TOP darts player Lisa Ashton hopes her appearance in the final of the BDO Women’s World Championships can be the springboard to more success in the Isle of Man next month.

The 42-year-old achieved her best-ever finish at the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, beating world number one Deta Hedman on the way to the final where she was beaten by defending champion Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-1 in sets.

Naturally, the Bolton player was disappointed to end as runner-up but was pleased with her form and hopes to take it into the International Darts Festival over the weekend of March 8-10.

She said: “It was a good tournament for me at the Lakeside.

“I had qualified twice before but been knocked out in the first round.

“This time I beat the world number one and made it to the final.

“The next big one is in the Isle of Man next month so, hopefully, I can do well there as well.”

Lisa, who lives in Johnson Fold, first picked up the darts in 1999 after playing with her four brothers and getting a feel for the sport.

The avenues to the top have undertstandably proved more difficult with the women’s game far less publicised.

It means plenty of practice playing local and county darts as well as funding most of the tournament trips herself. But she continues to enjoy playing at all levels, from world championships to Ladies Section One of the Astley Bridge League with her team based at the Lord Raglan pub on Halliwell Road.

In fact, darts remains something of a family affair for Lisa who learned from her older brothers and now plays alongside her own daughters Lindsey, aged 22, and Danielle, 14.

She added: “I got into it properly in 1999. My four brothers used to play and I tagged along.

“I used to stand and throw as part of their practice.

“I liked it and got into it, thinking I could beat them.

“I started out in the super league in Swinton then on to the county team and then for England. At that time, there were not many tournaments for women.

“There is a bit more profile these days but it is still a long way off the men’s game, particularly the PDC which fills big arenas.

“Of course, we have to pay our own way as well if we want to compete in tournaments. I keep going, though, in between county games for Lancashire and weekly matches in the Astley Bridge League.

“My daughters are interested as well, Lindsey plays in the league with me and Danielle plays also.”

The Ashton name looks like continuing in darts for some time yet.