Column #HR261 BetVictor PDC World Cup of Darts – Day Two

Friday, June 7, 2019
Column HR261
BetVictor PDC World Cup of Darts – Day Two

Today saw the end of round one.

The leisurely pace now quickens as all reaming teams see action tomorrow. The format changes from doubles only to singles, and doubles if necessary. We’re told the format change will be fairer for the really good players but that remains to be seen.  Day 1 saw seeds Northern Ireland and Wales exit stage right.  Today’s play was all chalk although there was a chance for an upset with both Austria and Australia vulnerable.

Tomorrow, teams will play two singles (best of 7), each worth a point. If tied, a doubles, best of 7-501 will be the decider.

A shirtless, tieless John McDonald – how casual – introduced the team from the USA at 10:13 a.m. to get the Friday party started.

First round Par Duex (favored team in BOLD type, winner of the bull designated with an asterisk): 

USA – 5* vs. China – 1. Doubles is a team event. The first 4 legs Darin Young played alone. In those legs the USA built a 3-1 lead with Young hitting all doubles and scoring (2 T40s, 2 T37s and a T34).  Chuck Puleo shook off the nerves to toss a neat 90 to leave 32 which Young took for 4-1. Puleo then hit the winning double after Young left him 6. USA will face Austria.

Canada – 5* 5 vs. Italy – 3. By far the best match so far. Both teams averaged over 90 with Canada at 97 and Italy 95. Dawson Murschell and Jim Long clicked like controversy and Canadian PM Justin Pierre James Trudeau.  They’ll face Australia.

Poland – 5* vs. Czech Republic -1. Poland jumped to a 3-nil lead, then 4-1 when Czech Republic’s Karel Sedlacek took T60 to narrow it to 4-2. The rest is history. The winning leg was a 14-darter. Poland will face Netherlands next.

Republic of Ireland –5* vs. Greece – 1. William O’Connor did it all for Ireland in a win that wasn’t as close as the score. Two legs were won on d1 and d2. Greece’s Ioannis Selachoglou throws the worst looking darts since the ODC hung ’em up, which was about 10 years after he should have. O’Conner asked if previous World Cup experience helped. “Not a bit. I was as nervous as my first time.” Next up England.

#1 England – 5* vs. Philippines – 2. England had an easy win, but they’ll be in deep trouble if have to play a doubles as the score is misleading. For a #1 seed they weren’t impressive. The Philippines Noel Malicdemt had a pair of T80’s. Next up for England is the Republic of Ireland.

#8 Austria – 5* vs. Russia – 3. Austria made a comeback from 3-1 down taking the next four legs but they needed some help. At 3-1 Russia had 2 darts for the leg. At 3-2 they had 3 darts for the leg. The friendly giant Mensur Suljovic opened with a T80 and closed it with double 16.  Austria plays the USA next.

#5 Australia – 5* vs. Finland – 4. This was a case of, “I got it, you take it.”  Up 2-1, Australia missed 5 darts for 3-1. It was an okay performance. Australia’s Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson will have to step it up against Canada.

#4Netherlands – 5 vs. Spain – 0*. Spain won the bull. Netherlands won the leg with a 108 finish by   Jermaine Wattimena. The game was capped when MvG took 82, bull and d16. By far the best performance of the year. They will destroy Poland tomorrow night.

Second Round (Saturday) morning matches (favored team in BOLD type):

Singapore and Japan will battle for Southeast Asia supremacy. The players are well acquainted with each other as they’re all top-notch soft-point players. Look for this one to go to the tie breaker where Singapore should prevail as the Japanese team didn’t set up their outs well in first round.

New Zealand vs. South Africa. Have to go with New Zealand here as Cody Harris did the heavy lifting while Haupai Puha was sure and steady. Love South Africa’s Dancing Devon Petersen but he can’t do it alone. Partner Vernon Bouwers left Peterson in some bad spots with his failure to count. He scored but couldn’t finish. See the Kiwi’s moving on 2 – nil.

#7 Belgium against the home team Germany.  This is a pick ’em but leaning towards the guys in lederhosens. Max Hopp and Martin Schindler should have the edge if it goes to a tiebreaker which I’m sure it will.  Kim Huybrechts is playing well with budding super-star Dimitri Van den Bergh. Huybrechts will to have to repeat his opening round play if Belgium is to move on.

#2 Scotland and Sweden should be a 2-0 score. Both Gary Anderson and Peter Wright did nothing wrong in their 5-nil win over Denmark.  They are just cruising. Would like to see Magnus Caris have a great game in his farewell appearance as a professional dart player.  He’s a credit to the game, himself and his country.

Second round (Saturday) “afternoon” matches (10:00 a.m. west coast, 1:00 p.m. east coast):

#8 Austria (Mensur Suljovic and Zoran Lerchbacher) vs. USA (Darin Young and Chuck Puleo). If Mensur Suljovic plays as he did and Lerchbacher fills in the gap they should win. Be interesting to see if USA puts up Puleo first to face Suljovic to force a doubles decider.

#5 Australia (Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson) vs. Canada (Dawson Murschell and Jim Long). This could be a toss-up as Canada won’t let Australia off the hook should they falter – as Simon Whitlock sometime gets the “walkabouts.” If it goes to double take the Maple Leaf team.

#4 Netherlands (Michael van Gerwen and Jermaine Wattimena vs. Poland (Krzysztof Ratajski and Tytus Kanik). This will be a blow out. Take the Netherlands for a 2-0 win.

#1 England (Rob Cross and Michael Smith vs. the Republic of Ireland (Steve Lennon and William O’Connor). Here’s another that could be a nail-biter. The doubts about Michael Smith being off form didn’t show up in their first match. England will survive.

FYI… “Hey Baby” was sung 9 times today.

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.