Trina Gulliver has been selected to represent England in the 2018 British International Championship, which takes place at the beginning of April 2018. "Golden Girl" will represent her country once again, as part of a six-player team that will be aiming to continue their recent dominance in this competition.
Her first appearance at this event came back in 1994 and despite impressing on debut, she wasn't able to help guide England to victory, with Wales emerging triumphant for the third time in four years. By this point, Trina's reputation had started to grow exponentially and a number of eye-catching performances when representing Warwickshire at county level soon prompted a second call-up in 1997. This was a breakthrough year for Trina as she slowly began to dominate the sport by landing the Swiss, English and German Open all in the space of twelve months. She has clocked up 67 caps for England and is always delighted to represent her country in this competition. She has been victorious on 58 of those occasions and was deservedly installed as captain of the side in 2003. She led the team to numerous successes in this competition, with England suffering just one defeat in eleven outings. She also made history when becoming the most capped female darts player and continues to add to those already-impressive numbers. Based on her current form, 2018 is unlikely to be her final call-up.
Trina Gulliver will be joined by Deta Hedman, Fallon Sherlock, Maria O'Brien, Lorraine Winstanley and Tricia Wright on the oche and they are likely to start as overwhelming favourites for the event. Hedman, who captained the side last year has enjoyed an excellent start to 2018 with yet another success at the Dutch Open, where she defeated Aileen de Greef in the final. The Dark Destroyer was able to defend her crown alongside Mark McGeeney, who also managed to wrap up successive titles in Assen and he has already been installed as the second favourite for next January's BDO World Championship at a price of 7/1. The Lakeside event is amongst the most popular darts events for outright bets, with plenty of ante-post selections being placed on the tournament all year round. There are a number of events taking place throughout the season which each offer plenty of betting opportunities for darts fans and two of the most popular markets are set and leg betting.
Picture Source: Oxfordshire via Twitter
Fallon Sherrock has also made a promising start to the season with a quarter-final appearance at the aforementioned BDO World Championships before falling agonisingly short in the final of the Scottish Open. The 23-year old is considered "one for the future" but has already picked up a number of caps for the national team and could potentially offer a threat to Trina's record if she continues to perform at this level. 2017 Welsh Open winner Lorraine Winstanley enjoyed a terrific 12 months on the oche and few can dispute her inclusion here. She will be hoping to take her impressive recent form into this competition.
Maria O'Brien's call-up is perhaps the biggest surprise but she will bring some unpredictability to the side and has already progressed to the last eight of the Dutch and Scottish Open in 2018. She makes her International debut alongside Conan Whitehead and Kevin Dowling who also receive call-ups for the first time to the men's squad. Some darts fans have expressed their disappointment at Lisa Ashton's omission, many of whom suggested that the Bolton-born player was unlucky to miss out on a place following her victory over Russian player Anastasia Dobromyslova in the Lakeside final. Sarah Roberts, who has previously been called up for the squad but hasn't featured in a tournament since September 2017 has unsurprisingly been dropped.
England have a brilliant record at this event and helped by Trina's guidance, they were victorious every year between 1999 and 2008. After losing out 4-2 to Wales in 2009, they managed to regain the title the following year and dominated the subsequent tournaments. In 2017, the event was held at Bradford's Cedar Court Hotel and despite making a perfect start, beating Scotland 6-0, they came unstuck against Wales, losing 4-2 and unfortunately this prevented a clean sweep of English successes. It was a disappointing outcome for Trina Gulliver and her teammates but they will be determined to bounce back. England haven't lost successive BDO British Internationals since 1997/98.
It is one of a number of commitments for the ten-time Lakeside world champion, including a scheduled appearance at the Shaun Weaver Memorial Masters which takes place in Seaton on July 14th. She will be accompanied by Glen Durrant and Darryl Fitton amongst others. Trina will also be taking part in the darts competition at Doncaster Racecourse which is scheduled to follow March's William Grimthorpe Chase Handicap. Following the BDO British Internationals, a trip to Europe awaits with an appearance in the German Masters, a tournament where she has prevailed on four different occasions. One of the standout events on the calendar is the Winmau BDO Classic in Wolverhampton, where Trina will be looking for an unprecedented seventh success.