Turner: The usual has been set


Laura Turner was a semi-finalist in Event 4 of the Women & # 39; s Series last weekend

Laura Turner had mixed fates at the first Women's Series last weekend, but the Sky Sports commentator enjoyed her first real taste of PDC action, admitting that Lisa Ashton, Deta Hedman and Fallon Sherrock set the standard .

The respected trio dominated the action at the Barnsley Metrodome. Ashton and Hedman secured their places at the PDC World Championship at the expense of Sherrock, which was only marginally canceled despite winning the fourth and last event on Sunday.

Ashton, who secured Grand Slam qualification on Friday, shared victories with Hedman on Saturday before building her balance sheet and reaffirming her status as the leading light in women's game at the opening event on Sunday.

After Turner had reached the quarter-finals in the Grand Slam qualifier on Friday, he had to accept three consecutive eliminations in the opening round over the weekend in order to recover emphatically in the fourth event with an impressive semi-final.

On the Darts Show's podcast, the 37-year-old admitted that nerves are a factor, but she was full of praise for the professional and competitive environment maintained by the PDC and insisted that this was an opportunity to enjoy.

"I managed to speak to Lloydy (Colin Lloyd) while we were there and I think it's one of those things – you want so badly to take the opportunity, but I think there was almost a point of desperation, that I wanted to play well on.

"The more pressure I put on myself the worse I got and at the last event I thought you might as well relax and try and in fact I finally made it to the semi-finals so it was a mixed bag.

"Overall, I absolutely loved the experience and I can speak for most of the players there who really enjoyed playing in such an environment."

Turner has played a key role in Sky Sports' darting coverage for the past 12 months

Turner has played a key role in Sky Sports' darting coverage for the past 12 months

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Turner is no stranger to the big stage. She was quarter-finalist at the World Cup in January and was an integral part of the top 10 in the world before the BDO died.

Even so, the former British Classic winner admits that she needs to improve her game in order to compete for major honors on a regular basis.

"Now, if I want to start doing better, I have to bring Lisa, Deta, Fallon, Corrine (Hammond) closer to my standard. I have to do that, and I know that as a player and you're nice from seeing that in the professional game in front.

"People got better because Phil Taylor was so good it had to be improved. Michael van Gerwen sums up the field. Look at Gerwyn Price now versus MVG.

"I just think this is the way to take it further and the women's game has only been slightly overlooked. It's great to hear that it is now getting the attention I think it really deserves."

Lisa Ashton became the first woman in darts history to win a Tour Card through Qualifying School in January

Lisa Ashton became the first woman in darts history to win a Tour Card through Qualifying School in January

The amateur side of the game has been plagued by the combination of lockdown and the collapse of the British Darts Organization in recent months.

Despite the popularity of online darts during the break, for many – including Turner – the Women's Series was their first competitive outing in months, and she claims the experience fueled their hunger.

"I think a lot of the players, especially the ones I spoke to because of the scenario, actually hadn't played a physical tournament against other players. That hasn't happened for most of us since March before the lockdown and everything else came about.

"That ability to play at a competitive level could perhaps be seen in Deta, Fallon and Corrine Hammond. I was really impressed with how Corrine played all weekend, but they were all on the Challenge Tour last week and for Lisa , she did the Pro Tour.

"I think they were the great players anyway, but they just had the ability to beat the oche race while many of us felt very cautious and tried to empathize with it."

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"I know my game isn't quite that high with the likes of Fallon, Lisa, Deta and Corrine, but I know I can do better and it just made me this mistake. I want to come back, I want to do it all over again. " next weekend! It made me feel fantastic. "

The leading women players have been looking for the opportunities presented to them in the Women’s Series, and PDC chief Matt Porter has suggested that this may just be the beginning of the organization’s long-term commitment to the growth of the women’s game.

Turner is excited about the future of the sport and believes that increasing the visibility of women's arrows will improve depth of quality and encourage more youth to get through the ranks.

"The PDC is expanding its game to include different age groups, geographic demographics. The fact that it truly identified women's play as an area of ​​investment and development must be valued positively," added Turner.

"I said it this weekend, you see it as a pyramid scheme. Anyone who plays and wants to get better, your goal will be the Pro Tour – get a Tour Card, that's where you want to be, that's where it's Lisa is.

"This is a great opportunity not only to encourage more people to play because you're making it more visible, but also to develop the standard."

Turner on the growth of the women's game

"From a women's darts point of view, we really had nothing but the grassroots game. We didn't have any professional opportunities where you could invest the time because you would be rewarded for playing more visible sport.

"Our World Championship started 23 years after the original one Leighton Rees won and you just think it's a bit of a comeback.

"As you saw on the Asian Tour, this is a great opportunity not only to encourage more people to play because you make it more visible, but also to develop the standard.

"I think it sounded pretty positive, something that we can begin to develop and encourage more women and young girls to start playing."

Darts in November at Sky Sports with a double bill, starting with three days of coverage of the World Cup of Darts (November 6th to 8th) and continuing with nine days of the Grand Slam of Darts, which starts on November 16th.


Steven Gregory