Fallon’s Hattrick and Gilbert Makes Perfect Ten

Red Dragon Darts

Fallon Sherrock sealed her qualification for the 2023 Grand Slam of Darts after clinching her third PDC Women’s Series title of the weekend on Sunday.

Sherrock and Natalie Gilbert claimed a title apiece as the 2023 Women’s Series season concluded with Events 23 and 24 in Wigan, but it was Sherrock who stole the show in Sunday’s double-header.

Prior to this weekend, Sherrock trailed Mikuru Suzuki by £2,200 on the Women’s Series Order of Merit, but she sealed her Grand Slam spot with an event to spare following her Event 23 exploits.

Sherrock celebrated back-to-back wins on Saturday to establish a £1,500 buffer over Suzuki, who suffered a narrow first round defeat to Deta Hedman in Event 23.

FALLON SHERROCK Pic: Christopher Dean chris@scantechmedia.com

This meant a run to the semi-finals would give Sherrock an unassailable advantage in second spot, and the Milton Keynes superstar delivered the goods to confirm her Wolverhampton return.

Sherrock whitewashed Sarah Brown in her Event 23 opener, but she was forced to survive a match dart in her last 32 tie against Sweden’s Vicky Pruim, in a repeat of Saturday’s Event 21 decider.

The 29-year-old capitalised on this lifeline to dispatch Lorraine Hyde and progress to the last eight, where she confirmed her Grand Slam qualification with a third straight victory over Beau Greaves.

Sherrock continued her charge with a 5-1 demolition of Angela Kirkwood in the last four, and she wrapped up a fifth Women’s Series success of 2023 with a 5-3 win against Rhian O’Sullivan.

However, an emotional Gilbert rounded off the campaign with Event 24 glory, to become the tenth player to win a PDC Women’s Series title since the tour’s inception in 2020.

Gilbert, who remarkably only took up the sport after suffering a stroke a decade ago, produced a series of tenacious displays to scoop the £2,000 top prize at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.

The 40-year-old defied a late onslaught from Adriana van Wijgerden-Vermaat in round two, before demolishing three-time Lakeside champion Anastasia Dobromyslova to reach the last 16.

Gilbert, who also whitewashed Astrid Trouwborst in her opener, then recorded another clean sweep against Eleanor Cairns, who had dumped out Sherrock in the previous round.

Teenage prospect Cairns secured the biggest win of her career to curtail Sherrock’s 29-match winning run, but it was Tamworth’s Gilbert who progressed to the last eight.

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There, she overcame Noa-Lynn van Leuven in a topsy-turvy encounter, before surviving a match dart to deny Kirsty Hutchinson in a gruelling semi-final tussle.

This set up a showdown against Lorraine Winstanley in the Event 24 showpiece, after Winstanley produced a brace of 101 checkouts to stun Order of Merit leader Greaves in the semi-finals.

Gilbert led 2-0 and 4-2 in Sunday’s finale, and although Winstanley rallied in her bid to double her PDC Women’s Series tally, it was Gilbert who kept her cool to wrap up a landmark victory.

Despite an underwhelming end to her campaign, Greaves finished top of the Women’s Series Order of Merit with £29,400, having won a record-breaking 12 titles throughout the year.

Greaves, who also lifted the Betfred Women’s World Matchplay title in July, will make her Grand Slam debut in November, although she has chosen not to compete at this year’s World Darts Championship.

Sherrock’s haul of five titles saw her finish second on the Women’s Series Order of Merit with £17,200, which will see her compete at both the Grand Slam and World Darts Championship.

Sherrock will be joined at Alexandra Palace by Suzuki, who finished on £13,600 following her hat-trick of wins in 2023, as she returns to the sport’s flagship event following her debut in 2019/2020.

O’Sullivan finished fourth with £9,100 after picking up her maiden title in 2023, while Lisa Ashton occupied fifth spot, after missing this weekend’s Women’s Series finale due to personal reasons.

2023 PDC Women’s Series

Sunday October 15
The Robin Park Tennis Centre
Event 23
Angela Kirkwood 5-3 Rose Mort
Fallon Sherrock 5-3 Beau Greaves
Rhian O’Sullivan 5-0 Kirsi Viinikainen
Kirsty Hutchinson 5-2 Roos van der Velde

Fallon Sherrock 5-1 Angela Kirkwood
Rhian O’Sullivan 5-2 Kirsty Hutchinson

Fallon Sherrock 5
-3 Rhian O’Sullivan

Event 24
Kirsty Hutchinson 5-3 Robyn Byrne
Natalie Gilbert 5-3 Noa-Lynn van Leuven
Beau Greaves 5-2 Vicky Pruim
Lorraine Winstanley 5-2 Casey Gallagher

Natalie Gilbert 5-4 Kirsty Hutchinson
Lorraine Winstanley 5-3 Beau Greaves

Natalie Gilbert 5
-3 Lorraine Winstanley


Image: Main – Jos Groen ( others as labelled)

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