Peter Wright insists Fallon Sherrock deserves a place in next year’s Premier League, after battling past ‘The Queen of the Palace’ in a thrilling quarter-final showdown at the Grand Slam of Darts.
Wright produced his best televised display since his World Matchplay triumph to close out a 16-13 victory over Sherrock, averaging 100.33 and firing in 14 maximums to continue his bid for a maiden Grand Slam crown.
However, Sherrock acquitted herself magnificently, winning three of the game’s first four legs and averaging over 100 for much of the tie, finishing with a 98.90 and eight 180s.
“What a fantastic game that was – I really enjoyed it and even if I’d have lost there would have been no shame at all because she pushed me all the way,” said Wright.
“She didn’t give up and played fantastic – she put me under pressure. I had to hit all those 180s and play at my best there to beat her. Fallon let me off by missing some big finishes but she’s amazing.
“I had a run of legs of 11, ten and 11 darts and she was there with me all the time, and missed a dart at a double in one leg!
“Not many darts players in the world could do that and I could have been in a lot of trouble. Hopefully the crowd enjoyed it, it was nice to be a part of a game like that.”
It’s been a remarkable week for Grand Slam debutant Sherrock, who has shattered a multitude of records en route to the quarter-finals. She set the new highest televised average by a female player in the group stages (101.55), while also becoming the first woman to reach the quarter-finals of a major PDC ranking tournament.
Sherrock reaffirmed her credentials in September’s Nordic Darts Masters, producing an astonishing comeback to stun Dimitri Van den Bergh and giving Michael van Gerwen a major fright in the final, leading 6-3 with a 103 average at one stage.
Nevertheless, the manner of her performance over 29 legs against the world No 2 was incredibly impressive, and Wright declared post-match that the 27-year-old deserved a place in the sport’s biggest roadshow next year.
“The Premier League is the biggest darts show in the world. This lady deserves a place in the Premier League,” Wright told Sky Sports.
“She just lives with the men, she can beat them all day long, and I had to play at my best there to try and beat her.”
Expanding on his comments in his post-match press conference, Wright added: “If It was my choice, I would have her in because she’d put bums on seats and inspires the women’s game and youngsters at school.
“She will inspire them. We all know the Premier League is a horrible and nasty place and it can destroy people but she can handle it.”
“It’s not ranked, it’s about the best darts players in the world so what about the best women’s dart player in the world.”
The former world champion will now take on Michael Smith for a place in Sunday’s showpiece at the Grand Slam, after ‘Bully Boy’ produced a superb display to complete a 16-13 win over Van Gerwen in the last eight.
The opening semi-final pits world No 1 Gerwyn Price up against three-time finalist James Wade, as ‘The Iceman’ targets a third Grand Slam crown in four years.
Image Credit: Steve Welsh/PDC
Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts
Saturday November 20 (1900 GMT)
Michael Smith 16-13 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 16-13 Fallon Sherrock
Sunday November 21
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Gerwyn Price v James Wade
Peter Wright v Michael Smith
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Price/Wade v Wright/Smith