BOLTON'S Lisa Ashton is ‘gutted’ after exiting the BDO Women’s World Championships at the quarter-final stage on Thursday, writes Will Jackson.

As the reigning two-time world champion, Ashton, 45, was the bookie’s favourite ahead of the match against nine-time winner Trina Gulliver MBE.

However, Ashton struggled from the off. Despite surging to a leg finishing position, she struggled to finish the game. She failed to make her first 19 doubles in the game and consequently allowed Gulliver to build up a lead which the Lancashire Rose could not come back from.

Speaking after the match, Ashton said: “Obviously I’m gutted, I feel as though I couldn’t score anything on the night, especially doubles.

“It seemed like the more I tried, the harder the job was getting, but I never gave up and I’ll always fight to the end.”

The thrower has experienced a fantastic run of form over the past year and after winning this tournament last year, as well as winning nine of the previous 10 BDO events she has entered.

Trina Gulliver was always going to be a tricky opponent. Recognised as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to darts, she has won nine World championships, more than any other woman to have played.

However, having beaten Gulliver in their previous three bouts, Ashton was confident of getting through to the semi-finals for a fourth successive year. Especially after her dazzling performance in the previous round, which saw Ashton dispatch qualifier Paula Jacklin, 2-0, dropping just one leg.

“I’ve played Trina many times before, but you’ve got to play the board and it just wasn’t happening for me.

“Its just something that you’ve got to pull yourself up from. I’ve got to start from scratch again now and head on to the next tournament.

“But, I’ll brush it off, keep my head up and I’ll head into the next one fully prepared.”

Ashton was well beaten in the end, losing 2-1 to Gulliver, 3-1, 0-3, 3-1 with her faltering finishing proving costly. Gulliver will now go on to play Aileen de Graaf of The Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Ashton will be out again at the Dutch Open at the end of January and will no doubt be confident of getting back to winning ways.