan, who had opened the scoring, also claimed the final goal deep into added-on time, one which he admitted had allowed everyone connected with Raith a big sigh of relief. He said: “It was 4-3 and they were chucking everything at us so it was brilliant to get that second goal to give us a bit of breathing space.”