As you read this, events 5-8 in the newly expanded Women’s Series will be getting underway (or indeed be completed). Many will hope for a little more variety than the first weekend provided. Fans of Lisa Ashton however will wish simply for more of the same.
The Lancashire Rose may well thrive in 2022. The lack of a Pro Tour tour card, although disappointing, may ultimately prove a benefit to the four-time Ladies World Champion, she has certainly started that way!
The Women’s season has seemed rather a stop-start so far, with event clashes and rescheduling of Lakeside seeing Beau Greaves amongst others not even attending this opening weekend:
Event 1 mirrored the pattern of last year’s early competitions. Fallon, Lisa and Lorraine Winstanley represented the game’s big names and trophy winners but were joined and jostled by those who can and do threaten. Rhian O Sullivan again upset the applecart to win through to the final but it was Ashton who triumphed. Robyn Byrne came through the draw to reach the final while Lisa handled a tough set of draws to edge out Fallon in the semis (5-4) and claimed back-to-back wins on day one.
Day Two saw another of the ‘surprise’ finalists with England’s Jo Locke enjoying a strong run before bumping into Fallon Sherrock in the weekend’s third final (Lisa Ashton had bowed out early to Donna-Maria Rainsley). The Queen of the Palace was in fine fettle having made short work of Natalie Gilbert, conqueror of Trina Gulliver, in the Qtrs and Aileen de Graaf to reach the final. Despite a spirited fight from Locke, it was Sherrock who claimed her first event of 2022.
Event 4 was much the same, with the main difference being the biggest two guns were in different halves of the draw and both firing! Both tackled difficult opponents throughout, with Ashton having to survive De Graaf and Hutchinson in the Qtrs and Semis while Fallon had to take care of O’ Sullivan and Winstanley. The final was a more tense affair but again could only be decided on the 9th leg and once it was Lisa who claimed it.
A remarkable three wins and £6000 to the good for Ashton see her top the table for the various selections and qualifications that will be available. Oddly, many of the headlines were still about Fallon?
Article originally appears in the On Tour section of Darts World Magazine Issue 579
Words: JR Lott
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