Column #HR310 Netherlands, Poland & the USA: SOCKO! Singapore gets a Mulligan.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Netherlands, Poland & USA: SOCKO! Singapore gets a Mulligan.
Day One of the Cazoo World Cup began when the resplendent John McDonald called the meeting to order on a day that had been a sunny 80 degrees in Jena, Germany. Prior to the opening dart, the Old Dart Coach received the following communication from international darting great David Justice: “If the ODC is being paid for his singing he should be charged with obtaining pecuniary gain by deception.” The ODC is overjoyed. He’s never had a lot of “pecuniary gain.”
The first round is all played best of 5 double only.
#3 Netherlands – 5– vs. Denmark – 1. After falling behind 1-nil, the Dutch took advantage of a missed dart by Denmark to go up 2-0, exploding for 5-1 en route. Michael van Gerwen & Dirk van Duijvenbode could not have played better. They drew Singapore on Saturday and should be big favorites.
Poland – 5 vs. Czech Republic – 2. WOW. Krzysztof Ratajski was magnificent, taking all 5 outs and averaging well over 100. The Czech was returned for insufficient funds! Poland vs. #6 Scotland on Saturday. Scots beware!
USA – 5 vs. Sweden – 1. USA’s Danny Lauby put on a T80 show which led to him hit a double against the darts for a 3-1 lead. He added two more T80s to start legs with Chuck Puleo hitting the final double for a 5-1. Even with the solid Aussie win, USA has a shot on Saturday.
Singapore – 5 vs. Gibraltar – 4. Commentator Wayne Mardle said, “Two things you can count on – the sun rises, and Paul Lim plays darts.” After a miserable first leg where they squandered 9 darts at doubles it looked like the sun was setting on the “Not Brothers Lim.” They were horrible as Gibraltar’s Justin Hewitt was a rock. Down 2-4, Harith pulled them level (108), then Paul finished the deal with a 116. Age (113) defeated youth (38). Netherlands Saturday. Big improvement needed.
#6 Scotland – 5 vs. China – 0. Bad news for the Chinese duo that could manage only 2 scores of 100+. The good news was they never missed a double! Scotland’s win sets up a juicy match on Saturday against Poland and Krzysztof Ratajski.
#2 Wales – 5 vs. Finland – 2. Wales was okay but not spectacular. Finland, down 4-0, got a 95-check (25-60-bull) to escape the Snyder. Both Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton can be happy with the win.
#7 Australia – 5 vs .Italy – 0. The lads from Down Under had a comfortable win, beating an all-rookie duo from Italy. Simon Whitlock & Damon Heta were playing in the memory of the late Kyle Anderson who paired with Whitlock three times in World Cups. They will get a red-hot USA duo on Saturday.
Lithuania – 5 vs. Hungary – 3. Lithuania moves on when after 8 match darts Darius Labanauskas hit 2 x 4 for the win. His partner Mindaugas Barauskas went level and stole back a break with a T35-check (25-60-bull) to even the match at 2. The 5th leg turned things in Lithuania’s favor when Hungary failed to check.
Friday has some tasty matches with #1 England vs. Brazil – where the Tea & Crumpet duo will do the Samba. #4 Belgium is a big favorite over Greece and #5Northern should handle Hong Kong while #8 Germany vs. Canada will have the crowd cheering and maybe even stop singing Winter Wonderland.
The scrumptious buffet of delectable matches will have the table set with Russia vs. Japan, Spain vs. South Africa (with “Dancin’” Devon Petersen, the Republic of Ireland vs. Portugal and Austria vs. the Philippines.
The match of the day will be when Austria, led by Mensur Suljovic in his11th World Cup, takes on Portugal and the sensational Jose de Sousa. Must Watch TV!
Stay thirsty my friends.