Buxton-based darts couple target world title tilts in BDO and PDC

Dean Winstanley and Lorraine Winstanley (below)
Dean Winstanley and Lorraine Winstanley (below)

Not many people can afford the luxury of preparing for a world championship from the comfort of their own home.

However, for Dean and Lorraine Winstanley that is the perfect setting as they each apply the finishing touches to their preparations for their respective world title tilts.

Buxton's Lorraine Winstanley celebrates her win at the Isle of Man 2014 Open.

Buxton's Lorraine Winstanley celebrates her win at the Isle of Man 2014 Open.

The couple, who got married in Buxton earlier this year, have recently moved to a new house in the town and have been busy honing their skills at the oche in their specially-built lodge.

“We help to train each other and she’s probably the best partner I could get because she’s capable of hitting 140s and 160s.” Dean said.

The 33-year-old is out to prove a point at his third experience of the Alexandra Palace tournament.

He has yet to go past the second round stage and will be keen to make amends after last year’s first hurdle exit to Richie Burnett.

Winstanley insists he is in tip-top form ahead of the 18-day extravaganza.

That was highlighted during his run to the last-eight of the Players’ Championship in Minehead last month - Winstanley’s maiden PDC major ranking quarter-final.

“My form is slowly coming back,” he said.

“If someone had said to me that I’d reach the quarter-finals of the Players’ Championship then I’d have taken that.”

Winstanley recorded morale-boosting wins over Simon Whitlock and Jelle Klaasen before succumbing to Vincent van der Voort.

“I missed a few doubles against him and that’s when my average dropped.

“But he was a good player and he showed he could hold his own.

“I had a dip in form earlier this year but everything has come together recently.

“I’m in the top 30 now and I feel fantastic.”

Winstanley will face 2006 semi-finalist Wayne Jones in the first round at ‘Ally Pally’ on Sunday December 21.

He added: “I’ve got a good record against Wayne, but it’s all about what happens on the day.

“It’s about who takes their chances.

“When you get onto that stage you have to hold your nerve and I don’t want to go out at the first hurdle.

“I want to go on a good run and prove a point.

“I’m going to walk out there and try and get as far as I can.”

As for Lorraine, she has also been putting in the hours at home as she prepares for her opening clash at the BDO World Championships at the Lakeside.

Her first round opponent will be Sharon Prins on Sunday January 4, and Lorraine says she was relieved to have avoided the defending champion.

“It was a nice draw and I’ve played Sharon a few times before,” Lorraine said.

“There was only one person that I really didn’t want and that was (defending champion) Lisa Ashton.

“Because Lisa wasn’t seeded, she was dangerous because she could have been drawn against anyone.”

Lorraine is determined to better last year’s performance when she crashed out at the first hurdle to eventual runner-up Deta Hedman.

“It’s heartbreaking when you go out first round,” added Lorraine.

“It’s what you work all year towards and then for that to happen, it makes you pretty fed up.

“The last tournament I played in was back in October.

“Since then I’ve just been practicing at home with Dean and putting the work in.”

Lorraine, originally from Flagg, says that the ideal scenario for her and Dean would be for a clash of schedules.

She added: “The plan is for us to both go and see each other in action.

“What would be the perfect scenario though is for Dean to be playing the final the same night as my first round clash.”