Dutch Open Triumph Sees De Graf Top WDF Rankings.

The WDF 2020 ranking tables have been updated to show resulted after the recent Dutch Open. Aileen de Graff placed at number one, edging out Lisa Ashton who is concentrating on the PDC after gaining her Tour Card in January:

WDF WOMEN’S RANKINGS MAIN TABLE PRESENTED BY WINMAU

Updated February 4, 2020

RankPlayerCountryPoints
1Aileen de GraafNetherlands978
2Lisa AshtonEngland957
3Deta HedmanEngland932
4Fallon SherrockEngland762
5Paula JacklinEngland642
6Anastasia DobromyslovaRussia513
7Laura TurnerEngland465
8Maria O’BrienEngland450
9Mikuru SuzukiJapan443
10Tina OsborneNew Zealand405
11Corrine HammondAustralia394
12Lorraine WinstanleyEngland390
13Elena ShulginaRussia381
14Paula MurphyUSA344
15Sharon PrinsNetherlands341
16Andreea BradRomania327
17Kirsty HutchinsonEngland321
18Kirsi ViinikainenFinland320
19Priscilla SteenbergenNetherlands316
20Kaisu RekinenFinland308
21Wendy HarperNew Zealand292
22Margaret SuttonEngland279
23Irina ArmstrongGermany275
24Jitka CisarovaCzech Republic272
25Tori KewishAustralia262
26Stacey PaceUSA261
27Helene SundelinSweden260
28Ksenia KlochekRussia256
28Veronika IhaszHungary256
30Vicky PruimSweden253
31Judy FentonNew Zealand248
32Darlene Van SleeuwenCanada239

Ashton Creates History As Waites Triumphs on Day Four – Q School 2020.

Lisa Ashton made history by becoming the first woman to win a PDC Tour Card through Qualifying School on Sunday in Wigan.

Ashton became first Woman player to earn a (Q School) Tour Card. Legs won proved decisive.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG LISA ASHTON IN ACTION

Four-time BDO Women’s Champion Ashton will compete on the PDC ProTour in 2020 and 2021 after holding on to the final qualification place on the Q School Order of Merit on a landmark day for the sport.

Ashton, who starred in the 2018/19 World Championship, had to endure a nervous wait after going down 5-2 to Justin Smith in her second game of the day resulting in no points being added to her Order of Merit tally.

However, results over the course of the day meant that Ashton’s nine points, the bulk of which were won in her run to the last eight on Day Two, were enough to secure her place on the PDC professional circuit for the first time.

Ashton was one of six players tied on nine points, but she and Darren Penhall held the advantage in number of legs won over the four days to take the final two qualification spots.

I am so, so happy to finally get my Tour Card,” said Ashton, who missed out by one point at 2019 Q School,

“I was sat there all day with people trying to work out if I had qualified so I just said ‘tell me at the end, I can’t deal with the stress!

“So when I found out I’d done it, that was a great moment”.

I want to play all the tournaments I can. I’m going to have a damn good go at whoever I play, they need to be ready.

“To come through a field of over 500 men, I couldn’t be any happier.

“But I know I’ve got more in the tank and now I’m going to take my dreams wherever I can.”

A dramatic final day of action in Wigan and Hildesheim saw both UK and European Q Schools reach their climax as 22 players won two-year Tour Cards.

Waites claimed a Tour Card at his second attempt.

Two-time BDO Champion Scott Waites will compete on the PDC circuit for the first time in 2020 after winning his Tour Card outright on the final day along with Welshman Nick Kenny.

Having struggled on the opening three days of Q School, former Grand Slam winner Waites found his form on the final day, culminating in a 5-0 whitewash of teenage Irish sensation Keane Barry in their Tour Card decider.

“To do this is amazing,” said Waites. “I knew I had to come here today and just win it outright, and I’ve played my game all day.

“Keane is a fantastic player so to beat him 5-0 is amazing, but with a bit of experience he’s going to be an awesome player.

“The time has never been right for me to move over before but now I think it is right to have a go so let’s see what happens.

“I’m going to put a lot of practice in now, this is going to give me the ‘get up and go’ I need.”

Kenny has already won PDC Titles on the Development Tour.

Two-time Development Tour winner Kenny will also be a new addition to the PDC circuit after he saved his best performance till last as he averaged 110.5 to defeat Scott Taylor 5-2 in their Tour Card play-off.

Joining Ashton in winning Tour Cards via the UK Q School Order of Merit are 11 players headed up by former World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton.

Junior Darts Corporation Chairman Steve Brown was unable to attend the final day of Q School due to JDC-related commitments in China, but his runs on the first two days were enough to ensure a return to the PDC Tour after a five-year absence.

Brisbane Masters winner Damon Heta was successful in his first Q School appearance and he will be joined on the circuit by fellow-Australian and surprise-package Penhall.

Scottish duo Ryan Murray and William Borland are also new names on tour, along with Wigan’s Martin Atkins.

Adam Hunt, Alan Tabern and Wayne Jones all secured immediate returns after losing their Tour Cards at the end of 2019, while Peter Jacques returns after a one-year absence.

At European Q School Germany’s Steffen Siepmann booked his place on the PDC Tour for the first time by defeating Wesley Harms 5-3 in the Day Four final in Hildesheim.

Wes Harms did enough over the four days.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG WESLEY HARMS IN ACTION

However, two-time BDO Championship semi-finalist Harms did enough over the four days to earn a PDC Tour Card for the first time.

“It has been a really tough four days,” Harms admitted.

“My goal was to make the quarter-final every time but after I went out in the last 32 on the first day I was worried, but my last day made up for it.

“Everything will be new for me but I am looking forward to playing in the PDC for the first time.”

Harms’ fellow-Dutchmen Derk Telnekes and Martijn Kleermaker also secured Tour Cards for the first time, while Dirk van Duijvenbode won back his card at the first time of asking.

Sweden’s Daniel Larsson, Croatia’s Boris Krcmar and Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk also won Tour Cards for the first time via the European Q School Order of Merit.

The first three days of action saw six players win Tour Cards outright at UK Q School, along with three at European Q School.

All 31 PDC Tour Card winners will get their first taste of the PDC ProTour in 2020 at Players Championships One and Two which will take place at The Barnsley Metrodome from February 8-9.

UK Qualfying School Day Four
Last 16

Wayne Jones 5-4 Thomas Lovely
Scott Taylor 5-3 Alexander Morrison
Stephen Burton 5-0 Darren Johnson
Nick Kenny 5-3 Darren Penhall
Matthew Dennant 5-0 Wes Newton
Keane Barry 5-1 Graham Usher
Scott Waites 5-3 Connor Scutt
Adam Hunt 5-4 Steve Hine

Last Eight
Scott Taylor 5-1 Wayne Jones
Nick Kenny 5-1 Stephen Burton
Keane Barry 5-2 Matthew Dennant
Scott Waites 5-4 Adam Hunt

Last Four
Nick Kenny 5-2 Scott Taylor
Scott Waites 5-0 Keane Barry

European Qualfying School Day Four
Last 16

Steffen Siepmann 5-4 Zoran Lerchbacher
Jose Justicia 5-4 Gino Vos
Lukasz Sawicki 5-0 Wesley Plaisier
Danny van Trijp 5-3 Dennis Nilsson
Wesley Harms 5-3 Boris Krcmar
Kevin Blomme 5-3 Michael Unterbuchner
Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-3 Derk Telnekes
Cody Harris 5-0 Daniel Larsson

Quarter-Finals
Steffen Siepmann 5-4 Jose Justicia
Danny van Trijp 5-4 Lukasz Sawicki
Wesley Harms 5-0 Kevin Blomme
Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-2 Cody Harris

Semi-Finals
Steffen Siepmann 5-1 Danny van Trijp
Wesley Harms 5-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Final
Steffen Siepmann 5-3 Wesley Harms

Darts World Logo

Dr Linda Duffy Answers The Darts World Q(School) & A.

Linda Duffy PhD. (@sportspsycoach) has a unique perspective on the sport of darts. As a player, Linda, then known as Linda Batten, was World Number 1, England International (Captain) and World Cup Singles Champions.

Linda Batten ( Now Duffy) has a unique track record within darts.

In management, Linda assisted the careers of two World Champions (Keith Deller & Bob Anderson). Later, after a competitive retirement, she completed her Doctorate and can now be found at Middlesex University, that’s when she is not assisting Josh Payne in his rise through the PDC.

Our resident coach sought Linda’s opinion on Q School 2020, the BDO scenario and other current issues in the world of darts:

Coach: As a player, manger and coach, you have multiple perspectives on Q School. What’s it like attending and wearing multiple hats?

Linda: It’s a great event to attend with so many players of many different levels of skill, it’s fascinating because it’s not always the best players, that prevail.

Coach: Do you think Q School is an event that can be coached and prepared for and if so what are your top tips for those planning on an attempt in the future?

Linda: Yes, every sporting event takes meticulous planning and Q school is no different. Top tips are copious amounts of concentrated  practice in the run up to the event. Timing is important, not too far away from the event but not too close either – you need to peak for the four days of the event.  Stamina is also key so pacing yourself and practising to concentrate for a long period of time is important, not many players know how to do this effectively.

Coach: Do you think Q School is an accurate indicator of the likely success, long term, of a player on the professional tour?

Linda: No not necessarily,  records will confirm this. Getting your tour card at Q school is not necessarily an accurate predictor of still having it after 2 years. I think many Tour players have to return to Q school to try to  regain their cards.

Coach: Do you watch the players your connected too directly, from a distance or do you stay away from the board?

Linda: I get as close to the board as I can – I watch every dart thrown.

Linda with close friend Eric Bristow.

Coach: Do you think anyone should be able to enter and play Q School or should there be a level of assessment or qualification?

Linda: I think historically it’s been an effective way for players to have the opportunity to get a Tour Card but these days I think there are too many players who are not to the required level and maybe there should be some type of pre-Q school qualifier.

Coach: Is there anyone who, in your view, is less well known and might gain a card this year?

Linda: I wouldn’t like to say, I think it’s a bit of a lottery.

Coach: DW suggested Josh Payne for a ‘Challenger’ slot in this years PL. What do you think?

Linda: I think Josh would acquit himself well and his game would certainly stand up to the scrutiny but I prefer to focus on what is in a players own hands, not selection.

Coach: As a former BDO Champion and England International how do you view the current struggles within that code?

Linda: I think it’s very sad. The BDO is a valuable resource for the “amateur” game and a good provider of future PDC champions. The BICC is a perfect platform to hone your skills and, if adjusted, could get back to its former glory days when venues were filled all over Britain.

Coach: Glen Durrant performed superbly after getting a Tour Card last year. Do you see him doing so again in 2020 and could anyone in the years Q School repeat his achievements?

Linda: He did very well and I don’t really understand why so many people were surprised, he was a 3 time world champion with multiple titles to his name. I was more surprised by the success of Rob Cross. Both men are quality players are I don’t see why they wouldn’t do well every season.

Lisa Ashton, now taking the women’s game forward.
Pic: BDO

Coach: Our columnist (JR Lott)http://www.dartsworld.com/?s=decade) has picked Lisa Ashton as one of the players of the decade, and it seems that female players are making more of an more impact across the game, would you like to have had played in this era or was being part of the first golden era satisfying enough?

Linda: I’m happy with my playing career and I achieved everything I set out to do and more. I played in an era with some great women players as competitors and had the privilege of playing with, travelling with and watching brilliant men such as Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Bobby George, Leighton Rees, Bob Anderson, Jocky Wilson, Keith Deller, Cliff Lazarenko and Tony Brown – I love competing so I would like to still be playing but I had a brilliant time playing back in the day so I’m more than happy.


Coach: Linda is one of the best informed people in our sport. Her huge experience, now allied with academic research and alternate perspectives of player, manager and coach, make her an almost unique resource. We don’t always agree on every nuance, but as you can see from the above, she is more than likely correct!

Dr Linda Duffy is a former World No.1 dart player, England captain, World Cup singles champion, two-time British Open champion, European Champion and is now a consultant sport psychologist at Middlesex University. 

Follow her on Twitter @sportspsycoach

The Devonshire Discussion – Have The PDC Jumped The Shark With Sherrock?

Now the dust has settled on this years PDC Q School, one of the big talking points has to be “Were the PDC too quick in their decision to include Fallon Sherrock in every single World Series Event”.

Fallon Sherrock has received many opportunities, after her superb run at Ally Pally, but is there room for Ashton and others?
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Yes we all witnessed history at The Ally Pally’ Fallon winning two matches there to progress to the 3rd Round, an incredible achievement and rightly on the back of that she was named as a Challenger for one of the Premier League nights.  However given the recent situations with the BDO it was common knowledge that quite a few other female players were going to be attending Q School along with Fallon.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
FALLON SHARROCK PRESS CONFERENCE

After Fallon was named as a Premier League Challenger she was then included to play in every single World Series event. There was always going to be the prospect that she may not have gained a Tour Card whilst another female player could have and today we have seen this happen with 4 time BDO Ladies Champion Lisa Ashton creating her own history by winning a place on the main PDC Tour. Surely this achievement should gain her an invitation to at least one World Series event?

Maybe the PDC will have two ladies playing every World Series event or maybe they could have announced Fallon to play two or three to begin with and then the opening was there to include another female namely Lisa Ashton to play a few of the events. Hopefully Lisa gets a place in a few of them.

Lisa Ashton has made history multiple times. Surely more opportunities will come her way?
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Perhaps Barry Hearn will create other opportunities for Ashton, and other female players, from within the Pro Tour structure. Could there be a gender specific qualifier for the UK Open in the same as there was for the World Championship?

One thing is for sure it’s good for World Darts and for Ladies darts in general and this is only the beginning. 

Q School 2020 Day Four: Big Names Battle for Top Tier Return!

The final day of the PDC Q School of 2020 sees several ‘big names’ battling to secure a return to darts top division. Premier League Players, World Championship and major finalists as well as other former stars are amongst those still in with a chance of claiming a tour card:

The Points table, from which at least another 12 players will gain a card, looks like this with one day to go.

1Ryan Murray14
2Andy Hamilton12
3Damon Heta11
4Peter Jacques11
5Steve Brown (Eng)10
6Martin Atkins (Wigan)9
7Alan Tabern9
8Adam Hunt9
9Lisa Ashton9
10Darryl Pilgrim8
11Darryl Fitton7
12William Borland7
13Lee Evans7
14Paul Nicholson7
15Gary Mawson7
16Robert Modra7
17Niall Culleton7
18Ritchie Edhouse7
19Tony Newell7
20Seigo Asada6
21Jarred Cole6
22David Ladley6
23Lewis Pride6
24Tony Richardson6
25Darren Davies6
26Wayne Jones6
27Robert Collins6
28James Richardson6
29Daniel Lauby6
30Ryan Hogarth5
31Colin Osborne5
32Frankie Ansell5

Former World Finalist Andy ‘The Hammer’ Hamilton leads the way for the well known players and is almost certain to regain his tour place. Major winners Paul Nicholson and Daryl Fitton (World Trophy) are within striking distance as is Lisa Ashton the four time Women’s World Champion.

The Wizard is within striking distance of a return to top.

Major finalists Colin Osborne and Wayne Jones could gain cards, with strong final day runs, and former top ten player Alan Tabern is looking good to to remain in the top flight.

Seigo Asada is carrying the flag for Japan and looking to confirm his World Championship & Asian Tour performances at the highest level. Many will also wish James ‘Ruthless’ Richardson well.

So far the tour card winners have been split between players with a strong pedigree and those who are relatively unknown. Jeff Smith, former BDO World Finalist and World Cup Champion, claimed one of yesterday’s cards, whilst the other was claimed by a lesser known Aaron Beeney, a prison officer who represent London.

The points list is a similar mix of the known and lesser known players. It seems that the Q School, despite its critics, produces a well balanced group, of additional players, for each new season!

PDC Appoints Rippleffect and Streamamg

DeDecker, Leung & Brooks Claim Day Two Tour Cards – Q School 2020.

Kai Fan Leung, Bradley Brooks and Mike De Decker secured Tour Cards on Day Two of the 2020 PDC Qualifying School, as Lisa Ashton narrowly missed out on securing an automatic spot on the PDC circuit.

Photo: PDC

Hong Kong’s Leung denied the four-time Women’s World Champion in their deciding game at the UK Qualifying School, hitting a 14-darter to claim his Tour Card as Ashton waited on 72 in the deciding leg of their contest.

He also took out key finishes of 140 and 104 during the tie, with Ashton finishing 130 on the bull to level in leg six.

Leung will follow former Tour Card Holder Royden Lam in representing Hong Kong on the PDC ProTour following the success, with the former World Cup of Darts representative in superb form throughout Day Two.

The 36-year-old lost only four legs in as many matches to begin his challenge, overcame Cameron Menzies and then averaged over 102 in a 5-1 defeat of Adam Hunt.

He was a narrow winner over Dave Prins in the Last Eight in a tie which went all the way, before holding his nerve with a 14-darter in the deciding leg against Ashton.

Leung admitted: “It’s fabulous, I didn’t think I could go this this far. It’s my second time at Q School and I’m glad I made it through.

“I want to stay here, play here and see how far I can go. The Asian Tour has been going for two years and we’re all fighting to get into the World Cup and World Championship and we want to live our dream.

“It’s helped me a lot and helps all the players to get better. Now, all of a sudden, because of the Asian Tour people are gaining experience and getting better and showing we can do it. It’s amazing.”

Ashton followed up Thursday’s run to the Last 32 with another superb display, and although she missed out on securing an automatic Tour Card, she is now on nine ranking points and in a strong position to claim a Tour Card from the Q School Order of Merit.

“It was very tough against Lisa and strange to play her, and luckily I survived in the last leg,” added Leung. “I could see she was winning her games and I didn’t know that I was going to play her, because I would have loved to have Lisa winning a Tour Card as well!”

Teenager Brooks won back his Tour Card as he defeated Brisbane Darts Masters winner Damon Heta 5-3 in their decider in Wigan, returning to the PDC ProTour at the first time of asking after initially losing his professional status at the end of 2019.

The 19-year-old from Blackburn’s eight wins on the day also included a narrow 5-4 win over Ireland’s Michael Flynn in the Last Eight, while he averaged almost 98 in a 5-2 defeat over Niall Cullerton in the Last 16.

“I’m over the moon,” said Brooks. “After losing my Tour Card I was dreading coming back to Q School so it’s brilliant to get back on the tour.

“I didn’t realise how much I wanted it – when I lost it, it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me and I was gutted. But I’ve had two years learning and I won’t be taking it for granted.

“I know what I can do. I’ll get back on the practice board now and get ready for the ProTour.”

Belgium’s Mike De Decker secured his return to the PDC circuit after winning back his Tour Card on Day Two of the European Qualifying School in Hildeshiem.

The 24-year-old had previously been on the PDC ProTour in 2016 and 2017, and is a four-time winner on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour circuit.

He will now return to competing amongst the sport’s elite in 2020 and 2021 after following Austria’s Harald Leitinger in securing an automatic Tour Card at the European Q School.

De Decker won nine matches on the day at Halle 39 in Hildesheim, dropping just six legs in the first five victories before seeing off Day One runner-up Martijn Kleermaker 5-3 in the last 16.

He also defeated Kevin Doets and Justin van Tergouw by the same scoreline and saw off Sweden’s Nilsson in eight legs in the final.

“It’s been a nerve-wracking day and I’m really happy that I got the Tour Card in the end,” said De Decker. “I can relax now and focus on the tour.

“Losing the Tour Card was a bad thing and a good thing, because it opened my eyes. I thought I was there, and that’s the wrong attitude. I’ll practice and work more than I did before and we’ll see what the next two years brings.”

Nilsson’s run to the final improves his chances of claiming a Tour Card from the European Q School Order of Merit, should he not secure automatic success over the final two days.

Day One finalist Kleermaker also strengthened his position with a run to the last 16, while Poland’s Kciuk and Dutch youngster Van Tergouw also impressed in reaching the semi-finals.

European Qualifying School Day Two

Last 16

Kevin Doets 5-4 Thibault Tricole

Mike De Decker 5-3 Martijn Kleermaker

Daniel Larsson 5-3 Danny van Trijp

Justin van Tergouw 5-4 Ronny Huybrechts

Jeffrey Van Egdom 5-1 Rene Berndt

Dennis Nilsson 5-1 Karel Sedlacek

Krzysztof Kciuk 5-1 Michael Unterbuchner

Ondrej Kysilka 5-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Quarter-Finals

Mike De Decker 5-3 Kevin Doets

Justin van Tergouw 5-2 Daniel Larsson

Dennis Nilsson 5-2 Jeffrey Van Egdom

Krzysztof Kciuk 5-4 Ondrej Kysilka

Semi-Finals

Mike De Decker 5-3 Justin van Tergouw

Dennis Nilsson 5-2 Krzysztof Kciuk

Final

Mike De Decker 5-3 Dennis Nilsson

UK Qualifying School Day Two

Last 16

Lisa Ashton 5-4 Stephen Burton

Peter Jacques 5-4 Dom Taylor

Dave Prins 5-3 Prakash Jiwa

Kai Fan Leung 5-1 Adam Hunt

Ryan Murray 5-4 James Richardson

Damon Heta 5-4 Gary Mawson

Bradley Brooks 5-2 Niall Culleton

Michael Flynn 5-2 Steve Brown

Last Eight

Lisa Ashton 5-4 Peter Jacques

Kai Fan Leung 5-4 Dave Prins

Damon Heta 5-1 Ryan Murray

Bradley Brooks 5-4 Michael Flynn

Last Four

Kai Fan Leung 5-4 Lisa Ashton

Bradley Brooks 5-3 Damon Heta

ENDS

Ashton Blossoming on Q School Day 2. Lancashire Rose Falls at Final Hurdle.

Lisa Ashton is continuing her bid for a PDC Tour Card in fine style. The ‘Lancashire Rose‘ has reached the last 4 stage of her Q School section, following a nailbiter of a win over former tour card holder Peter Jacques, and needs just one more win to claim her card direct.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Combined with her solid run on the opening day, things are looking very good indeed for the 49 year old. Should her performances remain at this level it is likely she will be the first female player to earn a place on the PDC Pro Tour via the cooperative route.

dartsworld.com columnist JR Lott recently selected Ashton as one of the players of the darting decade. He made the case for her performances, in both Ladies and open fields, have been the most important of any lady player.

It seems Ashton is determined to re-enforce that this week!


Update: Lisa was defeated 5-4 by Kai Fan Leung in the final match.

BDO World Championship Review – Day 7. Suzuki & Barry Claim Titles as Williams & Warren to Make Up All Welsh Final.

Mikuru Suzuki retains her BDO Ladies World Championship title as she defeated Lisa Ashton in straight sets on Saturday evening. After coming through a tough encounter with Beau Greaves in the semi-final, the Japanese star saved her best stuff for the final.

Ashton had not dropped a set on route to the final, but found herself in trouble early on against Suzuki. With both players averaging in the high 80’s, it was the ruthless finishing of Suzuki that gave her the initiative.

‘The Lancashire Rose’ would have chances to close out the first set but couldn’t make them count, Suzuki once again showing her ruthless side as she powered into a 2-0 lead. It would be plane sailing for there on as the pressure heaped on Ashton. Suzuki winning the title for a second successive year, beating the number one seed in the final.

Warren defeated Scott Mitchell to advance to the final.


It will be an all Welsh BDO Men’s final as Wayne Warren and Jim Williams both won through their respective semi-finals on Saturday evening.

After a quick start from 2015 World Champion Scott Mitchell, Warren was able to peg him back going into the first interval. ‘Yank’ would take the lad for the first time in the contest as the 2-1 scoreline was reversed with Warren leading 3-2.

Despite six perfect darts in the pivotal leg of set six, a magnificent 121 checkout from Mitchell would peg him back to 3-3. From there on Warren would put down a marker, stamping his authority on the game as he reached a first World Championship final aged 58.

Jim Williams came through a tough semi in his attempt to emulate close friend Glen Durrant!
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG GROUP JIM WILLIAMS IN ACTION

He later found out he would face good friend Jim Williams in the final after he squeezed past (Super) Mario Vandenbogaerde. In a game of consistent scoring and the occasional missed double, it was impossible to separate the two as they went stride by stride in the opening six sets.


That was when Williams would make his advantage count, nailing two consecutive sets and making Vandenbogaerde pay for missed doubles. Despite a brief comeback from the Belgian, Williams would finally close out the contest, setting up that all Welsh final for Sunday evening.

Barry added another crown to his impressive 2019/20 collection.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG KEANE BARRY IN ACTION


In the World Youth Final, Keane Barry proved to have too much for 13-year-old Leighton Bennett as he recorded a 3-0 scoreline. ‘Boom Boom’ defeated Nathan Girvan to claim the title 12 months again but the superior big stage experience of the Irishman was a factor as he claimed the crucial opening set.


Bennett missed two darts at double 16 to make things square, allowing Barry to double his advantage as he steamed towards the title. It would all be wrapped up in the third set as confidence continued to flow for Barry, who adds another prestigious trophy to his cabinet.

Womens World Final: Mikuru Suzuki 3-0 Lisa Ashton

Men’s Semi Finals:
Wayne Warren 6-3 Scott Mitchell 
Jim Williams 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde 

World Youth Final(BDO): Keane Barry 3-0 Leighton Bennett 

Decision Time for Sherrock, Ashton & Others?

Chatting with our resident coach the other day, I was struck by a view he ventured as to the development and improvement of players. ‘The Coach‘ has noted that many players who can play within more than one code, or division of darts, do not seem to benefit from playing multiple formats. This may well be a problem for the current generation of female stars.

Could the opportunities earned by Fallon affect the decision made by other female players?
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FALLON SHERROCK IN ACTION

Could Lisa Ashton, and some of the other women players, be at the point where dividing their time (or commitment), together with mixing the standard of opposition, is acting more as a hurdle than a benefit? If so, is it time to decide on their ambitions and focus on them in a more single-minded way?

Ashton has been the Women’s trailfinder in many ways.
Pic: BDO

Ashton, for example, has performed extremely well, within the PDC structure, since dipping a toe in the water in 2018/19. However, she does seem to have hit a plateau which may have affected her dominance of the women’s game. Might ‘The Lancashire Rose’, who is 49, be better off maximising her potential and earning power over shorter formats and familiar opposition in the women’s game? On the other hand she has shown tremendous ability and may well be capable of improving to another level if she were able to give 100% of her time and effort to the longer formats and tougher days of the PDC tours.

For players of the a younger generation, such as Fallon Sherrock, it may be that the decision is taken out of their hands. The opportunities already given to Fallon, mean that she will be playing PDC events for part of next year regardless. Sherrock’s decision to opt out of a devalued BDO Women’s World Championship may be the start of things to come.

Beau Greaves may carry an entirely different batton, at sixteen years old she is capable of achieving almost anything in darts. If allowed to develop at her own pace, and across codes and divides, she may well be part of the first generation to play a truly mixed sport on a level playing field.

Exclusive Deta Hedman interview.
Deta Hedman laid many foundations within the game of darts.
Photo: BDO

Ashton, along with players like Deta Hedman and Anastasia, has carved out a new path for female players.

It could be that in choosing to dedicate herself to ‘Open darts’, and forsake the Womens’ Game, she may take another giant step along it. But is it s step too far?


Suzuki Motors to Back to Back Titles.

The Japanese star known as ‘The Miracle’ confirmed both her talent and her emergence as a fan favourite at the O2 Indigo on Saturday night.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG MIKURU SUZUKI

Mikuru Suzuki retains her BDO Ladies World Championship title as she defeated Lisa Ashton in straight sets. After coming through a tough encounter with Beau Greaves in the semi-final, the Japanese star saved her best stuff for the final.

Ashton, looking for a fifth World Title, had not dropped a set on route to the final. Yet the forty-nine year old found herself in trouble early on against Suzuki. With both players averaging in the high 80’s, it was the ruthless finishing of Suzuki that gave her the initiative.

‘The Lancashire Rose’ would have chances to close out the first set but couldn’t make them count, Suzuki once again showing her ruthless side as she powered into a 2-0 lead. It would be plane sailing for there on as the pressure heaped on Ashton. Suzuki winning the title for a second successive year, beating the number one seed in the final.



Words – Josh Green BDO

Additional Comment – DW Staff

Pic – L Lustig