A DARTS league is hoping that 16-year-old Luke Littler's World Championship run will revive Carlisle's 'dying' darts scene.

Littler captured the attention and imagination of the nation as he dispatched former darts world champions such as Raymond van Barneveld and Rob Cross on his way to the Darts World Championship final.

The 16-year-old subsequently dazzled in this final against Luke Humphries and came agonisingly close to taking a 5-2 set lead when he narrowly missed double two, a dart he would rue as 'Cool Hand' Humphries would go on to win the championship 4-7.

Littler's rise to darts stardom has also increased interest in the traditional pub sport, with the organisers of one Carlisle Sunday Night Darts League hoping that it will re-ignite the 'dying' local darts scene which has been decimated by the economic pressures faced by pubs and clubs.

Fiona Jack said: "Darts has in recent years, been a dying sport around the city, as many pubs close down or the landlords are forced to diversify and change focus by possibly introducing meals to increase or maintain their income, moving away from pub sports like darts and pool to stay alive and keep open.

"The economy is devastating pub sports leagues and over the last 10 years, we have seen Carlisle Sunday Night Darts League shrink from four divisions of 10 teams down to just two divisions of 10 teams, with a continuing struggle to maintain those two divisions."

Fiona now hopes that the rise of Luke 'The Nuke' Littler will inspire a new generation of Carlisle darts players, and believes that the 16-year-old's success has broken down the 'old man's' image of the sport.

She said: "We are hoping that Luke Littler will have ignited a fire of enthusiasm among the younger generation of Carlisle to look at darts with new eyes.

"Hopefully to view darts as a way to get out of the house, with their mates or new friends, enjoy a competitive game of darts, and have a good laugh while they’re doing it. 

"It’s not an old man’s sport or a dull night out, as some might think."