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Fallon Sherrock makes darts history again as she wins inaugural Women’s World Matchplay

The Queen of the Palace banked a modest £10,000 from her latest chapter of history, but the paydays in women’s darts will climb steeply if she remains the standard-bearer

Fallon Sherrock won the arms race after making more history as a trailblazer at the Winter Gardens.

The Queen of the Palace unfurled a golden smile on the Blackpool promenade after winning the inaugural Betfred Women’s World Matchplay. But lifting the cup – a replica of the Phil Taylor Trophy awarded to winners of the men’s tournament – proved an ordeal, and she admitted: “That trophy is really heavy. I thought it was going to snap my arm.”

In a hushed atmosphere, Sherrock beat Holland’s Aileen de Graaf 6-3 in the final to pocket the £10,000 winner’s share of a £25,000 prize fund and earn a place in the Grand Slam of Darts at Wolverhampton in November.

The money remains painfully small compared with £200,000 to the winner of the parallel men’s competition, but with Sherrock – the first woman to beat male opponents at the PDC World Championship – as standard-bearer, the jackpot is sure to grow.

She only needed to average 82.41 against De Graaf, and Sherrock’s 180 in the final was the only maximum in the seven-match women’s tournament.

But the former Bletchley hairdresser decorated her latest triumph with a 142 checkout and, after struggling on the outer ring all afternoon, she nailed double five at her first attempt to seal victory.

After adding a World Matchplay title to her greatest hits album, 28-year-old Sherrock said: “Hopefully this is just the beginning, and the women’s game is going to grow from here. We want to encourage more girls to come and play in the PDC Women’s Series and, hopefully, make it massive.”

De Graaf, who had knocked out four-times world champion Lisa Ashton in the semi-finals, only recovered from Covid in the nick of time to play in the tournament and she made a favourable impression.

She said: “I like the goosebumps, as you call them, and the whole experience of playing here. I want to come back and do even better.”

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