Lisa Ashton and Deta Hedman shared victories on the opening day of the inaugural PDC Women’s Series in Barnsley, with Hedman topping the Order of Merit following a bumper day of action.
This weekend is a landmark moment for the women’s game, with a series of four events – each worth £5,000 in prize money – taking place at the Barnsley Metrodome, and the top two players from the final Order of Merit will secure places at this year’s PDC World Championship.
Having triumphed in Friday’s qualifier to secure her Grand Slam return, Ashton defeated Fallon Sherrock 6-3 to claim victory in Event One earlier this afternoon, averaging almost 95 and taking out a sensational 170 checkout in the process.
‘The Lancashire Rose’ dropped just two legs en route to the final, defeating Tina Neylon, Sherrie Yeomans, Rhian O’Sullivan, Louise Pearson and Joanne Locke – who accounted for 16-year-old sensation Beau Greaves in the last eight.
Sherrock’s progress to the final was less serene, although she cruised into the last 16 with emphatic wins over Kirsty Gibbs, Anca Zijlstra and Natalie Gilbert, before battling past former World Masters champion Lorraine Winstanley in a last-leg decider.
This set up a clash against her twin-sister Felicia, who defeated three-time world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova in the last 16, but Sherrock recorded a whitewash win before recovering from 4-2 down and surviving four match darts to prevail in a dramatic affair against Hedman.
Sherrock and Ashton shared the opening four legs in Saturday’s first showpiece, but four-time world champion Ashton converted a sublime 170 checkout to break throw in leg five, whilst firing in three 12-dart legs in the closing stages to wrap up a 6-3 success.
However, Ashton was denied a third success in the space of two days after succumbing to Corrine Hammond 4-2 in the last 32 of Event Two. Ashton thrashed Hammond 5-0 on Friday to seal Grand Slam qualification, but the Australian made amends less than 24 hours later.
This presented a real opportunity to the 74-player field and it was Hedman that capitalised to scoop the £1,000 top prize and move top of the Women’s Series Order of Merit heading into Sunday’s two remaining events.
The 60-year-old stormed through to the semi-finals having relinquished just two legs, registering whitewash wins over Lainey Webb, Natalie Gilbert and Vicky Prium whilst battling past Dobromyslova, who has twice featured at the PDC World Championship.
Hedman and Sherrock locked horns in the semi-finals for the second consecutive tournament and ‘The Heart of Darts’ atoned for her earlier defeat, closing out a convincing 5-1 victory over ‘The Queen of the Palace’, who was punished for profligacy in the finishing department.
Hedman, a three-time World Championship finalist, faced four-time BDO major winner Aileen de Graaf in the Event Two final, with De Graaf edging out compatriot Zijlstra in round one and Winstanley in the semi-finals.
The young Dutchwoman appeared poised to claim glory after establishing a 5-3 lead despite Hedman dominating the averages, but experience paid dividends for Deta, who survived a match dart as she reeled off the final three legs to keep her Alexandra Palace dreams firmly alive.
Hedman leads the Order of Merit on £1,400, with Ashton on £1,050 and Sherrock in third position on £1,000. Event Two finalist De Graaf is in fourth spot on £650, ahead of Locke and Winstanley on £500, both of whom who reached one semi-final apiece.
Sunday’s second day of action will see Events Three and Four take place at the Barnsley Metrodome, with selected matches as well as the semi-finals and final being streamed on PDC.TV.
PDC Women’s Series
Saturday October 17, Barnsley Metrodome
See full results in the Match Centre
Lisa Ashton 4-0 Louise Pearson
Joanne Lock 4-3 Beau Greaves
Deta Hedman 4-1 Corinne Hammond
Fallon Sherrock 4-0 Felicia Blay
Lisa Ashton 5-1 Joanne Locke
Fallon Sherrock 5-4 Deta Hedman
Lisa Ashton 6-3 Fallon Sherrock
Aileen de Graaf 4-0 Tracey Davies
Lorraine Winstanley 4-1 Annmarie Potts
Deta Hedman 4-0 Vicky Pruim
Fallon Sherrock 4-1 Donna Gleed
Aileen de Graaf 5-3 Lorraine Winstanley
Deta Hedman 5-1 Fallon Sherrock
Deta Hedman 6-5 Aileen de Graaf
PDC Women’s Series Order of Merit
Top 20 following Event Two
|Position||Name||Total Prize Money|
|4||Aileen de Graaf||£650|