Column #HR315 SHERROCK/ASHTON RULE WOMEN’S SERIES

Friday, October 1, 2021
Column HR315
SHERROCK/ASHTON RULE WOMEN’S SERIES

The Old Dart Coach has made no secret that he prefers ladies to gents.  He’s oft quoted, “If I had realized I liked the ladies so much I’d have been a better person.”  Mr. Phelps of Mission Impossible wouldn’t have undertaken a shot at that reclamation project.

The PDC arranged for 8 lady’s events that could lead to qualifying for both the World Matchplay and the PDC World Championship.  The first six events in Germany were cancelled due to lack of interest.  The PDC seems to be more in love with Germany, holding many events there, than Neville “Peace in our Time” Chamberlain was just prior to World War II breaking out.

Those six events were moved to Milton Keynes on September 25-26, 2021.  Yes, he has a sister named Piano.

As that date has passed forever the results can now be reported.  Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrod dominated the weekend as one of the ladies appeared in every final, meeting each other in three.  For those keeping count, Lisa Ashton defeated Fallon Sherrock twice by scores of 5-4 and 5-2.  Fallon would emerge triumphant in one match against Ashton, 5-2.

Fallon took two other finals beating Corrine Hammond (5-2) and Deta “The Queen” Headman 5-3.  Fallon’s three wins combined with semifinal appearances made her the leading money winner, banking £4,300, as runner-up Lisa Ashton collected £3,950.  The money won would qualify Sherrock into the “How’s Your” 2021 Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts.

It will take a Herculean effort by those trailing Sherrock and Ashton to win enough in the next events, to be held in Barnsley, to qualify for the PDC World Championships.  With no limit on how many events a lady may enter Mr. Phelps will pass on that task also.  With each day calling for up to 10 hours of play physical and mental fatigue must be considered.

The top two ladies in the PDC Women’s Series Order of Merit will qualify to compete in the 2021/22 William Hill World Darts Championship.  Those with a chance, albeit slim to almost none, are Deta Hedman (£2,000), Anastasia Dobromyslova (£1,500), Rhian O’Sullivan (£1,350) and Mikuru Suzuki (£1,100).

Certainly, many women were disappointed with their results over the weekend.  As an outsider the Old Dart Coach was most surprised by the lack of results for “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki.  Of the six events Suzuki’s best result was a semifinal where she was beaten 5-2 handily by Fallon Sherrock.  An excuse for Suzuki might well be that of playing in the solitude of a fan-less venue.

Third place Deta “The Queen” Headman averaged 90+ for the weekend which was close but no cigar.

A big surprise was the absence of young Beau Greaves who was sensational in 2019 – which included wining the BDO Women’s Gold Cup, the British Pentathlon Women National Single semis to Anastasia Dobromyslova.  Greaves would play in 4 more finals going 1-3 thanks to “Guess who”?  Yep, Fallon Sherrock would take the Isle of Man Masters (4-3), Isle of Man Open Women (4-2) and the Isle of Man Classic (4-2).  Greaves got some measure of satisfaction when she won the Scottish Open off Sherrock (5-2).  The ODC’s secret reporter in the UK says she is, “suffering from touch of dartitis, I’ve heard.”

On Sunday, October 3, the ODC’s favorite event, the 2021 £450,000 BoyleSports World Grand Prix, kicks off at the Morningside Arena in Leicester for a 7-day run.  With the prize fund and a nifty £110,000 to the winner this is a major.

The ODC likes it best as it’s a double start event.  Oh, how he loves to hear the terribly put-upon professional darters as they describe the horrors of the double start.  He can be heard to say to his monitor, “Sierra Tango Foxtrot Uniform.   Welcome to the North American Open Dart Tournament Circa 2021.  Man up and grow a pair and quit whining.  NO offense meant.

The defending champion, Gerwyn Price, gets no mother-in-law draw in the first round as he must face world #9 Michael Smith.  The sunshine for Price here is that “Bully Boy” lately has been able to bully no one.  If he gets by Smith, he almost gets a pass until the quarter finals when he probably would face Mensur Suljovic.  He recently spanked Mensur Suljovic 8-0 in the just concluded Gibraltar Darts Trophy.

On his way to the Gibraltar win and £25,000, Price took the measure of Michael van Gerwen (6-5), Nathan Aspinall (7-3) and the whitewash of Mensur Suljovic (8-0).  Price also is coming off a World Cup where he had a quality wins over Simon Whitlock 4-1 and Michal van Gerwen (6-5).  The van Gerwen win was repeated at the Gibraltar event by the same 6-4 score.

Another that gets a difficult draw is #2 seed Peter Wright who gets world #11 Rob Cross.  Looking at the bottom half of the draw Smith should have a pass to the quarters where he is likely to face either Jose de Sousa or Johnny Clayton.  Both are in “good form as they have want to say.

Despite Mensur Suljovic’s shellacking by Price in Gibraltar the ODC is picking him as the longshot at odds of more than 40-1.  On his way to Price he opened a can of “WA” beating Krzysztof Ratajski (6-2) in the quarters and Simon Whitlock (7-5) in the semis.  Whitlock had just beaten Brendan Dolan who appeared to have rebounded after his “choke job” in the World Cup.  Dolan, a finalist in 2011, had the first 9-darter of the Matchplay.

While there is a large cadre out there that is of the opinion the ODC knows it all – that is not true.  He knows from the ladies that “no means no.”  He learned that straight away?  Not really – it took a while.  He did learn that the sponsor of the Matchplay, BoyleSports, is a bookmaking company.  The ODC as learned that bookmakers have been the leaders in inventing different ways for the punters to wager.  At the Matchplay he found they had inserted a “Full House” bet.

Being a little slow he thought this was a sold-out audience.  Naw, naw.  For an individual a “Full House” is achieved when a player wins the game, has the most T80s and the highest finish.  For each of those BoyleSports will donate £500 towards a Parkinson’s charity.  Here, here.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.