Ashton reflects on Ally Pally agony

Lisa Ashton

Lisa Ashton was left to reflect on what might have been after agonisingly missing out on place in the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship. 

The PDC Women's Series winner was in contention to follow in Fallon Sherrock's footsteps by becoming a winning woman on the Alexandra Palace stage.

But as Wednesday's thrilling first round tie against Adam Hunt was nearing its conclusion, Ashton missed double five and bust her attempt of finishing 130 - a checkout that would have seen her move 2-1 ahead in the decisive fifth set. 

Hunt, who was equally impressive in one of the best games of the tournament so far, took advantage and went on to close out a hard fought victory. 

"I’m so annoyed with myself. I had chances and I didn’t take them, but well done to Adam and good luck to him," said four-time BDO Women's Champion Ashton. 

"I was thinking about last time I played here when I went a set up against Jan Dekker, I was trying to put right what I did wrong on that night but it just wasn’t meant to be.

"I’m learning all the time against the best players in the world. I will learn from it and hopefully I’ll be back next year and I can get over the winning line."

The defeat brings an end to Ashton's debut season as PDC Tour Card holder, having become the first female player to win through Qualifying School.

While she has enjoyed some success on the oche, including notable wins over the likes of Rob Cross and Michael Smith, she has had a difficult year away from darts with her husband, Derek, undergoing surgery due to heart attack shortly before here Women's Series success. 

"My preparation wasn’t bad, despite what’s been going on in my personal life. I’ve tried my best to keep the two separate.

"I’m quite happy with my first year in the PDC. I’ve taken some scalps along the way and hopefully next year I can progress further.

"I’ve improved my game a lot but I’m still learning. My challenge now is to take these lessons and make myself a better player for it."

Ashton will compete on the PDC ProTour again in 2020, while Deta Hedman bids to be next woman to win at the World Championship when she takes on Andy Boulton on Saturday.