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Golden Girl hits the bullseye

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: January 15, 2010

  • Trina Gulliver

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Mid-Somerset has its own eight-times World Darts Champion after Trina Gulliver clinched the BDO ladies' top title at the Lakeside on Friday.

Nicknamed the Golden Girl, Gulliver has competed in all 10 BDO women's finals and beat Rhian Edwards 2-0 to clinch the accolade, and with it regain the world title for the first time since 2007.

The 40-year-old professional darts player from Cheddar, who practices for hours in the village's Bath Arms pub, said: "It is obviously a great feeling to get the title back again.

"Rhian had been on form all week but in the final I never dropped a leg and won it in 18 minutes, so I'm told."

Gulliver, born and raised in Warwickshire, moved to mid-Somerset two years ago and has been fortunate to make a living from playing the sport professionally.

"Playing darts was a family thing really," she said.

"I started playing for Warwickshire Youth when I was about 14 and it all progressed from there

"I've been professional for around 12 years now and before that I ran my own carpentry and joinery business but it was becoming too much, so I packed in the chippy and tools and took up the arrows full time.

"It's great to travel around the UK doing exhibition matches and in Europe too for tournaments, while the World Cup events can take you all over, including Malaysia.

"I'm very lucky to be doing something I enjoy so much."

But while Gulliver is thrilled to have regained her title and for the sport to have enjoyed media attention and air time on the television, she admits it can be frustrating to see the amount of prize money won by the men compared to that of the ladies.

"It is something they (the BDO) have to address as the prize money (£6,000) is not even 10 per cent of that which the men can win (£100,000)," said Gulliver.

"We do keep telling the powers that be about it but it appears to fall on deaf ears."

But for now, and after a few celebrations in the Bath Arms, it is back to the oche for more practice.

"All the people in the Bath Arms have been fantastic and Jim, the landlord, has been very supportive," she said.

"I badgered him into putting up another dart board so that I could practice in another area, but given my carpentry background he made me put it up myself."

Gulliver also has plenty of support from her partner Sue Biddle, who is also a hot-shot with the arrows and is currently an England international.

Gulliver continued: "Yes, Sue's a pretty good darts player herself and of course it helps as she knows the sport so well.

"I'm so lucky to be making a living out of doing something I enjoy so much.

"To become a professional was fantastic and to have won the title for the eighth time is amazing."

Gulliver beat Holland's Francis Hoenselaar (2-0) and England's Deta Hedman (2-0) on her way to the final.

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