Fallon Sherrock narrowly failed to create more history as she drew 6-6 with Glen Durrant at the Premier League in Nottingham.
The 25-year-old, who became the first woman to win a game at the PDC World Championship in December – where she defeated both Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic – was bidding to become the first challenger to win at the tournament. None of the previous 10 “challengers” had won their games and Sherrock threw for the match in the final leg but was broken by the three-time BDO champion and had to settle for a draw.
Durrant quickly settled with a 180 in the opening leg and then threw a 168 to set up a double eight finish to level things up again.
The first sign of trouble on the Sherrock throw came in leg six. The trebles deserted her but Durrant missed six darts at doubles to break and Sherrock survived. The trebles returned in leg seven as Sherrock took out 92 – with a bull, six, double 18 finish.
Durrant missed three more attempts at doubles in the next leg as Sherrock took a 5-3 lead. But he stopped the rot to move back within one. However, doubles continued to elude him, missing three more at double 16, and Sherrock guaranteed herself at least a point. She threw for the match but Durrant, who beat Michael Smith last week, survived and broke her throw to take a point.
“I’ve loved every minute of it,” Sherrock told Sky Sports. “I’m so happy that I get to play again on the big stage. It’s been incredible. I’m speechless because everyone’s come and it’s amazing. I just thank everyone that’s here supporting. I’m so grateful.”
Discussing what comes next, Sherrock added: “I’m getting opportunities opening up all the time, so obviously I’m excited to see what 2020 holds for me. I can’t wait for everything that’s coming and I’m just loving this at the moment.”
Durrant paid tribute to his opponent, who had the vociferous backing of the Nottingham crowd. “All credit goes to Fallon,” he said. “She’s just had the most amazing couple of months. That just cemented that. To play in the Premier League … that was the toughest game I’ve ever had. Playing Fallon Sherrock on that stage is a lot harder than maybe I anticipated. I’m very lucky to get the draw.”