Another remarkable chapter has been written in the Fallon Sherrock story. Having stormed to global superstardom after ‘smashing the glass ceiling’ at Alexandra Palace, she created another moment of history with an inspired display at the Grand Slam of Darts on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old conjured up a sensational comeback to defeat Gabriel Clemens 5-3 in their decisive Group E tussle to become the first woman to advance to the Grand Slam knockout stages, and the first woman to reach the last 16 of a PDC ranking major.
Clemens needed just four legs to dump out Sherrock, and her hopes were hanging by a thread when ‘The German Giant’ established a 3-1 cushion, only for the Milton Keynes ace to reel off four consecutive legs in extraordinary fashion.
Fallon Sherrock made Grand Slam history after beating Gabriel Clemens with a sensational 170 finish to become the first woman to qualify for the second round
‘The Queen of the Palace’ sandwiched a magnificent 141 checkout in between legs of 12 and 16 darts to lead 4-3, before sealing her progression by producing a maximum 170 finish to leave Clemens and the Wolverhampton crowd stunned.
“I’m absolutely over the moon, a 170 checkout as well. Wow. I’m so happy to even get through,” a shell-shocked Sherrock told Sky Sports.
“I literally just thought after he got the three legs, I was like just try and win now. I don’t even know how I did it.
“That 170 – I thought: ‘This has got to go. You have no chance otherwise. This is your one shot.'”
Fallon Sherrock reacts to her stunning comeback win over German No 1 Gabriel Clemens
Sherrock’s latest heroics came just 48 hours after a majestic whitewash win over Mike De Decker, where she posted a 101.55 average – the highest recorded by a woman in a televised event.
This also saw her become the first woman to prevail at the Grand Slam since Anastasia Dobromyslova defeated Vincent van der Voort in the 2009 edition, but now the Fallon fairytale continues.
Three-time world champion John Part has virtually seen it all in the sport, yet even he was stunned by Sherrock’s exploits.
“I can’t imagine there has ever been a greater comeback inside a group game in the history of this event, having to win four consecutive legs,” Part reflected.
“If it was a film, it would be panned for being incredibly ridiculous, but it’s reality and it happened and it was Fallon.”
John Part hails sensational Sherrock…
“The magic that Fallon came up with – even the 141. It’s just unbelievable stuff. It is magical.
“Wayne (Mardle) and I were at the side of the stage, and we were looking at each other when she left the 170. Wayne said to me: ‘Some things are just destiny.’
“I had to agree and then she proceeded to hit it. It’s just an unbelievable scenario. What a comeback, and what heart there.
“If it was a film, it would be panned for being incredibly ridiculous, but it’s reality and it happened and it was Fallon. She is a fantastic dart player, full stop.”
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Sherrock is no stranger to hitting huge bullseye finishes – she pinned the same target to complete a ground-breaking victory over Mensur Suljovic on her Ally Pally bow, and history repeated itself in Wolverhampton.
In a remarkable sequence of events, Sherrock will now face Suljovic for a place in the Grand Slam quarter-finals, after the Austrian whitewashed Matt Campbell to secure top spot in Group F.
Suljovic has slipped from 11th to 28th on the PDC Order of Merit since that famous night, but ‘The Gentle’ has enjoyed a resurgence over recent months, leading Austria to a maiden World Cup of Darts final in September.
Nevertheless, Sherrock is relishing the prospect of renewing her rivalry against the former major champion over an extended distance.
Sherrock defeated Suljovic en route to reaching the third round at the 2020 PDC World Championship
“I’m going into that very excited. I’m going to take each game as it comes, see how it pans out because it’s a different format,” she added post-match.
“I’m just going to go in head down, focused and just hopefully produce the game that I can. I’m in this darts zone. When I play, I put my glasses on and I’m like superman!
“It won’t hit me [the achievement] until after the competition. I just try and focus on what needs to be done.”
Sherrock was riding the crest of a wave following her World Championship heroics almost two years ago. She was set to feature in multiple World Series events across the globe, although the coronavirus pandemic curtailed that prospect.
This coincided with the demise of the British Darts Organisation and without a Tour Card, Sherrock relied on a series of online competitions to maintain her match sharpness.
However, she was rewarded with a wildcard for the Nordic Darts Masters in September and grasped the opportunity with both hands – rallying from 8-2 adrift to defeat world No 5 Dimitri Van den Bergh in an extraordinary semi-final.
Sherrock led Michael van Gerwen 6-3 with a 103 average in the final at one stage, and while ‘Mighty Mike’ recovered to lift the title, Fallon believes that experience has been instrumental in her success at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
“I’ve played quality players that are hitting everything, so it’s kind of geared me up for this competition. I’m really grateful that I got the opportunity to play in it because it has made me a better player,” Sherrock continued.
“I definitely feel more confident. I definitely feel like I’m playing better than I was two years ago. I’ve had a lot to learn from and I’m a better player for it.
“If I get caught up with everything I get so distracted, so I will forget about this win before my next game and just focus on each game.
“I will worry about it when I’ve finished the tournament and appreciate how much I’ve done, and feel proud of myself.”
Don’t miss a dart from the Grand Slam of Darts which continues on all week from Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village – join us from 7pm on Sky Sports Arena on Wednesday night