Lorraine Winstanley said it was a proud moment playing in her first BDO Women’s World Championship final at Lakeside.
Top seeded Winstanley had a week to remember and was in high spirits after a semi-final victory over number four seed Anastasia Dobromyslova.
But she came up against a “brick wall” in the final in Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki who went on to take this year’s championship - and become the first non-European to lift the title.
It left the Buxton player with mixed feelings.
“It was a whole new experience for me but one I’m proud of,” said Winstanley.
“On paper our statistics going into the final were very similar, in our tournament average and scoring, we were pretty evenly matched.
“But she pulled out a fantastic performance. I came up against a brick wall.
“I know I’ve got that sort of performance in me, I just didn’t on the day. It might have been different if I had pulled out my best game but I never got going.
“That’s the frustrating bit for me is that I never really got going all tournament.
“I didn’t perform anywhere near like I can, so I have mixed feelings in that sense.”
On her route to the final, Winstanley beat Casey Gallagher in the last 16, Trina Gulliver MBE in the quarter-finals and then Dobromyslova in the semis.
Dobromyslova had won the previous two meetings between the pair at the quarter-final stage in the last two years - but 2019 was Winstanley’s turn to take a “massive game”.
Winstanley said: “I’m so proud to have reached the final.
“I was lucky against Casey, she missed some doubles, then I picked it up against Trina and then Ana and myself always have a good game.
“That was a massive thing for me, to beat Ana on that stage, because she’s beaten me three times up there, so that was a massive turning point for me.”
And added: “That match would have made a really good final, unfortunately that was the semi, and it wasn’t to be.
“I’m disappointed but pleased with myself to get to the final.”