Women players are being urged to sharpen their darts for next month’s £6240 Isle of Man women’s singles (March 13-15).
After a disappointing turnout of just 130 players 12 months ago – despite the eye-catching £3000 top prize – the women’s competition in on trial this year.
A poor turnout for the second year running could see prize-money slashed in 2010 – the 25th staging of the event.
Promoter Les France of LP Promotions said: “The Isle of Man championship has loyally supported women’s darts and continues to offer an impressive prizelist with money paid down to those reaching the last 64, with the winner taking £3000 and the runner-up pocketing £1000.
“However the event does rely on the goodwill and support of women players and their failure to support the championship could threaten the amount of prize-money on offer in the 25th birthday event next year,” explained France.
Twelve months ago Welsh international Julie Gore successfully defended her title and now bids to become only the second woman to take a hat trick of wins.
It was last achieved in 1990-93 by Essex’s former world number one Deta Hedman who ironically makes a return to the Manx tournament next month, after an absence of more than 10 years.
In contrast the men’s singles attracted a 500 plus entry with victory going to St Helen’s Dave Chisnall, who toppled Welsh international Robert Hughes last year. Both then went on to make their debuts in the Lakeside world championship in January at Frimley Green.
World champ Ted Hankey is expected to renew his quest to lift the Manx title for the first time and improve on his runners-up spot in 2006.
Another who has failed to overcome the island jinx at the tournament is 2007 world champ Martin Adams, whose best performance has been as a losing semi finalist.
The lure of the £5000 top prize and rankings points will again ensure a bumper entry in the men’s singles with internationals and top name county players rubbing shoulders with visiting European players, as well as ordinary pub and club players bidding to embark on the first step of a glittering darts career.
In addition to the singles tournaments the three-day weekend tournament boasts mixed doubles, mens and ladies pairs competitions plus the island stages the Winmau World Masters youth championship play-offs.
For Further information contact Les France on 0161 793 6909.