Cunningham's curtain call

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The Independent Online
Alan Cunningham will simply show his season ticket to get into Wembley Arena for this weekend's Budweiser League Championship play-offs where his club, Worthing Bears, will play the league champions, Sheffield Sharks, in the second of tonight's semi-finals.

Cunningham, the 40-year-old former Harlem Globetrotter, plays his final games for Worthing at Wembley, where he will be making his ninth consecutive appearance in play-off finals in England.

"Make that 10 appearances," Cunningham said. "As long as you include Ireland."

His nine-year run in the English play-off semi-finals has been with four clubs - Portsmouth, Glasgow, Kingston and now Worthing.

"In 1986 I was with Portsmouth when Birmingham knocked us out in the quarter-finals and we missed Wembley. I was loaned to Team Jamieson of Dublin and we won the Irish play-offs."

Cunningham scored 42 points and made double figures in both rebounds and assists.

He is leaving Worthing after criticising the club's lack of ambition for not competing in Europe. Now Cunningham needs to find a new challenge. "It's kind of scary at this stage of my career to be looking for a new job."

But for this weekend, Cunningham will concentrate on extending his winning sequence in the finals to seven, by completing a hat-trick with Worthing following his three wins with Kingston and also one with Glasgow.

In tonight's first semi-final London Towers face Manchester Giants. The final will be played tomorrow, along with the finals for the men's First and Second Divisions and the women's First Division.

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