Column #HR230 PDC World Cup XIII – Day 1 Round up

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Column HR230
PDC World Cup XIII – Day 1 Round up

Outside in Frankfurt, Germany’s 5th largest city, it was a balmy night with intermittent thundershowers…

In the Bahnhofsviertel district the boys, girls and those that don’t wish to state were getting ready to ply their “pay-to-play” trade. John McDonald took center stage at the Eissporthalle, not saying, “Let’s get this party started!” Thank goodness.

The late radio boxing announcer Don Dunphy used to say, “That wasn’t a particularity interesting round.” And that pretty much sums up Day 1 – at least until the final match of the night when #8 Austria took the stage against Japan. To that point Frankfurters singing “Hey Baby” was about the only real excitement.

Austria’s Mensur Suljovic was on a high after he took fellow World Cup player from Belgium Dimitri Van den Bergh to the woodshed in the German Masters. He played brilliantly taking the first leg from Japan. Then a funny thing happened. The Japanese pair of Seigo Asada & Haruki Muramatsu caught fire, wining the next three legs for a 3-1 lead. It should have been 4-1 but the Japanese squandered 9 darts from 100 allowing Australia back in at 3-2. It became 4-2 then 4-3. Missing a bull for the match Japan was forced into the decider against the darts. Suljovic opened with a T80 matched by Seigo Asada who for the match had 2-T80s, a T37 and T34. When Muramatsu used 137 to leave 40 the “Fat lady was licking her lips.” Asada calmly took it out with 20 and 2×10 for the win. Japan moves on 5-4.

Other results from Day 1:

Canada 5-1 over Italy. The Dart Maple John Part leads Canada to a hammering of Italy.

Spain over Russia 5- 4. Russia cursed to an early 2-nil lead when up jumped Spain’s Toni Alcinas, checking 141 and 80 to level at 2. Spain squandered 7 match darts allowing Russia to level with the throw. Behind a Cristo Reyes T80 teammate Toni Alcinas hit the 136 winning double.

Switzerland 5-2 over China. There are some matches that should be played in dark empty places. This one was ugly. China fell behind 3-nil as they missed 20 darts at double but then grabbed 2 legs back. The Swiss would run off 3 on the trot for the win. On a positive note “The first Lady of Chinese Darts,” Momo Zhou, is lovely and was the best player on stage. Plus when her opponent missed a double she led the celebration. You go girl… back to China with your head high.

Brazil 5-1 over Denmark. Marcellus said to Horatio (according to Shakespeare), “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.” In this case it wasn’t Limburger but the Danish pair of Per Laursen & Henrik Primdal. They stunk up the joint. The Brazilian pair of Diogo Portela & Bruno Rangel played well with a 42% finishing rate.

Wales over Thailand 5-3. A win is a win is a win. Thailand’s Gaweenuntavong had a dart to level at 4 but missed double tops. The Welch pair looked unsettled. Rookie Jonny Clayton was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. “He panicked from dart one,” observed Wayne Mardle. Wales should worry. The Thai’s played well but (as seems to be in their DNA) missed shots when needed.

Australia mugs Hong Kong 5-1. Aussie Captain Simon Whitlock answered the question about form as he led the 5-1 victory. Whitlock had a pair of T80s, checks of 68, 77 and d4. Hong Kong took the first leg in 16 darts but then got over powered, missing darts for a second leg.

Scotland has their way with the United States of America 5-1. It was the Peter Wright show as he scored and was a checkout machine. Their 100-plus average was the best of Day 1. The USA played okay in spots, but too few. Darin Young had maybe his best international showing. Wright & Anderson complemented each other as “pals -buddy-amigos.” They proved that there #1 seed was not a mistake.

The losing players take home $1,993.82 – quite nice for a day’s work.

On Day 2 a raucous crowd will pack the Eissporthalle to cheer on the German duo of Max Hopp & Martin Schindler – up against Sweden. For the uninitiated, “raucous” is code word for golden elixir fluid filled partisans singing “Heeeeeey Baby” while dressed in ridiculous attire and singing their baby hearts out.

On Friday, toeing the oche at 7:00 p.m. local time, 6:00 p.m. England, 12:00 p.m. in New York and 10:00 a.m. Las Vegas time will be:

New Zealand (Cody Harris & Warren Parry) vs. Singapore (Paul & Harith Lim). Last year, New Zealand never got past the first round where they lost to Belgium and the brothers Huybrechts. The Lim’s (no relation) made it to the quarter finals last year beating Scotland (5-2) and Spain (2-1) before losing to Belgium 2-1. Paul Lim is the best Asian dart player ever (with apologies to the late great Nicky Virachkul). Doubles best of 9 favors Singapore as they play well together. Take Singapore for the win as they’ll play England/Czech Republic tomorrow.

Greece (John Michael & Veniamin Symeonidis) vs. Finland (Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele). Greece’s John Michael playing brilliantly last year got them past Thailand (5-3). They would lose 2-nil to Belgium where Michael averaged 88.94, losing 4-0 to Ronny Huybrechts who averaged 115.62. Finland’s Kim Viljanen and Marko Kantele return for another try. Last year they lost to finalist Wales 5-4 in the first round averaging 92.74. Wales averaged 100.14, the best of the first round. Take Finland to advance and face Belgium/ Republic of Ireland in second round. .

Northern Ireland (Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan) vs. Poland (Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik). PDC #5 Daryl Gurney leads Northern Ireland with #37 Brendan Dolan. Last year they went out to Germany 5-4. In 2016, they reached the semi finals beating Japan, Ireland and Canada along the way before falling to England 2-nil. Poland’s pair is back after losing to Ireland last year 5-3. This year Poland gets rolled by Northern Ireland. Sweden/Germany up next.

Hungary (Tamas Alexits & Nandor Bezzeg) vs. South Africa (Devon Petersen & Liam O’Brien). South Africa’s “Dancing” Devon Peterson is worth the price of admission as he does Shakira’s Waka Waka. He reached the top 16 in the PDC World Championships in 2014. South Africa took out Sweden last year 5-3 but fell to England 2-0 in next round. Not much is known on new partner Liam O’Brien. Hungary’s Nandor Bezzeg is a World Cup veteran with various partners. Best results were 2015 and 2016. Hungary beat Sweden in 2015, then lost to Scotland. In 2016, Hungary beat Thailand 5-3 before losing 2-0 to Belgium. In 2017 they got drilled by “Oh Canada” 5-2. Devan will be dancing. Netherland up next.

#7 Belgium (Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh) vs. Republic of Ireland (Steve Lennon & William O’Connor). Belgium got to the semi finals last year and was beaten by finalist Wales 2-0. Van den Bergh (PDC #39) replaces Ronnie Huybrechts from last year’s team. R. Huybrechts was brilliant. Van den Bergh has big shoes to fill. For Ireland’s William O’Connor this will be his 7th World Cup. Ireland averaged 92.93 while beating Poland 5-3 last year. Ireland will need rookie Steve Lennon to have a break out performance. Got to be an upset somewhere – take Republic of Ireland behind William O’Conner.

#2 England (Rob Cross & Dave Chisnall) vs. Czech Republic (Roman Benecky & Karel Sedlacek). New look Team England with World Champion Rob Cross joining Chisnall who played well last year when he and Adrian. Lewis got to the semi finals, losing to eventual champions the Netherlands 2-0. Cross an upgrade. England will advance with an easy win.

Sweden (Daniel Larsson & Dennis Nilsson) vs. Germany (Max Hopp & Martin Schindler). Dennis Nilsson replaces veteran Magnus Caris for Sweden as they get hometown Germany. Hopp & Schindler are back for another try. They played well last year losing to the champions, the Netherlands 2-1. Hopp can be a little erratic and immature which is understandable as he’s just 21. Rooting for Sweden as the great Swedish International, Mr. Stefan Lord, will be cheering the Swedes on – but Germany wins and advances.

#3 Netherlands (Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld ) vs. Gibraltar (Dyson Parody & Justin Broton). The Netherlands is favored to win the World Cup and repeat as champions. To do that, they must win their first round match – which they will. Netherlands rolls.

Stay thirsty my friends.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.