The Ladies Classic September 15th 2012.
Saturday the 15th September saw the first ever Ladies Classic event take place at Rileys Crofton Road, Lincoln, which was proudly hosted by Lincolnshire County Darts; their County home venue.
And what a inaugural tournament this turned out to be. With 97 ladies entering the Singles and 46 pairs, this turned into one of the greatest ladies darting events of all time.
For a Ladies stand alone competition this really has made history. With a guaranteed singles first place prize of £1000 and England Cat A Ranking Points and BDO Grand Prix Points, and with a total of £2,860 being paid out in prize money for the singles and pairs; we really couldn’t go wrong.
The newly formed Ladies Darts Organisation was formed after the petition in January which was to publicise the fact that there isn’t enough Ladies Darts shown live on television. With over 2500 in less than a week, the support from all over the globe proved that something needed to be done for the ladies games. So following the success of the petition and the ever growing Facebook group "Ladies Darts" I decided to organise the first Ladies Classic.
With top lady professionals and England Players in the form of Deta Hedman, Lorraine Farlam, Lisa Ashton, Zoe Jones, Linda Ithurradle, Mandy Smith, Josie Patterson, Casey Gallagher, Fallon Sherrock attending, this was sure to be a great tournament to talk about for some time to come.
The atmosphere all day was truly out-standing, the whole of the event ran smooth, no hiccups what so ever, and with a 100 supporters coming to watch the ladies really had some cheers coming from the crowd.
The Ladies pairs started at little after 11.00am, and the male supporters even got in on the action by chalking the first round for the ladies. A few early rounds shocks showed that the talent that entered really wasn’t just down to the professionals showing what they could do.
Playing down to the semi finals for the pairs, the singles games then commenced, and with doing both draws on the day,no players had walkovers so the games ran consecutive all day.
Some amazing singles games took place showing that the ladies do have talent. And with some wins that took out some of the seeded players, it showed that we were in for some amazing semi-finals.
The first stage semi finals for the doubles saw Lisa Ashton & Zoe Jones take the win against Deta Hedman and Ann Chilton - 4 (21.95 av) 1 (21.97 av) . Both Lisa and Deta both scored 180^s
The next pairs semi-finals was Amanda Mallet & Kerry Jobson and Collette Duffield and Sarah Cope who secured a 4 - 2 win with averages of (17.63 Mallett/Jobson and 16.58 Duffield/Cope)
The first Ladies Singles to be played on stage was Jenny Summerson (Co Durham) v Cheshire’s Lorraine Farlam. Lorraine won the match 4-1 with a winning average of 26.64 and Jenny with a 19.30 av; who also scored a 180. Considering Lorraine had had a very shaky morning after finding her car being vandalised, running late for the pair’s competition and missing playing with Rachael Brooks, Lorraine overcome her nerves and got back to being her normal composed self.
The finals singles semi finals were really going to blow the socks of everyone. Donnas Rainsely (Kent was coming up against the young Fallon Sherrock (Bucks) and what a game this turned out to be. Donna took out the first leg in an amazing 14 darts (35.79 av ! and a 180) leaving Fallon on a score of 24 who scored a 140, hoping to get the chance of hitting the double. Donna checked the 2nd leg on a 26.37 av - Fallon requiring 4 after missing the vital checkout on 3 occasions (27.07)
The fight for this game was immense; the crowds were in awe of these two ladies who were giving it everything. With Fallon only requiring double top to take the next leg, Donna checked out to go 3 - 0 up, running on a 25.47 average.
You may be thinking surely this game really can’t get any better from both ladies, After throwing 12 darts a piece, Donna required 51 and Fallon required 140.Donna then took the 4th and final leg with a total winning average of 27.45 and Fallon on a 26.03 average. Who says Ladies Cant Play Darts?
Both of the ladies received a standing ovation, and rightly so. It really was a superb game of darts and the standard from both girls was stunning.
The Pairs Finals which was never going to be an easy game for either pair was going to be next on.. Amanda Mallett & Kerry Jobson took the first two legs from Lisa Ashton and Zoe Jones. Digging their heels in Lisa and Zoe came back to level the score up 2-2. With all 4 ladies scoring well this was turning out to be another great final. Amanda took out 20 to grab the 5th leg leaving Zoe and Lisa requiring 105.
The 6th leg saw a battle of wits, after 15 darts from each team, with Lisa and Zoe needing 38 to bring to score to 4-3, and Amanda and Kerry wanting 58. Nerves kicking in, Amanda checked out in 2 darts to win the ladies pairs. Averages for the games were Mallett/Jobson 21.80 and Ashton/Jones 23.55. Well done a fantastic game to watch.
The final game of the day was the one that all the ladies had entered hoping to be in, The Ladies Classic Singles, which was between Lorraine Farlam (Cheshire) and Donna Rainsley (Kent).
Lorraine took the 1st leg leaving Donna wanting 63. Both Ladies nerves were showing and Donna secured the 2nd leg evening the scores up. The support for both ladies was amazing, applauding nearly every dart thrown, and holding their breaths between throws. Donna won the 3rdleg to go up 2-1 checking out on double top. The suspense was showing but the scoring was steady from both girls, Lorraine running on a 20.42 av and Donna on a 21.57 av. After 21 darts Lorraine only needed 73 to take the leg, and with Donna to throw next requiring 80; she checked out on 80 to take the lead 3-1.
With scores of 100 plus from both women, Lorraine took out the 5thleg on 43 to put the scores at 2-3 to Donna. With Lorraine gritting her teeth and composing herself after her traumatic start to the morning, she went on to take the 6th leg 3-3. With only one leg to play to see who was to become the winner of the Ladies Classic (how all finals should be might I add) the last leg was really going to be a game of nerves of steel. Lorraine started with a great 140, followed by 60 and a 26, Donnas first score was 60, who then found the form that she had in the semi finals and followed with a 100,140 and another 100 leaving only 22 required to win the title, with Lorraine needing a big checkout of 154, but only scoring 60 to leave her needing 94 on her next visit to the board. Hands trembling Donna took to the oche and checked out double 11 to an eruption from the crowd of cheers and whistles.
These two ladies really did play a fantastic game of darts, and it was an honour to watch the ladies games in all its glory.
Ladies Classic Singles Winner Donna Rainsley (Kent)
Ladies Classic Runner up Lorraine Farlam (Cheshire)
Ladies Classic Pairs Winners Amanda Mallett and Kerry Jobson (Norfolk)
Ladies Classic Pairs Runners up Lisa Ashton (Lancs) & Zoe Jones (Worcestershire)
And now to the thank-you’s; without our many supporters none of this would have been possible, I would like to personally thank you all on the behalf of the Ladies Darts Organisation.
Winmau (Official Board of the Ladies Classic)
Deta "The Dark Destroyer” Hedman
Trina "Golden Girl” Gulliver
Bob "The Lime Stone Cowboy” Anderson
Ross "The Boss” Montgomery
Phil "The Power” Taylor
Dean "Over the Top” Winstanley
Stars of the Darts.Com
Lincolnshire County Darts
Bedfordshire County Darts
Suffolk County Darts
R M W Kitchens and Bathrooms
Mattacol Graphics & Designs
Bin The L Plates
Darts Beers and Cheers
Darts Performance Centre
Hillview Bed and Breakfast
Thankyou to our MC’s Nick Rolls, Rob Wiles and Jude Johnson, and I also have to personally thank Paul James and Deta Hedman, their support has been out of this world, these two wonderful people have pushed, promoted, begged and borrowed, pestered companies and friends to support the LDO. You really are great ambassadors for the Ladies Darts. And my last thank you that comes from the very bottom of my heart goes to every single lady that entered the Classic, every single supporter male and female. Without you we couldn’t have done it.
Heres to the Ladies Classic 2012; and put this in your diary The 2nd Ladies Classic August 31st 2013.
Long may it continue.
Ladies Darts Organisation