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Televised tournament is a ‘massive achievement’ for women’s darts

Written by on 24 July 2022

In Blackpool the dartboard is up, the oche has been measured to its mandatory seven feet nine-and-a-quarter inches, and most importantly the cameras are ready for history to be made.

That’s because today’s Betfred Women’s World Matchplay will be the first Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) women’s tournament to be fully televised, live on Sky Sports.

Bolton’s Lisa Ashton is top seed for the event. No surprise there perhaps – after all she has already won seven of the eight Women’s Series finals she has appeared in this year.

Ashton has long been a trailblazer for female darts players, and is a four-time world champion who will be hard to beat.

She would love to be the first name on the trophy, especially as it is a landmark for the women’s game.

She said: “Everybody wants to be the first Matchplay world champion.

“We’re all competing together but to get this on my CV would be a dream for me.”

She said having the tournament fully televised was a “massive achievement for the ladies’ game”.

Lisa Ashton in action during day two of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture date: Thursday December 16, 2021. Image: Lisa Ashton

The field Ashton has to beat has the top eight players from the PDC Women’s Series Order of Merit.

Seeded second is Fallon Sherrock, who has clinched three wins this season.

‘Absolutely unbelievable’

Sherrock became known as the “Queen of the Palace” when she became the first female to win a match in the PDC World Championships at Alexandra Palace in 2019 by beating Ted Evetts.

Matchplay competitor and Sky Sports darts commentator Laura Turner said: “Fallon’s win really did open doors.

“I think people just wanted to see more of the women up there, more of them playing.

“For us to be here and to have this opportunity is just absolutely unbelievable.

The winner of the Betfred Women’s World Matchplay will win the lioness’s share of a £25,000 prize pot.

They will also claim a prized spot at this year’s Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts, with Ashton and last year’s quarter-finalist Sherrock no doubt eyeing a return to that event in November.

The competition will be broadcast in its entirety from 1pm today on Sky Sports.